Sinking of the Lusitania
During the second year of WWI, the British Cunard ocean liner Lusitania , on a voyage from New York to Liverpool, sank off the coast of Ireland in only 18 minutes after being struck by a torpedo fired by the German U-boat U-20. Of 1,959 passengers and crew, 1,195 died. Of the fatalities, 123 were Americans. Even though the Germans maintained the liner was carrying arms purchased in America to Britain, the sinking of a passenger ship aroused intense anger against the German policy of unrestricted submarine warfare and hastened America’s entrance into the war.
Photo: U.S. Naval Historical Center