The old saying is that history is written by the victors. The story of the Lusitania is tragic. 1,193 people lost their lives after a German U-boat torpedoed the ocean liner off the coast of Ireland in May 1915. Out of the total lives lost, 128 Americans perished when the Lusitania went down. While this event didn’t directly pull America into the war, the ship’s sinking marked a major mood change for Americans towards Germany.
We probably all learned how vile and evil the Germans were during WWI, and America joined to put an end of tyranny. But was it just great propaganda to get America into the war? The Lusitania was known to have been carrying weapons aboard, which means civilian lives were being used as a human shield…or targets, rather. The Allies were exhausted and needed help, and they needed American weapons and manpower. The sinking of the Lusitania was an opportunity to sway American opinion in their favor, and the Germans fell for the trap. The German embassy in New York put a warning ad in the New York papers the day the ship was to set sail that passengers should not travel aboard the ship. Fair warning.
WHY would Germany sink that ship?! They knew there would be Americans aboard, and they had to have known that they risked pulling America into the war by making this cataclysmic decision. Was it a strategic blunder or just barbaric behavior?
Do you think this is one of those historical moments being written by winners, or were the Germans outright wrong for sinking the Lusitania?