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Essay on The Sinking of the Lusitania

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The sinking of the Lusitania was a tragic event. It occurred on May 7th, 1915 in the North Atlantic ocean. The famous British ocean liner had departed from New York City and was off the coast of Ireland when a German submarine fired torpedoes. The ship had roughly 1,900 passengers on board, most of which were American citizens. The ship was meant for passengers and not for cargo but as lots of reporters have stated there was in fact a handful of war materials aboard the ship which was kept secret from its passengers.Prior to the sinking the Germans had declared that the waters around the British Isles were considered to be a war zone.1 This war zone idea was backed by the fact that the Germans admitted to enforce unrestricted submarine warfare; meaning if you were in the water you were getting blown up with or without prior knowledge. It took a total of eighteen minutes for the Lusitania, in its entirety, to disappear beneath the waves of the North Atlantic ocean.2 After the ship had sunk the American press had openly and with lots of determination and passion deemed the event uncivilized. However, the Lusitania was not the only ship that was torpedoed. A year later in 1916 the Sussex, an unarmed French passenger ship was sunk by another German submarine. 3
Overall coverage of this event from the American perspective was passionate and headstrong by some reporters. But others felt very different claiming “it was no fault of the German government” since it was clearly stated the waters were part of a war zone. A letter to the editor of The New York Times questioned the integrity of the news columns related to the Lusitania. The contents of the letter disputed many of the editors knowledge of the sinking and supported the Germans...


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...t was not for these precursors then the continuation of unrestricted submarine warfare might still be a threat to the vessels that now transport hundreds of thousands of people all over the globe.


Works Cited

Faragher, John Mack, Mari Jo Buhle. “Out of Many: A History of the American People”. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson, 2009. p. 599.
Lacombe, E. Henry. “ A New Theory of the Lusitania Sinking: The Evidence of the German Medal Dated May 5 and the Report of the Explosive “Cigars” on Board”. The New York Times. New York. October 20, 1917.
“Lusitania was Unarmed”. The New York Times. New York, New York. May 10, 1915. p 1.
“Lusitania In The US Election”. The Times. London, England. Oct 14, 1916. p 6.
"Remember The Lusitania!".The Times. London, England. May 7, 1918. p 3.
“The Sinking of the Lusitania”. The Times. London, England. May 8, 1915. p 9.



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