On May 7, 1915, the German submarine (U-boat) U-20 torpedoed and sank the Lusitania, a swift-moving British cruise liner traveling from New York to Liverpool, England. Of the 1,959 men, women, and children on board, 1,195 perished, including 123 Americans. A headline in the New York Times the following day—"Divergent Views of the Sinking of The Lusitania"—sums up the initial public response to the disaster.
Some saw it as a blatant act of evil and transgression against the conventions of war. Others understood that Germany previously had unambiguously alerted all neutral passengers of Atlantic vessels to the potential for submarine attacks on British ships and that Germany considered the Lusitania a British, and therefore an "enemy ship."
Title: [R.M.S. Lusitania, hit by torpedos off Kinsale Head, Ireland] Date Created / Published: c1915. Medium: 1 photographic print. Summary: Photograph of drawing, made for the New York Herald and the London Sphere, shows the R.M.S. Lusitania as a second torpedo hits behind a gaping hole in the hull.
Reproduction Number: LC-USZC4-13285 (color film copy transparency) LC-USZ62-21728 (b&w film copy neg.)
Subjects: Lusitania (Steamship)--Disasters--North Atlantic Ocean--1910-1920. World War, 1914-1918--Naval operations--German--North Atlantic Ocean. Disasters--North Atlantic Ocean--1910-1920.
Format: Drawings--Reproductions--1910-1920.. Photographic prints--1910-1920.
Collections: Miscellaneous Items in High Demand
TEXT RESOURCE: American Memory from the Library of Congress