Lusitania

Discussion in 'World War I' started by VBF-13, Oct 13, 2013.

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  1. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    They say it went down in like 18 minutes. Something like that. And half that time it's just sitting there with its ass-end up for its nose having been stuck in the mud in 300 foot of water. How does an 800 foot liner like that go down that decisively and dramatically? I think you all know where I'm going with this. What do you think? That must have been some torpedo.
     
  2. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Certainly is an interesting case. I doubt we will ever know the complete truth. Either way it was a tragedy that so many innocent lives had to die.
     
  3. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. It's not like they didn't see it coming, though. The warnings were there. They were just in denial. It could outrun any sub. In fact, at the moment of truth, it was getting away, until it turned broadside. They could have put another in her, too, but the sub commander couldn't bring himself to pull the trigger. Big ship, though. And to go over that quickly. While all the world wondered.
     
  4. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    "... That must have been some torpedo"

    Or some cargo.
     
  5. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    ...or coal dust.
     
  6. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    IIRC it was documented that it was carrying munitions. Also the damage to the ship showed a blast had occured within the ship.
     
  7. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    You're correct VB, I think Lusitania was carrying munitions, small arms I believe. Whether or not that caused the internal explosion is a different story, it's one of several theories that can't be determined without a doubt. May seem strange a large liner like Lusitania would go down from one torpedo, but liners do not have the same level of protection as warships. Less compartmentalization, no armor belt, makes the damage more widespread.
     
  8. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    I believe that the secrecy ban imposed on the sinking ended a couple of years ago and it was revealed that the ship was carrying some 4,000,000 rounds of small arms ammo, as well as guncotton.
    So,....
     
  9. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    Meatloaf, was that from shipping and receiving documents? Classified, of course.
     
  10. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    Small arms ammunition isn't going to go off with a big explosion, guncotton certainly could though.
     
  11. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    IIRC, it was the Government's secrets act. Time finally ran out. I will see if I can track it down.
    In any case the ammo was justification, as the Germans claimed.
     
  12. silence

    silence Active Member

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    The SS Edmund Fitzgerald - a 729 foot ore carrier - went down Nov 10 '75 basically between radar sweeps. Shortly after 7:10 pm she disappeared suddenly from a trailing ship's radar - no distress call or anything. No survivors. It a sad story.
     
  13. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    I'd imagine it would have been reflected or accounted for in the shipping and receiving documents, too, in some form or other (as "classified cargo," or some bullshit like that). At any rate, I could understand it being secreted. It's blood on our hands.
     
  14. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    It's been a while since I've read on the subject, but the sub skipper fired a single torpedo at the bow, to force the Lusitania to come about. The massive explosion was not what he expected.
     
  15. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

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  16. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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  17. redcoat

    redcoat Active Member

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    #17 redcoat, Oct 19, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013
    There was no secrecy, the munitions she carried were in the final cargo manifesto given to US Customs, and this fact was made public in the days after the sinking, though British propaganda downplayed this fact .
    It should be noted that there were no laws banning passengers ship from carrying war materials, the only law that was in place was a US health and safely rule which banned high explosives from these ships, and the munitions the Lusitania was carrying (small arms ammo and shell cases, no gun cotton) were not classed as high explosive by US Customs.

    It should also be noted that what caused the public outrage was not that the U-boat had sunk the Lusitania as such, but that she had fired the torpedo without warning .
    The rules of war were quite clear at this time, even if a passenger ship was carrying munitions, it was a war crime to fire on the ship without warning. The U-boat was supposed to stop the ship and give the crew and passengers time to take to the lifeboats before she sank her.
    Of course, these rules were impractical and dangerous for the U-boat, but they were the rules.
     
  18. redcoat

    redcoat Active Member

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    The captain of the U-20 had previously deliberately fired at a British hospital ship, but fortunately the torpedo missed.
    His interesting excuse for firing on this ship was that as it was leaving a British port it wouldn't be carrying any wounded. !!!!!!!
     
  19. redcoat

    redcoat Active Member

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  20. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    'No offense, but that's a rather emotive and biased blog'.

    None taken. Its exactly why I posted it and made a comment for the benefit of the author.
     
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