This is based on collected primary source information, providing a vivid picture of what happened through the eyes of those who survived. The sinking of the Lusitania has been controversial and generated many conspiracy theories. However it was a significant maritime tragedy and ensured that the US entered the war against Germany. – Much Recommended
NAME: The Lusitania Sinking, Eyewitness Accounts From Survivors FILE: R2832 AUTHOR: Anthony Richards PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword, Greenhill Books BINDING: hard back PAGES: 214 PRICE: £19.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: Unrestricted submarine warfare, submarines, U-Boats, passenger liner, Lusitania, political consequences, WWI, World War One, World War I, World War 1, The Great War, naval warfare, blockade
IMAGE: B2832.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y6e977x6 LINKS: DESCRIPTION: This is based on collected primary source information, providing a vivid picture of what happened through the eyes of those who survived. The sinking of the Lusitania has been controversial and generated many conspiracy theories. However it was a significant maritime tragedy and ensured that the US entered the war against Germany. - Much Recommended The use of submarines in WWI was controversial. Historically, a blockading warship ordered a suspect vessel to heave to and submit to inspection. If it was found to be carrying contraband under the terms of war it could be sunk, or taken as a prize. The crew and any passengers had to be protected and either interned or repatriated. A submarine was not equipped to honour this tradition. It did not have the capacity to take aboard more than a handful of people from a hostile vessel and, if it surfaced, send across a boarding party and await the results of the search, it could be vulnerable to enemy warships and aircraft. U-Boats did surface and challenge small merchant vessels, frequently sailing vessels, and used gunfire to sink them because they were not worth taking as prizes, but only a small crew could be taken away by the submarine, or left to use their lifeboats to save themselves. In any other situation, the U-Boats needed to make a stealthy approach, usually submerged, and sink the unsuspecting vessel by torpedoes. This would result in casualties on the target, often heavy casualties. It also presented a major challenge for the U-Boat skipper. How did he avoid sinking an innocent neutral vessel? Either he erred on the side of safety and let potential targets escape, or he risked major international incidents by sinking a vessel that should not be attacked. To simplify matters the Germans decided to declare unrestricted submarine warfare. This gave permission for any U-Boat to ignore established military conventions and sink anything that looked like a potential valid target. Inevitably, vessels that were innocent under the rules of war were attacked and sunk, their passengers and crews being killed, wounded or exposed to extreme risk in open lifeboats some distance for shore or rescue at sea. Lusitania was a passenger ship operating on the trans-Atlantic crossing and carrying passengers of many nationalities with a large number being US citizens. How far she came under war rules as a legitimate target is highly debatable. To be attacked with torpedoes was very controversial and casualties amongst citizens of neutral countries were inevitable. Her sinking proved a major own goal for the Germans by making US involvement in the war inevitable at a time when revolution in Russia was about to free German troops for the Western Front. This book is informative and touching, resulting from a mother's search for information about her son who was embarked aboard the Lusitania. In writing to survivors, she built up an amazing collection of accounts from survivors. To say that this has provided a previously unseen historical treasure trove is an understatement. It provides insight, observation and experience from people under great stress. It details many previously unknown facts and insights. It provides a moving memorial to the 1,198 men, women and children, including the Mrs Prichard's student son, who lost their lives in this great maritime disaster.