Sinking of the Lusitania
On May 1, 1915, the Lusitania left New York and set sail for Liverpool. This being its 202nd trip across the Atlantic ocean. There was 1,959 people on board. All boats that were sailing to Great Britain were warned to watch for German U-boats. U-boats are submarines usually armed with torpedoes. The Germans had lots of U-boats under the Atlantic. The Lusitania was told to always sail at its top speed and sail in a zig-zag pattern. Unfortunately on May 7, Captain William Thomas Turner had to slow down due to fog. About 14 miles off the coast of southern Ireland a U-boat had already spotted and targeted the Lusitania. The captain and crew were unaware of it though. At 1:40 p.m. the first torpedo hit the right side of the ship. Almost immediately after an explosion in the ship occurred. No one knows the exact reason of the second explosion. The sink sunk within 18 minutes. Out of the 1,959 people on board 1,198 died. The large amount of U.S citizens killed in the explosion had swayed the presidents decision in being neutral in the war. The U.S. was now a part of the Allies.