07 September-RMS Lusitania

RMS Lusitania was for a time the largest passenger ship in the world. It was sank by a torpedo from a German U Boat 18km (11 miles) off the south coast of Ireland on May 7th 1915. The ship, which had 1,962 passengers and crew on board, was sailing from New York to Liverpool.

The Lusitania was built at Clydebank in Scotland. It was launched on June 7th 1906. Following trials on the Irish Sea the ship began her maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York in September 1907. In all the ship made a total of 202 crossings of the Atlantic.

In April 1915 RMS Lusitania sailed from Liverpool to New York arriving there on April 24th. She left New York bound for Liverpool on May 1st 1915 carrying 1,266 passengers and a crew of 696. The German Embassy in Washington DC placed advertisements in American newspapers warning passengers not to travel on the Lusitania.

The Lusitania having crossed the Atlantic was travelling near the Old Head of Kinsale when she was hit by a torpedo from the German submarine. Shortly after the torpedo hit there was a second explosion from within the hull of the Lusitania. The ship sank in 18 minutes. 1,191 passengers and crew lost their lives. Three more people died later from their injuries.

There was international outcry at the sinking of the Lusitania. One of those who lost their lives was Cork native Sir Hugh Lane after whom the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin is named. Hugh Lane had founded the first gallery of modern art in the world on Harcourt Street in Dublin. Of those who died in the sinking, 128 were American citizens. Less than two years later America declared war on Germany.

RMS Lusitania began her maiden voyage in the year 1907 On This Day.

LUSITANIA (LOC) by The Library of Congress on 1910-01-01 00:00:00

J.K. Hackett and wife (LOC) by The Library of Congress on 1910-01-01 00:00:00

First class lounge, Lusitania] by SMU Central University Libraries on 1905-01-01 00:00:00

Cobh Heritage Centre by infomatique on 2014-07-01 12:10:20

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