Sinking of the Lusitania

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Sinking of the Lusitania

Show Summary

These are the words that inspired many young Americans to volunteer for service during the First World War. The sinking of this great British oceangoing liner provoked outrage around the world on an unprecedented scale. On May 7, 1915, a German torpedo sent the ship to the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean in just 18 minutes -- its speedy descent into the depths occurring far too fast for most of those aboard to make it to the lifeboats. Of the 1,962 passengers and crew on board, 1,201 were lost, including 94 children and, crucially, 128 Americans, many of whom were prominent figures. President Woodrow Wilson's neutral stance started to crack. All over America there were calls for the United States to take up arms against Germany. In many ways, the Lusitania tragedy was the major turning point of the Great War, and perhaps the single greatest factor that eventually brought America into the war in April 1917.

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Documentary, News, Science


Heritage, History, Culture