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Lusitania als politiek breekijzer

 
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Hauptmann



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BerichtGeplaatst: 11 Apr 2005 17:33    Onderwerp: Lusitania als politiek breekijzer Reageer met quote

Met als risico dat ik:
1 Het topic in de verkeerde directory zet.
2 Oud nieuws vertel, het volgende.

De controverse over de Lusitania is al geruime tijd bekend en draait om de validiteit van het tot zinken brengen van dit schip. Dit vanwege zijn lading en het feit dat het als schip van de Britse admiraliteit een ligitiem doel was. Nu beweert een site het volgende:

On May 7, 1915, the Lusitania was sunk in the English Channel by a U-boat after it had slowed to await the arrival of the English escort vessel, the Juno, which was intended to escort it into the English port. The First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, issued orders that the Juno was to return to port, and the Lusitania sat alone in the channel. Because Churchill knew of the presence of three U-boats in the vicinity, it is reasonable to presume that he had planned for the Lusitania to be sunk, and it was. 1201 people lost their lives in the sinking.

http://www.threeworldwars.com/world-war-1/ww1.htm

Is dit verhaal bij meer mensen bekend en klopt het? Dat zou impliceren dat de Lusitania 'geofferd' is door de Engelsen om Amerika in de oorlog te betrekken. Of waren er andere redenen om de Juno terug te trekken?
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Richard



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BerichtGeplaatst: 11 Apr 2005 17:54    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Ik denk dat niemand daar een sluitend antwoord op kan geven omdat, volgens mij, de desbetreffende archieven nog gesloten zijn. Het verhaal is bekend en bron van speculatie.
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Andriessen



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BerichtGeplaatst: 11 Apr 2005 21:49    Onderwerp: Lusitania Reageer met quote

Richard schreef:
Ik denk dat niemand daar een sluitend antwoord op kan geven omdat, volgens mij, de desbetreffende archieven nog gesloten zijn. Het verhaal is bekend en bron van speculatie.


Een sluitend antwoord is inderdaad een moeilijke zaak maar toch zijn er wel enkele aanwijzingen,

Wat was het geval? Vastgesteld is dat Churchill opdracht heeft gegeven aan een Marine offficier (commander Kenworthy)tot het maken van een studie inzake de politieke gevolgen indien een passagiersschip met Amerikaanse passagiers aan boord zou worden getorpedeerd door een Duitse onderzeeboot.
Kenworthy deed zijn werk gedegen en leverde het stuk spoedig in waarop Churchill e.e.a besprak met Grey. de min.van Buitenlandse Zaken. Deze consulteerde op zijn beurt de Britse koning.
Kort daarop bezocht col.House, de persoonlijke vertegenwoordiger van de Amerikaanse president, Engeland en op verzoek van Grey werd tijd vrij gemaakt voor een fikse wandeling. Kol.House beschrijft in zijn memoires hoe het gesprek stokte tot Grey hem plotseling vroeg; Colonel, what will America do if the Germans sink an oceanliner with American passengers on board? House antwoordde; "I believe that a flame of indignation would sweep the USA and that by itself would be sufficient to carry us into the war". Grey scheen opgelucht en gaf het gesprek daarna een andere wending. Maar die middag ging House op audientie bij de koning die, na over koetjes en kalfjes te hebben gesproken plotseling vroeg; "Colonel' what will America do if the Germans sink the Lusitania?".

Het lijkt vrij duidelijk, (maar een absoluut bewijs is er niet) de Lusitania moest worden opgeofferd. De levens van ca 1200 mensen vormden de prijs die Engeland wilde betalen voor deelname van de USA aan de oorlog.
Er werd nu een vergadering belegd waarbij ook Kenworthy aanwezig was.
Het is helaas niet bekend wat daar besproken is maar wel bekend is dat de Britten de codes van de Duitsers hadden ontcijferd en op de hoogte waren van de exacte posities van alle Duitse onderzeeboten in de Noordzee. Men wist dan ook dat de U-20 op weg was naar een koers die de koers van de Lusitania zou kruisen. En dan begint een spel van orders en tegenorders die uiteindelijk tot de fatale gebeurtenis moest leiden. Kenworthy schreef later in zijn boek "The Freedom of the Seas"; "The Lusitania was sent at considerable reduced speed into an area where an U-boot was known to be waiting and with her escort (de Juno) withdrawn!

En inderdaad,de Lusitania ontving een onduidelijke order tot het verminderren van haar snelheid en het veranderren van koers. De Juno, het Britse oorlogsschip dat al op weg was naar de Lusitania om haar te escorteren, kreeg kort na 12 uur een telegram haar missie af te breken en terug te keren naar de haven. Deze opdracht werd door Churchill en admiraal Fisher gegeven en de Lusitania werd daarover niet geinformeerd.. En zo voer het schip als een willoze prooi recht op de U-20 af met het inmiddels bekende tragische gevolg.

Bronnen: Andriessen, Het Drama van de Lusitania, in Blauwe Wimpel no 3 & 4, 1988
Intimate patpers of Col House vol 1 p.43-45 (ed. 1926)
Simpson, The Lusitania, p.13
Kenworthy, The freedom of the Seas.
Richmond diaries 116/1359 23-12--14.
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Richard



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BerichtGeplaatst: 11 Apr 2005 22:17    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Mooi verhaal Andriessen. Gevoelsmatig ga ik met je mee en ik ben zeker geneigd het te geloven. Maar het blijft een theorie zolang er geen werkelijk harde bronnen zijn. En die zijn vooralsnog gesloten. Het doet me denken aan je verhaal over de moord op Kitchener in Opgediept Verleden III van WFA-Nederland. Zeer geloofwaardig en aannemelijk. Zie ook topic http://www.forumeerstewereldoorlog.nl/viewtopic.php?t=580&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=50
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Hauptmann



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BerichtGeplaatst: 12 Apr 2005 5:54    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Heren, beide dank voor deze informatie. Toch een opmerkelijk verhaal. Ik heb bij de massagraven gestaan van de mensen van de Lusitania in Cork (Cobh) in Ierland. Daar denk ik dan nu toch wat genuanceerder aan terug dan voorheen.

Paar dingen vallen me toch wel op.
1 Is het normaal dat iemand toch redelijk hoog als Churchill zich min of meer direct met de koers van een schip bemoeit? Het zal toch niet het eerste schip zijn dat daar is aangevallen door Duitsers?
2 Is bekend of en wanneer er eventueel nog gesloten archieven geopend gaan worden? Wellicht na 100 jaar?
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Andriessen



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BerichtGeplaatst: 12 Apr 2005 7:07    Onderwerp: lusiania Reageer met quote

Hauptmann schreef:
Heren, beide dank voor deze informatie. Toch een opmerkelijk verhaal. Ik heb bij de massagraven gestaan van de mensen van de Lusitania in Cork (Cobh) in Ierland. Daar denk ik dan nu toch wat genuanceerder aan terug dan voorheen.

Paar dingen vallen me toch wel op.
1 Is het normaal dat iemand toch redelijk hoog als Churchill zich min of meer direct met de koers van een schip bemoeit? Het zal toch niet het eerste schip zijn dat daar is aangevallen door Duitsers?
2 Is bekend of en wanneer er eventueel nog gesloten archieven geopend gaan worden? Wellicht na 100 jaar?


Vergeet niet dat het hier ging om een enorme beslissing. Doel was om Amerika in de oorlog te brengen. Natuurlijk was het niet Churchill die de Lusitania op de koers van de Lusitania zette. Hij regelde het "grote idee" met adm Fisher die daarna de nodige actie in gang zette.

Ik geloof niet dat de archieven nog gesloten zijn, Er was een officieel onderzoek en er is de getuigenis van Kenworthy, er zijn manifesten en er zijn logboeken. Maar ik moet dat weer even nakijken. Ik heb me daar jaren geleden mee bezig gehouden en e.e.a ligt ergens in mijn eigen archief. Wel is het juist dat de beschuldiging nooit absoluut hard is gemaakt. In zoverre heeft Rihard gelijk! Persoonlijk sluit ik e.e.a echter niet geheel uit. Het ligt ongeveer in de zelfde grootte van orde als de beschuldiging dat Churchill zou hebben geweten van de aanval op Perl Harbour maar de USA niet waarschuwde omdat hij hoopte dat de USA door die aanval in de oorlog zou komen (de 2e weeldoorlog dus) Maar interessant blijft het wel.
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Richard



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BerichtGeplaatst: 10 Mei 2005 17:36    Onderwerp: Re: lusiania Reageer met quote

Andriessen schreef:
Ik geloof niet dat de archieven nog gesloten zijn, Er was een officieel onderzoek en er is de getuigenis van Kenworthy, er zijn manifesten en er zijn logboeken.


Meteen na het zinken gaat een Brits propagandaoffensief van start; Het zinken van de Lusitania is in hun ogen niets anders dan een Duitse massamoord op onschuldigen. De Britse kapitein Turner wordt beschuldigd er de oorzaak van te zijn en komt voor een gerecht achter gesloten deuren. Bekend is dat Turner zich verdedigt door te stellen dat hij aanwijzingen van de Britse admiraliteit ontvangen heeft, die hem dwongen van de normale richtlijnen af te wijken. Uiteindelijk wordt de man vrijgesproken en weigert hij tot aan zijn dood ieder commentaar. De akten van het Britse onderzoek, die zich in het Navy Records Office in Bath bevinden, zijn kennelijk zo gevoelig dat ze zelfs nu nog niet toegankelijk zijn…
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vlim



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BerichtGeplaatst: 05 Jul 2005 20:14    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

De afbeelding is inmiddels ook in een andere thread gezet, maar hier zeker interessant:

Deze twee krantenknipsels gaan over een herdenkingsbijeenkomst voor de schrijver Elbert Hubbard en zijn echtgenote die op de Lusitania om het leven kwamen. Hudson Maxim, broer van MG-uitvinder Hiram Maxim riep in de artikelen op om de strijd aan te gaan.

De knipsels komen uit een Maxim-autobiografie die naar alle waarschijnlijkheid ooit het eigendom van Hudson Maxim was.

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werner



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BerichtGeplaatst: 28 Aug 2005 9:54    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

De geruchten dat de Lusitania opgeofferd is doen al de ronde van tijdens de 1ste WO. Ook al is het moeilijk te bewijzen omdat geschiedenis steeds door de overwinnaars wordt geschreven. het past wel in de optiek van Churchill voor wie enkel het doel telde geen mensenlevens, dat was zo in Zuid-Afrika, in WO1 en WO2.
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Regulus 1



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BerichtGeplaatst: 28 Aug 2005 18:14    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Churchill heeft zelfs ooit verklaard dat hoe meer neutrale schepen er gezonken werden door de duikboten hoe beter dat was, omdat dit aanleiding zou geven om meer landen te betrekken in de oorlog tegen Duitsland. Het doet even nadenken inderdaad...

Johan
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Richard



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BerichtGeplaatst: 28 Aug 2005 18:15    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Regulus 1 schreef:
Churchill heeft zelfs ooit verklaard dat hoe meer neutrale schepen er gezonken werden door de duikboten hoe beter dat was, omdat dit aanleiding zou geven om meer landen te betrekken in de oorlog tegen Duitsland. Het doet even nadenken inderdaad...

Johan


Kun je daarvan bronnen aangeven Regulus 1? Echt interessant!
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derwisj



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BerichtGeplaatst: 28 Aug 2005 18:30    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Ik denk dat ik ook eens iets gelijkaardigs gelezen heb; maar waar...
En gezien churchill niet om een straffe uitspraak verlegen zat? Maar kan langs de andere kant ook 1 van de vele mythes rond de man zijn...
pascal
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Regulus 1



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BerichtGeplaatst: 28 Aug 2005 20:06    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Richard, ik ga eens moeten zoeken, ik denk bijna dat het uit zijn memoires komt... maar vanavond eerst nog wat genieten van het mooie weer en nog een terrasje... yummie
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Richard



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BerichtGeplaatst: 28 Aug 2005 20:08    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Volgens mij heb je groot gelijk Regulus. Genieten van het mooie weer!
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derwisj



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BerichtGeplaatst: 28 Aug 2005 21:21    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Kan inderdaad uit zijn memoires komen; die heb ik een aantal jaren geleden eens gehad van de bib;
pascal
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BerichtGeplaatst: 30 Aug 2005 7:21    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Niet echt de uitspraak zelf gevonden, wel andere dingetjes:

Churchill and the First World War

The Great War destroyed European culture and the commitment to truths. In their place, generations embraced relativism, nihilism and socialism, and from the ashes arose Lenin, Stalin and Hitler and their evil doctrines that infect contemporary culture. In the words of the British historian, Niall Ferguson, the First World War "was nothing less than the greatest error in modern history."

In 1911, Churchill became First Lord of the Admiralty, and, during the crises that followed, used every opportunity to fan the flames of war. When the final crisis came, in 1914, Churchill was all smiles and was the only cabinet member who backed war from the start. Asquith, his own Prime Minister, wrote: "Winston very bellicose and demanding immediate mobilization . . . has got all his war paint on."

Churchill was instrumental in establishing the illegal starvation blockade of Germany. The blockade depended on scattering mines, and classified as contraband food for civilians. But, throughout his career, international law and the conventions created to limit the horrors of war meant nothing to Churchill. One of the consequences of the hunger blockade was that, while it killed 750,000 German civilians by hunger and malnutrition, the youth who survived went on to become the most fanatical Nazis.

The Lusitania

Whether Churchill actually arranged for the sinking of the Lusitania on May 7, 1915, is still unclear, but it is clear that he did everything possible to ensure that innocent Americans would be killed by German attempts to break the hunger blockade.

A week before the disaster, Churchill wrote to Walter Runciman, President of the Board of Trade that it was "most important to attract neutral shipping to our shores, in the hopes especially of embroiling the United States with Germany."

The Lusitania was a civilian passenger liner loaded with munitions. Earlier, Churchill had ordered the captains of merchant ships, including liners, to ram German submarines, and the Germans were aware of this. The German government even took out newspaper ads in New York warning Americans not to board the ship.

Churchill, by helping engineer the entry of the United States into the Great War, set in motion the transformation of the war into a Democratic Jihad. Wilsonianism lead to the eventual destruction of the Austrian Empire, and the creation of a vast power vacuum on Germany's southeastern border that would provide fruitful opportunities and allies for Hitler's effort to overturn the Versailles Treaty.

But Churchill was not a strategist. All he cared for, as he told a visitor after his Gallipoli disaster, was "the waging of war, the defeat of the Germans."

Bron:
http://www.mises.org/story/1450
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BerichtGeplaatst: 30 Aug 2005 7:22    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

From the outset of hostilities, Churchill, as head of the Admiralty, was instrumental in establishing the hunger blockade of Germany. This was probably the most effective weapon employed on either side in the whole conflict. The only problem was that, according to everyone's interpretation of international law except Britain's, it was illegal. The blockade was not "close-in," but depended on scattering mines, and many of the goods deemed contraband for instance, food for civilians had never been so classified before. But, throughout his career, international law and the conventions by which men have tried to limit the horrors of war meant nothing to Churchill. As a German historian has dryly commented, Churchill was ready to break the rules whenever the very existence of his country was at stake, and "for him this was very often the case."

The hunger blockade had certain rather unpleasant consequences. About 750,000 German civilians succumbed to hunger and diseases caused by malnutrition. The effect on those who survived was perhaps just as frightful in its own way. A historian of the blockade concluded: "the victimized youth [of World War I] were to become the most radical adherents of National Socialism." It was also complications arising from the British blockade that eventually provided the pretext for Wilson's decision to go to war in 1917.

Whether Churchill actually arranged for the sinking of the Lusitania on May 7, 1915, is still unclear. A week before the disaster, he wrote to Walter Runciman, President of the Board of Trade that it was "most important to attract neutral shipping to our shores, in the hopes especially of embroiling the United States with Germany." Many highly-placed persons in Britain and America believed that the German sinking of the Lusitania would bring the United States into the war.

The most recent student of the subject is Patrick Beesly, whose Room 40 is a history of British Naval Intelligence in World War I. Beesly's careful account is all the more persuasive for going against the grain of his own sentiments. He points out that the British Admiralty was aware that German U-boat Command had informed U-boat captains at sea of the sailings of the Lusitania, and that the U-boat responsible for the sinking of two ships in recent days was present in the vicinity of Queenstown, off the southern coast of Ireland, in the path the Lusitania was scheduled to take. There is no surviving record of any specific warning to the Lusitania. No destroyer escort was sent to accompany the ship to port, nor were any of the readily available destroyers instructed to hunt for the submarine. In fact, "no effective steps were taken to protect the Lusitania." Beesly concludes:

unless and until fresh information comes to light, I am reluctantly driven to the conclusion that there was a conspiracy deliberately to put the Lusitania at risk in the hope that even an abortive attack on her would bring the United States into the war. Such a conspiracy could not have been put into effect without Winston Churchill's express permission and approval.

In any case, what is certain is that Churchill's policies made the sinking very likely. The Lusitania was a passenger liner loaded with munitions of war; Churchill had given orders to the captains of merchant ships, including liners, to ram German submarines if they encountered them, and the Germans were aware of this. And, as Churchill stressed in his memoirs of World War I, embroiling neutral countries in hostilities with the enemy was a crucial part of warfare: "There are many kinds of maneuvres in war, some only of which take place on the battlefield. . . . The maneuvre which brings an ally into the field is as serviceable as that which wins a great battle."

In the midst of bloody conflict, Churchill was energy personified, the source of one brainstorm after another. Sometimes his hunches worked out well he was the chief promoter of the tank in World War I sometimes not so well, as at Gallipoli. The notoriety of that disaster, which blackened his name for years, caused him to be temporarily dropped from the Cabinet in 1915. His reaction was typical: To one visitor, he said, pointing to the maps on the wall: "This is what I live for . . . Yes, I am finished in respect of all I care for the waging of war, the defeat of the Germans."

Bron:
http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig/raico-churchill2.html
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Hauptmann



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BerichtGeplaatst: 20 Sep 2005 20:37    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Voor op de achtergrond.
Quote:

6 September 2005
CHURCHILL ON WW1: WE'LL LOSE
By Victoria Bone

WINSTON Churchill feared Britain would lose the First World War, a long-lost diary reveals.

Churchill, who was munitions minister, also told his friend, the poet Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, that God was to blame for defeat at Gallipoli in 1915.

Blunt wrote in his 1918 diary, just months before war ended: "He does not see any prospect of our beating the German armies by land and so winning the war.

"The Hun has chosen to fight without regard to any rules of war. We shall have to beat him off by whatever weapons we can get hold of - by assassination, poison."

Of Gallipoli, wartime leader Churchill told Blunt: "God... is bent on the destruction of mankind... That is why he would not let me take Constantinople."

The diaries, kept in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, show Churchill fiddled his petrol rations. Blunt wrote that he "chuckled over his abuse of Ministerial privilege of using petrol".



http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/tm_objectid=15936059&method=full&siteid=94762&headline=churchill-on-ww1--we-ll-lose--name_page.html
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Hauptmann



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BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Okt 2005 16:07    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Is er toevallig een forumlid die een kopie heeft van Jane's van 1914? Ben beniewd wat daar nou instond over dit schip.
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Hauptmann



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BerichtGeplaatst: 08 Nov 2005 21:44    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote



Cobh 2004. Begraafplaats, onder deze stenen liggen de doden begraven. Er staan drie van deze stenen.



Cobh 2004. Gevallenen met naam.



Cobh 2004. Een arts aan boord is apart begraven.
Quote:
J.F. McDermott
Surgeon MM
SS Lusitania
7th May 1915 Age 38


Er liggen meer doden apart, dit is de enige waar we een foto van maakten.


Laatst aangepast door Hauptmann op 28 Dec 2005 11:51, in toaal 3 keer bewerkt
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Hauptmann



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BerichtGeplaatst: 11 Nov 2005 18:49    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote



De waarschuwing.



De aanval.



De krantenkoppen
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BerichtGeplaatst: 25 Dec 2005 9:20    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The Lusitania is another example of the way in which the character of the war changed in 1915.

"She was sunk two weeks after gas warfare opened on the Western Front. It isn't that it was the first time that civilians had been casualties. It's true, they had been casualties from early days in the war through the German invasion of Belgium and northern France. But once the German navy decided to interdict supplies going from North America to Britain and then from Britain to France, then any ship could conceivably be carrying munitions, because munitions meant almost anything.

"The Lusitania was a danger to Germany.

Lusitania Ad
Newspaper ad run by German Embassy before Lusitania sailed
"The Lusitania had civilians on board. It was clearly a ship that could have been a danger to the German war effort, and the German navy didn't want to take the risk. Any ship that could have carried munitions was a danger to Germany. And that's why German sailors cheered when they heard of its sinking. They weren't more bloodthirsty than anybody else. They believed that this was the way that the war, total war, had to be waged.

"There is no way that the German war effort could be accomplished without civilian casualties. It's a change in the nature of the war. Most people on the Lusitania didn't believe it, but very shortly thereafter, they did. And the way in which German forces waged that war was so important in generating a propaganda campaign of hatred: not of the German leadership, but of the German nation as a whole – of everybody who stood behind the German flag and were responsible for those who were drowned in the Lusitania.

"[They] were responsible for war crimes that were generalized not as the responsibility of a handful of officers who gave the orders to sink the Lusitania, gave the orders to use poison gas, but the whole German nation. Now this kind of generalized stereotyping we sometimes call racism. It was the case that there was the propaganda of racial hatred in the First World War generated by the new kinds of hostility, the new kinds of weapons, and the new and appalling levels of casualties that occurred in the First World War."
http://www.pbs.org/greatwar/historian/hist_winter_12_lusitania.html
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Article from MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History

Fateful Voyage of Lusitania
The Cunard liner's captain expected a safe Atlantic crossing, but a German U-boat would bring Lusitania's journey to a devastating end.

By John M. Taylor


Shortly after noon on a drizzly spring day in 1915, the Cunard liner Lusitania backed slowly away from Pier 54 on New York's Lower West Side. It was Lusitania's 202nd Atlantic crossing, and as usual the luxury liner's sailing attracted a crowd, for the 32,500-ton vessel was one of the fastest and most glamorous ships afloat. In the words of the London Times, she was "a veritable greyhound of the seas."

Passengers, not yet settled in their accommodations, marveled at the ship's size and splendor. With a length of 745 feet, she was one of the largest man-made objects in the world. First-class passengers could eat in a two-story Edwardian-style dining salon that featured a plasterwork dome arching some thirty feet above the floor. Those who traveled first class also occupied regal suites, consisting of twin bedrooms with a parlor, bathroom, and private dining area, for which they paid four thousand dollars one way. Second-class accommodations on Lusitania compared favorably with first-class staterooms on many other ships.

People strolling through nearby Battery Park watched as three tugs worked to point the liner's prow downriver toward the Narrows and the great ocean beyond. While well-wishers on the pier waved handkerchiefs and straw hats, ribbons of smoke began to stream from three of the liner's four tall funnels. Seagulls hovered astern as the liner slowly began to pick up speed.

The early years of the twentieth century belonged to the great ocean liners, and Lusitania was one of the elite. A Scotsman who was present at her launching in 1907 recalled his awe at the sight:

Was it the size of her, that great cliff of upperworks?... Was it her majesty, the manifest fitness of her to rule the waves? I think what brought the lump to the boy's throat was just her beauty, by which I mean her fitness in every way; for this was a vessel at once large and gracious, elegant and manifestly efficient. That men could fashion such a thing by their hands out of metal and wood was a happy realization.

In 1908, on one of her first Atlantic crossings, Lusitania broke the existing transatlantic speed record, making the run from Liverpool to New York in four and one-half days, traveling at slightly more than twenty-five knots. Like her sister ship, Mauritania, she could generate sixty-eight thousand horsepower in her twenty-five boilers. Lusitania was also versatile, for the government subsidy that helped pay for her construction required her to have features that would facilitate her conversion to an armed cruiser if necessary. The liner's engine rooms were under the waterline, and she incorporated deck supports sufficient to permit the installation of six-inch guns.

It was May 1, 1915, and Lusitania, with 1,257 passengers and a crew of 702, was beginning a slightly nervous crossing. War was raging in Europe, and although no major passenger liner had ever been sunk by a submarine, some passengers were uneasy. The German embassy had inserted advertisements in a number of American newspapers warning of dangers in the waters around the British Isles.

Because this warning appeared only on the day of sailing, not all of those who boarded Lusitania saw it. Yet for travelers with an apprehensive turn of mind, there were alternatives to the Cunarder. The American Line's New York, with space available, sailed the same day as Lusitania, but she required eight days to cross the Atlantic as opposed to Lusitania's six.

Despite the warning posted by the German embassy, Lusitania's captain was not nervous. When Captain William Turner was asked about the U-boat threat he reportedly laughed, remarking that "by the look of the pier and the passenger list," the Germans had not scared away many people.

By the spring of 1915 the land war in Europe had settled into a bloody stalemate, but one in which the Central Powers held the advantage. A decisive German victory at Tannenberg had all but taken czarist Russia out of the war. The initial German thrust for Paris had been repulsed, but even as Lusitania sailed, the British were being mauled in the month-long Second Battle of Ypres.

The war at sea, however, was a different matter. The Royal Navy's numerical superiority made it perilous for the German fleet to venture out of port and enabled the Allies to move troops and materiel by sea. Most important of all, Allied control of the sea had cut the Central Powers off from overseas supplies of food and raw materials. When the increased range of shore-based guns prevented the British from maintaining a traditional offshore blockade of German ports, the Royal Navy mounted a long-range blockade instead. British cruisers patrolled choke points well away from German ports, halting all vessels suspected of carrying supplies to Germany and enlarging the traditional definition of contraband to include even raw materials and food.

Not all contraband was headed for Germany. Lusitania carried some forty-two hundred cases of Remington rifle cartridges destined for the Western Front. Her cargo also included fuses and 1,250 cases of empty shrapnel shells. Although the Germans had no knowledge of this cargo, it is clear that British authorities were prepared to compromise Lusitania's nonbelligerent status as a passenger liner for a small amount of war materiel.
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The growing effectiveness of the Allied blockade had forced Germany to take drastic measures. Germany's most promising offensive weapon at sea was the submarine, but international law of the time prohibited its most effective employment. If a submarine encountered a vessel that might belong to an enemy or might be carrying contraband, the U-boat had to surface, warn her intended victim, and "remove crew, ship papers, and, if possible, the cargo" before destroying her prey.

In response to Britain's unilateral redefinition of a naval blockade, Germany issued a proclamation of its own, declaring the waters surrounding Great Britain and Ireland to be a war zone. From February 18, 1915, on, Berlin had declared, enemy merchant vessels found within the zone would be subject to destruction without warning.


The day before Lusitania sailed from Pier 54, U-20, skippered by thirty-two-year-old Kapitänleutnant (Lt. Cmdr.) Walther Schwieger, left the German naval base at Emden on the North Sea. Schwieger's orders were to take U-20 around Scotland and Ireland to the Irish Sea. There he was to operate in the approaches to Liverpool for as long as his supplies permitted. His orders allowed him to sink, with or without warning, all enemy ships and any other vessels whose appearance or behavior suggested that they might be disguised enemy vessels. The British were known to dispatch ships under neutral flags.

Submarine warfare was still in its infancy, and Germany had only eighteen seagoing subs, of which only about one-third could be on station at any one time. Schwieger's U-20 displaced just 650 tons, making it about half the size of a fleet submarine in World War II. The boats were crowded and damp, and the eight torpedoes they carried were often unreliable. But the men who commanded the U-boats included some of the boldest officers of an elite service, and U-20 had a reputation as a "happy" ship. The scion of a prominent Berlin family, Schwieger was popular with his officers and crew. One of his colleagues recalled him as "tall, broad-shouldered, and of a distinguished bearing, with well-cut features, blue eyes and blond hair--a particularly fine-looking fellow."

On May 3, U-20's fourth day at sea, Schwieger spotted a small steamer just north of the Hebrides. Although the vessel was flying Danish colors, Schwieger concluded that she was British and fired a torpedo at her from three hundred meters. The torpedo misfired and his quarry escaped, but the incident said much about Schwieger's interpretation of his orders. He would not risk his boat by questioning possible neutrals. Rather, he would make full use of his authorization to sink ships without warning.

On the sixth day of his patrol, Schwieger rounded the southern tip of Ireland and entered the Irish Channel. There he encountered a small schooner, Earl of Lathom, under sail. Schwieger considered her so minimal a threat that he surfaced, allowed the schooner's five-man crew to abandon ship, and destroyed the vessel with shellfire. Later the same day he attacked a three-thousand-ton steamer flying Norwegian colors, but the single torpedo he fired missed.

The next day, May 6, brought better fortune. That morning U-20 surfaced and pursued a medium-sized freighter, bringing her to a halt with gunfire. Schwieger believed in shooting first and identifying later, but in this case he was vindicated, for his prey turned out to be a British merchantman, Candidate, out of Liverpool. Schwieger dispatched her with a torpedo. That same afternoon U-20 sighted another ship of undetermined nationality. Schwieger stopped her with one torpedo and watched as her crew took to the boats. He then sent her to the bottom with a second torpedo. This victim was Centurion, sister ship to the fifty-nine-hundred-ton Candidate.

After sinking Centurion, Schwieger made a critical decision. Although his orders called for him to press on to Liverpool, he had only three torpedoes left and was near the end of his cruising range. Schwieger would expend one more torpedo in his current operational area and then begin the return voyage, confident of finding targets en route for his remaining two torpedoes.

Although Lusitania had left New York City with much of the pomp of a peacetime crossing, not all was well aboard the liner. To conserve coal, six of the ship's twenty-five boilers had been shut down, effectively reducing her top speed from twenty-five to twenty-one knots. Perhaps most important, there was a shortage of experienced seamen on Lusitania. The Royal Navy had called up most reservists, leaving Cunard to recruit crewmen as best it could.

Nevertheless, the ship was in the hands of one of the most experienced skippers on the Atlantic run. Captain Turner, sixty-three, had been assigned to Lusitania just before her previous crossing, but he was a veteran commander. One of his officers, Albert Worley, saw his skipper as a typical British merchant captain, "jovial yet with an air of authority." The son of a sea captain, Turner had signed aboard a clipper as a cabin boy at age thirteen and had served as a junior officer on a variety of sailing vessels. Some believed that Turner's blunt speech and unpolitic manner were liabilities, but no one questioned his seamanship. In 1912, while captain of Mauritania, he had won the Humane Society's medal for rescuing the crew of the burning steamer West Point.

Much would later be made of Turner's seeming lack of concern about the submarine menace. But the skipper knew that no ship the size and speed of Lusitania had ever fallen victim to a U-boat. Even steaming at a reduced speed, Lusitania could outrun any submarine, underwater or on the surface.

The liner plowed ahead on its northeasterly course, averaging about twenty knots. The normally festive atmosphere on board had been dampened somewhat by the war; indeed, Cunard had obtained a full passenger list only by reducing some fares. The only gilt-edged celebrity on board was multimillionaire Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, en route to Britain for a meeting of horse breeders. Vanderbilt was fortunate in more than his inherited wealth; three years earlier he had booked passage on Titanic's maiden voyage but had missed the fatal cruise because of a change in plans. Other first-class passengers included Broadway impresario Charles Frohman, scouting for new theatrical offerings, and Elbert Hubbard, the homespun writer of inspirational essays such as "A Message to Garcia."
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On Sunday, May 2, the first day out, Captain Turner conducted church services in the main lounge. The following day found the liner off Newfoundland's Grand Banks. On May 4, Lusitania was halfway to her destination. The weather was fine, and Turner had reason to anticipate an easy crossing. Even so, the war was never entirely forgotten. On the morning of May 6, as the ship prepared to enter Berlin's proclaimed war zone, some passengers were startled by the creak of lifeboat davits. Early risers on B deck saw the Cunard liner's lifeboats being uncovered and swung out over the sides of the ship, where they would remain during the final, most dangerous portion of the voyage.

That evening Turner was called away from dinner to receive a radio message from the British Admiralty that warned of submarine activity off the southern coast of Ireland. There was no elaboration; the Admiralty did not mention the recent losses of Candidate and Centurion. Forty minutes later, however, came an explicit order to all British ships: "Take Liverpool pilot at bar, and avoid headlands. Pass harbors at full speed. Steer midchannel course. Submarines off Fastnet."

Lusitania acknowledged the message and continued on course. She was now about 375 miles from Liverpool, making twenty-one knots. Turner ordered all watertight doors closed except those providing access to essential machinery, and he doubled the watch. Stewards were instructed to see that portholes were secured and blacked out.

May 7 began with a heavy fog, and Lusitania's passengers awakened to the deep blasts of the liner's foghorn. Turner maintained a course of eighty-seven degrees east but because of the fog ordered a reduction in speed to eighteen knots. The skipper was timing his arrival at the Liverpool bar for high tide so that, if no pilot was immediately available, he could enter the Mersey River without stopping.

Some 130 miles east, in his surfaced boat, Schwieger was wondering whether, given the poor visibility, he should continue on station. He recalled:

We had started back for Wilhelmshaven and were drawing near the Channel. There was a heavy sea and a thick fog, with small chance of sinking anything. At the same time, a destroyer steaming through the fog might stumble over us before we knew anything about it. So I submerged to twenty meters, below periscope depth.

About an hour and a half later...I noticed that the fog was lifting.... I brought the boat to the surface, and we continued our course above water. A few minutes after we emerged I sighted on the horizon a forest of masts and stacks. At first I thought they must belong to several ships. Then I saw it was a great steamer coming over the horizon. It was coming our way. I dived at once, hoping to get a shot at it.

Until midday, Turner had taken most of the measures that a prudent captain would be expected to take during wartime. On the fateful afternoon of May 7, however, he reverted to peacetime procedures. The coast of Ireland was in clear view at 1 p.m., but Turner was uncertain of his exact position. Ignoring Admiralty orders to zigzag in dangerous waters, to maintain top speed, and to avoid headlands, Turner changed Lusitania's course toward land to fix his position. At 1:40 p.m. he recognized the Old Head of Kinsale, one of the most familiar headlands of the Irish coast. With cottages on the coast clearly visible to her passengers, Lusitania swung back toward her earlier course of eighty-seven degrees east and headed toward her reckoning.

The change of course involved two turns. In Schwieger's recollection:

When the steamer was two miles away it changed its course. I had no hope now, even if we hurried at our best speed, of getting near enough to attack her.... [Then] I saw the steamer change her course again. She was coming directly at us. She could not have steered a more perfect course if she had deliberately tried to give us a dead shot....

I had already shot away my best torpedoes and had left only two bronze ones--not so good. The steamer was four hundred yards away when I gave an order to fire. The torpedo hit, and there was a rather small detonation and instantly after a much heavier one. The pilot was beside me. I told him to have a look at close range. He put his eye to the periscope and after a brief scrutiny yelled: "My God, it's the Lusitania."

U-20's torpedo, carrying three hundred pounds of explosives in its warhead, struck between the first and second funnels, throwing a huge cloud of debris into the air. Turner, who had been in his cabin when the torpedo wake was spotted, rushed to the bridge. Survivors later testified almost unanimously that a second, heavier explosion followed. Power was cut off throughout the ship, preventing Turner from communicating with the engine room and trapping some people belowdecks. Passenger Margaret Mackworth and her father were about to step into an elevator when they felt the ship tremble from Schwieger's detonating torpedo. Both stepped back, an action that undoubtedly saved their lives.

Above, confusion was rampant. Passengers rushed to the boat deck, only to be told that the ship was safe and that no boats need be launched. Most life rafts were still lashed to the decks. Passengers and crewmen alike milled about; although Lusitania carried ample lifeboats, passengers had never been informed to which boat they were assigned in case of an emergency. Charles Lauriat, a Boston bookseller, later noted that as many as half the passengers had put on their life jackets improperly.

The ship immediately took on a heavy list to starboard that made it impossible to lower boats from the port side. The inexperienced crew could not cope. When Third Officer Albert Bestic reached the No. 2 lifeboat on the port side, he found it filled with women--most in full-length skirts--but only one crewman was available to man the davits. When Bestic, the crewman, and a male passenger attempted to lower the boat, there was a sharp crack. One of the guys had snapped, dropping the bow of the lifeboat and spilling its passengers against the rail and into the sea.

Three years earlier, those aboard Titanic for whom there were not enough lifeboats had had some two hours in which to stare into their icy grave. Aboard Lusitania, the imminence of the disaster left little time for contemplation. For instance, shortly after the torpedo struck, second-class passenger Allan Beatty slid across the entire width of the deck, caught the side of a collapsible raft, and still almost drowned as water poured over the rail.

Although Turner never gave an order to abandon ship, individual officers began loading boats on their own initiative. But the fact that the liner was still underway made it difficult to launch even the starboard boats. Several capsized, spilling their occupants into the water. Only eighteen minutes after Schwieger's torpedo struck, Lusitania sank with a roar that reminded one passenger of the collapse of a great building during a fire. Hundreds of passengers went down with her, trapped in elevators or between decks. Hundreds of others were swept off the ship and drowned in the roiled waters. Because Lusitania was nearly eight hundred feet long, her black-painted stern and four great screws were still visible to horrified onlookers on shore at Kinsale when the liner's bow struck bottom at 360 feet.

Not a ship was in sight when the liner went down; other skippers appear to have taken the submarine warnings more seriously than had Turner. But a stream of fishing boats from nearby Queenstown collected the living and the dead during the afternoon and evening of May 7. More than 60 percent of the people on board died--a total of 1,198--of whom 128 were Americans. About 140 unidentified victims were buried at Queenstown, but the remains of nine hundred others were never found. Of the American celebrities, all three--Frohman, Hubbard, and Vanderbilt--went down with the ship. One survivor recalled, "Actuated by a less acute fear or by a higher degree of bravery which the well-bred man seems to feel in moments of danger, the men of wealth and position for the most part hung back while others rushed for the boats."

Whatever Lusitania may have been carrying as cargo, the death toll aboard the liner ensured that the sinking would become a public relations disaster for Germany. Instead of issuing an apology, however, or at least holding out the promise of an investigation, Berlin first sought to deflect responsibility. Adding insult to injury, thousands of Germans purchased postcards that portrayed Schwieger's torpedo striking Lusitania, with an inset of Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz. The newspaper of one of the centrist political parties, Kolniche Volkszeilung, editorialized:


The sinking of the Lusitania is a success of our submarines which must be placed beside the greatest achievements of this naval war.... It will not be the last. The English wish to abandon the German people to death by starvation. We are more humane. We simply sank an English ship with passengers who, at their own risk and responsibility entered the zone of operations.

In Britain, reaction to the sinking was immediate and violent. British officials denied German suspicions that Lusitania was carrying contraband, and in London and Liverpool, mobs attacked German-owned shops. The reaction in the United States was less destructive but more ominous. Former President Theodore Roosevelt denounced the sinking as piracy; to Roosevelt, it was inconceivable that the United States could fail to respond. The press reaction outside the German-American community was almost uniformly condemning. The New York Tribune warned that "the nation which remembered the Maine will not forget the civilians of the Lusitania." A cartoon in the New York Sun depicted the kaiser fastening a medal around the neck of a mad dog.

The United States was not yet ready for war, however, and amid the indignation there were calls for restraint. But the Lusitania tragedy caused thousands of Americans, heretofore indifferent to the war in Europe, to side with the Allies. On May 12 the British government released a report on German atrocities in Belgium. The report exaggerated the extent of German depredations, but in the aftermath of Lusitania's sinking most Americans were a receptive audience. The German ambassador in Washington reported that the Lusitania affair had dealt a fatal blow to his efforts to enhance his country's image.

The foreign reaction was sufficiently disturbing to the German government that Schwieger, on his return to Germany, met with a cool reception. Then U-20's log mysteriously disappeared. Typewritten versions of Schwieger's log, made available after Lusitania survivors had reported a second explosion, included this sentence: "It would have been impossible for me...to fire a second torpedo into this crowd of people struggling to save their lives."

In the diplomatic exchanges that followed the sinking, Germany was for a time intransigent and then issued a statement expressing regret for the loss of American lives. President Woodrow Wilson's secretary of state, William Jennings Bryan, resigned his post over the stern tone of Wilson's notes protesting the German action, arguing that Germany had a right to prevent contraband from going to the Allies and that a ship carrying contraband could not rely on passengers to protect her from attack. But Germany had lost the propaganda war.

On August 19, 1915, while diplomatic notes on the Lusitania affair were still being exchanged, another British liner, Arabic, was torpedoed, with the loss of two American lives. This time the German Foreign Ministry impressed upon the kaiser the seriousness of any rupture with the United States, and Germany promised that no more merchant ships would be torpedoed without warning. The threat of Amercian intervention receded until, more than a year later, the beleaguered Germans believed it was necessary to resume unrestricted submarine warfare to break the British blockade. Berlin's announcement, on January 31, 1917, that its submarines would "sink on sight" brought the United States into the war.

Nearly two years had passed between the sinking of Lusitania and President Wilson's call for a declaration of war. But when Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare in 1917, the picture that came to American minds was of the women and children aboard the legendary Cunard liner. Indeed, much of the world seemed prepared to accept the judgment of a British court that responsibility for Lusitania rested exclusively with the Germans, "those who plotted and...committed the crime."

Turner, who survived the sinking of his ship, was roundly criticized for having failed to maintain top speed and for having ignored Admiralty orders to avoid headlands such as the Old Head of Kinsale. He never again took a Cunard liner to sea. As for Schwieger, he went on to become one of Germany's top U-boat aces, receiving his country's highest decoration for having destroyed 190,000 tons of Allied shipping. About five weeks after receiving his decoration, however, Schwieger took U-88 on what proved to be his last cruise. The submarine never returned; she apparently struck a mine and went down with all hands.

Although divers attempted to explore the wreck of Lusitania both before and after World War II, only recently has the availability of advanced underwater cameras and robotic vehicles made a thorough examination possible. In August 1993, Dr. Robert Ballard, whose teams had earlier explored Titanic and Bismarck, led an expedition to the wreck of Lusitania. Employing a small submarine and remote-controlled, camera-equipped vehicles, Ballard took extensive photographs, partly in an attempt to explain the mysterious second explosion.

Although the ship lies on her starboard side, with the interior largely collapsed, Ballard had sufficient access to the wreck to determine that the magazine where the cartridges had been stored was undamaged. Nor was there any evidence of a boiler explosion. Given that Schwieger's torpedo had struck near a coal bunker, and the fact that the wreck is surrounded by spilled coal, Ballard makes a convincing case that the second, fatal blast resulted from an explosion of coal dust in the forward bunkers.

In the eight decades since the torpedoing of Lusitania, the world has passed through two world wars, the Holocaust, Stalin's purges, and China's Cultural Revolution. Today, the indignation aroused by the sinking of Lusitania seems almost quaint. By the time of World War II, the idea that any submarine would surface to warn of an impending torpedo attack was ludicrous; the practice of the German, British, and U.S. navies alike was to torpedo ships without warning.

By the standards of his day, however, Schwieger's action was reprehensible. Although the U-boat commanders' orders permitted them to attack without warning, many of his colleagues chose to warn their victims when possible, and most of them probably would have done so in the case of a passenger liner. By his own admission, Schwieger torpedoed Lusitania before he had even identified her. The one point in Schwieger's defense is that he certainly did not expect his target to go down in eighteen minutes. As in the case of Centurion the day before, Schwieger probably expected his first torpedo to stop Lusitania. Then, after those aboard had abandoned ship, he would sink his victim at leisure. But this is not what happened, and Lusitania's victims were not the only ones who paid a price. Winston Churchill, British first lord of the Admiralty when Lusitania went down, wrote in 1931:

The Germans never understood, and never will understand, the horror and indignation with which their opponents and the neutral world regarded their attack.... To seize even an enemy merchant ship at sea was an act which imposed strict obligations on the captor. To make a neutral ship a prize of war stirred whole histories of international law. But between taking a ship and sinking a ship was a gulf.

This article was written by John M. Taylor and originally published in the Spring 1999 edition of MHQ.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 07 Mei 2006 8:40    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

13 May, 1915
The First Lusitania Note to Germany


Sent by the President of the United States, Mr. Woodrow Wilson.
United States, Foreign Relations of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1915, Supplement, pp. 393 ff.
The Cunard liner, Lusitania, was sunk by a German submarine on May 7,1915, with a loss of more than 1,100 passengers and crew, including 124 Americans.
The following note was sent by President Wilson under the signature of Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan.

Department of State,
Washington, May 13, 1915

To Ambassador Gerard:

Please call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs and after reading to him this communication leave with him a copy.

In view of recent acts of the German authorities in violation of American rights on the high seas which culminated in the torpedoing and sinking of the British steamship Lusitania on May 7, 1915, by which over 100 American citizens lost their lives, it is clearly wise and desirable that the Government of the United States and the Imperial German Government should come to a clear and full understanding as to the grave situation which has resulted.

The sinking of the British passenger steamer Falaba by a German submarine on March 28, through which Leon C. Thrasher, an American citizen, was drowned; the attack on April 28 on the American vessel Cushing by a German aeroplane; the torpedoing on May 1 of the American vessel Gulflight by a German submarine, as a result of which two or more American citizens met their death and, finally, the torpedoing and sinking of the steamship Lusitania, constitute a series of events which the Government of the United States has observed with growing concern, distress, and amazement.

Recalling the humane and enlightened attitude hitherto assumed by the Imperial German Government in matters of international right, and particularly with regard to the freedom of the seas; having learned to recognize the German views and the German influence in the field of international obligation as always engaged upon the side of justice and humanity; and having understood the instructions of the Imperial German Government to its naval commanders to be upon the same plane of human action prescribed by the naval codes of other nations, the Government of the United States was loath to believe -- it cannot now bring itself to believe -- that these acts, so absolutely contrary to the rules, the practices, and the spirit of modern warfare, could have the countenance or sanction of that great Government. It feels it to be its duty, therefore, to address the Imperial German Government concerning them with the utmost frankness and in the earnest hope that it is not mistaken in expecting action on the part of the Imperial German Government which will correct the unfortunate impressions which have been created and vindicate once more the position of that Government with regard to the sacred freedom of the seas.

The Government of the United States has been apprised that the Imperial German Government considered themselves to be obliged by the extraordinary circumstances of the present war and the measures adopted by their adversaries in seeking to cut Germany off from all commerce, to adopt methods of retaliation which go much beyond the ordinary methods of warfare at sea, in the proclamation of a war zone from which they have warned neutral ships to keep away. This Government has already taken occasion to inform the Imperial German Government that it cannot admit the adoption of such measures or such a warning of danger to operate as in any degree an abbreviation of the rights of American shipmasters or of American citizens bound on lawful errands as passengers on merchant ships of belligerent nationality; and that it must hold the Imperial German Government to a strict accountability for any infringement of those rights, intentional or incidental....

The Government of the United States, therefore, desires to call the attention of the Imperial German Government with the utmost earnestness to the fact that the objection to their present method of attack against the trade of their enemies lies in the practical impossibility of employing submarines in the destruction of commerce without disregarding those rules of fairness, reason, justice, and humanity, which all modern opinion regards as imperative.... The Government and the people of the United States look to the Imperial German Government for just, prompt, and enlightened action in this vital matter with the greater confidence because the United States and Germany are bound together not only for special ties of friendship but also by the explicit stipulations of the treaty of 1828 between the United States and the Kingdom of Prussia.

Expressions of regret and offers of reparation in case of the destruction of neutral ships sunk by mistake, while they may satisfy international obligations, if no loss of life results, cannot justify or excuse a practice, the natural and necessary effect of which is to subject neutral nations and neutral persons to new and immeasurable risks.

The Imperial German Government will not expect the Government of the United States to omit any word or any act necessary to the performance of its sacred duty of maintaining the rights of the United States and its citizens and of safeguarding their free exercise and enjoyment.

BRYAN

http://www.lib.byu.edu/~rdh/wwi/1915/lusitania1.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 07 Mei 2006 9:18    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Zelfs Romain Rolland, de naar Zwitserland uitgeweken Franse pacifist en winnaar van de Nobelprijs voor de Literatuur in 1915, die tot dan toe meestal in opvallend milde en overwegend verzoenende woorden heeft gesproken, schiet de daad in het verkeerde keelgat. Hij schrijft het volgende over het zinken van de Lusitania:
Quote:
‘En dit is de dag (7 mei 1915) die het stupide Duitsland uitkoos om de grote Engelse oceaanstomer Lusitania, die met 2000 passagiers en bemanningsleden uit Amerika terugkeert, te laten zinken.
Deze ongelooflijke domheid van de Pruisische oorlogspolitiek overschrijdt alle grenzen. Net zoals bij Leuven en bij Reims denkt ze de wereld te kunnen terroriseren. En ontketent slechts verontwaardiging …
Ik betreur dat Zuid-Duitsland en het eveneens verfijndere en menselijkere Oostenrijk met het brute Pruisen, dat het in de afgrond sleept, onder een hoedje speelt. En daarbij had de situatie van Duitsland in deze oorlog van een tragische grootsheid kunnen zijn. Het had de hele wereld tegen zich, een hatende wereld die zijn ondergang wilde. Juist dat overmatige gevaar (ik durf zelfs te zeggen: die onrechtvaardigheid) had het hart van alle Duitsers moeten verheffen en met de wil moeten bezielen, de tegenstanders een bekentenis van hoogachting te ontworstelen. Daarbij had het zich bij dit enorme gevaar waardig moeten gedragen, had het van zichzelf rechtschapenheid en grootmoedigheid moeten eisen, zelfs als de vijanden dat ontbeerden. Dan had de wereld het geweldig opgehitste roofdier gerespecteerd. In plaats daarvan verscheurt Pruisen verdragen, brandt het steden neer, vermoordt het de bevolking, vernietigt het kathedralen, brengt het onschuldige passagierschepen tot zinken, vervolgt het onschuldigen …
En zo wordt alle heldenmoed en alle lijden vergeefs, want het heeft die bezoedeld.’


Uit: Krieg. Ieper, het martyrium van 14/18 door Duitse ogen.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 07 Mei 2006 19:01    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote



Die Versenkung der "Lusitania" am 7. Mai 1915

Eine Chronologie der Ereignisse


Im Februar 1915 startete Deutschland, als Reaktion auf die englische "Hungerblockade", einen ausgedehnten U-Boot-Krieg. Die deutschen Unterseeboote, von der britischen Admiralität zunächst unterschätzt, wurden in kurzer Zeit zu einer ernsthaften Bedrohung für die gesamte Schifffahrt im Atlantik. Der amerikanische Präsident Wilson warnte Deutschland, falls Bürger seines Landes Opfer werden sollten, werde er das Deutsche Reich "zur Rechenschaft ziehen" werde. Am 7. Mai torpedierte "U 20" unter Kommandant Schwieger innerhalb des zum Kriegsgebiet erklärten Meeresabschnitts den englisch Cunarddampfer "Lusitania". Die "Lusitania" sinkt innerhalb von 18 Minuten. 1198 Passagiere und Besatzungsmitglieder, darunter 124 US-Amerikaner gehen mit dem Schiff unter. 761 Menschen werden von Fischern aus dem nahe gelegenen Queenstown gerettet. Die Versenkung der "Lusitania" sollte schwerwiegende Folgen für das Reich haben, da sich nun in den USA immer mehr Stimmen offen für einen Kriegseintritt gegen Deutschland aussprachen.

Bis zum heutigen Tag hält der Streit um die wahren Hintergründe und die geschichtliche Beurteilung der Versenkung der Lusitania an. Die Darstellung der Ereignisse reichen damals wie heute
von einem "Massenmord auf See" bis zu einer "legalen Kriegshandlung",
von einer "versehentlichen Torpedierung" bis hin zu einem absichtlichen "in die Schusslinie der Deutschen" bringen,
von einer "Kohlenstaubexplosion" bis zur "Explosion der Munition" an Bord, die letztendlich für das schnelle Sinken des Schiffes verantwortlich war. Auch gab es zahlreiche Versuche, dem Kommandanten der Lusitania, Capitain William Tuner die Schuld zuzuschieben, er "allein habe alle Warnungen ignoriert und damit in geradezu fahrlässiger Form gehandelt".

7. Mai 1915, englische amtliche Meldung: Der Cunarddampfer "Lusitania" wurde torpediert und sank. Hilfe ist abgesandt, Die "Lusitania" ist der beste Dampfer der Cunardlinie mit 31500 Registertonnen.

8. Mai 1915, deutsche amtliche Meldung: Der Cunarddampfer "Lusitania" ist, wie Reuter meldet, gestern durch ein deutsches Unterseeboot zum Sinken gebracht worden. Die Lusitania war selbstverständlich, wie neuerdings die meisten englischen Handelsdampfer, mit Geschützen armiert. Außerdem hat sie, wie hier einwandfrei bekannt war, erhebliche Mengen von Munition und Kriegsgerät unter ihrer Ladung. Ihre Eigentümer waren sich daher bewusst, welcher Gefahr sie ihre Passagiere ausgesetzten. Sie allein tragen die volle Verantwortung für das, was geschehen musste. Deutscherseits ist nichts unterlassen worden, um wiederholt und eindringlich zu warnen. Der kaiserliche Botschafter in Washington hat noch am 1.Mai 1915 in einer öffentlichen Bekanntmachung auf diese Gefahren aufmerksam gemacht. Die englische Presse hat damals diese Warnung verspottet, unter Hinweis auf den Schutz, den die britische Flotte dem transatlantischen Verkehr sichere.

15. Mai 1915, deutsche amtliche Meldung: Aus dem Bericht des Unterseeboots, das die "Lusitania" zum Sinken gebracht hat, ergibt sich folgender Sachverhalt: Das Boot sichtete den Dampfer, der keine Flagge führte, am 7. Mai, 2.20 Uhr MEZ nachmittags, an der Südküste Irlands bei schönem klaren Wetter. Um 3.10 Uhr gab es einen Torpedoschuss auf die Lusitania ab, die an der Steuerbordseite in der Höhe der Kommandobrücke getroffen wurde. Der Detonation des Torpedos folgte unmittelbar eine weitere Explosion von ungemein starker Wirkung. Das Schiff legte sich schnell nach Steuerbord über und begann zu sinken. Die zweite Explosion muss auf eine Entzündung der in dem Schiff befindlichen Munitionsmenge zurückgeführt werden.

Die Nachricht von der Versenkung der "Lusitania" führt in den USA zu antideutschen Demonstrationen. Der ehemalige Präsident Theodore Rossewelt, der einst als Deutschenfreund galt, fordert nun den Krieg gegen Deutschland. Der amtierende Präsident Woodrow Wilson protestiert in schärfster Form. Er beruft sich auf ein Recht der Bürger neutraler Staaten, die Passagierschiffe auch kriegsführenden Mächten zu benutzen. Er besteht darauf, dass die Deutschen die Torpedierung als Bruch des internationalen Rechts anerkennen und Schadenersatz leisten. Die deutsche Regierung weist den Protest zurück. Da die "Lusitania" Munition und anderes Kriegsmaterial an Bord hatte, galt sie für die deutsche Marine als Kriegsschiff. Nach deutscher Ansicht bestand kein Zweifel an der Rechtmäßigkeit der Versenkung. Als US-Präsident Wilson in einer weiteren Note noch einmal von Deutschland verlangt, die Versenkung der "Lusitania" als Verbrechen zu verurteilen, tritt der amerikanische Außenminister William Jennings Bryan zurück, weil die Note Wilsons den Charakter eines Ultimatums hat und die Vereinigten Staaten in einen Krieg mit Deutschland verwickeln könnte. Nach Bryans Meinung hat Deutschland ein Recht zu verhindern, dass seinen Feinden Kriegsmaterial geliefert wird. Wenn solche Schiffe Passagiere in der Hoffnung an Bord nehmen, dass sie dann nicht angegriffen werden, so sei das kein legitimer Schutz vor einer Zerstörung.


In der nun entbrannten Propagandaschlacht der Kriegparteien machte sich die Zersplitterung der Propagandaabteilungen auf deutsche Seite (Kriegs- und Innenministerium, der Generalstab, das Auswärtige Amt und andere Stellen unterhielten eigene Abteilungen) sehr nachteilig bemerkbar. Während die Briten bereits im August 1914 das "War Propaganda Bureau" gegründet hatten und nun insbesondere in den USA für ihre Seite warben. Das englische Buch "JANE'S WAR AT SEA 1897-1997/ 100 YEARS OF JANE'S FIGHTING SHIPS", London 1997, schreibt zum Thema sogar heute noch und nur sehr kurz: "...Eine neue Ära des Schreckens dämmerte offensichtlich herauf, als am 7. Mai 1915 im hellen Tageslicht der "White Star" - Liner Lusitania warnungslos versenkt wurde, ein Vorfall, der zu heftigen diplomatischen Protesten führte. Unter den 1200 Toten befanden sich auch 128 Amerikaner... Und ein paar Seiten weiter letztmalig zum Thema: " Deutsche U-Boote tauchten oft zur Versenkung von Handelsschiffen mit ihrer Artillerie auf, um Torpedos zu sparen, wann immer dies möglich war. Dies nutzten die Briten mit ihren "Q-Schiffen" aus: zu U-Bootfallen umgebaute Handelsschiffe, bemannt durch Seeleute der Royl Navy und mit getarnten Geschützen ausgerüstet. Am 19. August 1915 vernichtete die U-Bootfalle "Baralong" "U 27". Aus Rache für die "Lusitania" ermordeten die Briten 11 deutsche Überlebende teils schwimmend im Wasser, teils von gekaperten Ampfer "Nicosian" heruntergeholt." Während das deutsche "Lexikon der populären Irrtümer" Bertelsmann 1996 und Microsoft CD-ROM Encyclopädie Encarta (Wie geschah es wirklich? Stuttgart 1990; Stichwortartikel "Lusitania") zum Thema schreiben: "...An diesem Tag kommt es zu dem tragischen Zwischenfall mit der "Lusitania". Das deutsche Unterseeboot "U 20" versenkt den britischen Dampfer "Lusitania" vor der irischen Küste. 1198 Menschen, darunter zahlreiche Nordamerikaner fanden den Tod. Anders, als die durchaus verständliche Propaganda der Engländer behauptete, war die 'Lusitania' aber kein reines Passagierschiff; sie transportierte heimlich auch noch Munition, und war nach internationalem Recht daher als Kriegsschiff einzustufen" ..."Im Fall der 'Lusitania' waren vermutlich mehrere Tonnen Dynamit an Bord, denn nur so lässt sich die ungewöhnlich heftige Detonation nach dem Torpedotreffer erklären. Die deutsche Botschaft in Washington wusste von der Fracht und warnte mehrfach, dass solche Schiffe ohne Warnung angegriffen würden. Jedoch hielt der Kapitän der 'Lusitania' sein Schiff für schnell genug, den U-Booten auszuweichen - ein Irrtum, wie sich dann erwies, den mehr als tausend Menschen mit dem Leben büßen mussten." Das oben zitierte englische Buch ist aber keinesfalls repräsentativ für die heutige englische Geschichtsschreiben, diese geht teilweise weit kritischer, als vergleichsweise deutsche Chronisten mit dem Fall um.

Versuchen wir nun ausführlich die gesamte Geschichte anhand jedem zugänglicher Quellen zu rekonstruieren:


1903 Die britische Admiralität schließt mit der Schifffahrtsgesellschaft "Cunard Steamship Company" ein Geheimabkommen zum Bau von zwei Passagierschiffen für Kriegszwecke. Die Admiralität übernimmt sämtliche Kosten, im Gegenzug verpflichtet sich die Cunardlinie im Kriegsfall ihre gesamte Flotte der Royal Navy zu unterstellen.

1907 Am 7. September findet die Jungfernfahrt auf der Linie Liverpool-New York statt. Die Lusitania ist mit ihren 239 m Länge und 25 Konten schnell das größte und schnellste Schiff der damaligen Zeit. Sie benötigt für die Strecke nur viereinhalb Tage und gewinnt das "Blaue Band". "Lusitania" ist benannt nach der römischen Provinz Lusitania - dem heutigen Portugal.

1913 Im Februar lässt der Erste Lord der Admiralität, Marineminister Winston Churchill der Cunardlinie wissen, dass sich die Stunde der Bewährung nähere, den "der Krieg gegen Deutschland ist sicher - spätestens im September 1914 wird er ausbrechen".

Am 12 Mai kommt das Schiff unter größter Geheimhaltung zur Ausrüstung in Trockendocks nach Liverpool. Dort werden die Bordwände, Schutz- und Oberdecks besonders armiert und zwei Munitionskammer, Pulvermagazine und Halterungen für Granaten, sowie 12 x 15 cm Schnellfeuerkanonen eingebaut.

1914 Am 17. September wird die "Lusitania" als bewaffneter Hilfskreuzer in das britische Flottenregister aufgenommen und ist damit offiziell ein Kriegsschiff.

Am 24. September erhält Kapitän Turner die Befehle, mit seinem Schiff Kriegsmaterial aus den USA nach England zu bringen. Der jeweilige Kurs werde von der Admiralität festgelegt und um die Deutschen zu täuschen werde das Schiff weiterhin Passagiere befördern und jetzt unter amerikanischer Flagge fahren. Sollte ein U-Boot versuchen die "Lusitania" zu stoppen, so habe der Kapitän unverzüglich das Feuer auf den Gegner zu eröffnen.

1915 4. Februar: Auf wachsenden Druck der britischen Blockade reagieren die Deutschen an diesem Tag mit der Ankündigung des uneingeschränkten U-Bootkrieges. In einer Note an die USA warnt das deutsche Außenministerium "angesichts des Missbrauchs neutraler Flaggen" seitens Großbritannien, dass "Fehler nicht immer zu vermeiden" seien. Daher täten die neutralen Staaten gut daran, ihre Bürger und Waren von feindlichen Schiffen fernzuhalten. Die USA antworten darauf: Falls ein deutsches U-Boot ein US-Schiff oder das Leben amerikanischer Bürger gefährde, würden die USA die deutsche Regierung "Streng zur Rechenschaft ziehen". Daraufhin will der britische Außenminister Grey von Oberst House, dem Chefberater von US-Präsident Wilson, folgendes wissen: "Was wird Amerika tun, wenn die Deutschen ein Passagierschiff mit amerikanischen Touristen versenken?". Die Antwort des US-Regierung: "Das würde uns in den Krieg bringen."

In der Zeit vom 18. Februar bis 7. Mai 1915 versenkten die Deutschen 108 Schiffe der feindlichen Handelsmarine.

Die Ausfuhr von Kriegsmaterial auf Passagierschiffen ist in den neutralen USA verboten, daraufhin fälschen die Engländer mehrfach die Ladepapiere und so transportiert die Lusitania offiziell "Jagdgewehrpatronen". Die Lusitania wir ein zunehmender und immer wichtigerer Faktor für die Munitionsbeschaffung nach England und gerät dadurch in das Visier der Deutschen.

1915 Mitte April dirigiert die britische Admiralität ihren getarnten Hilfskreuzer erneut nach New York. Am Pier 54 lädt sie weitaus mehr Kriegsmaterial und nimmt mehr Passagiere an Bord als auf den Reisen zuvor: 1248 Kisten mit 7,5 cm Granaten, 4927 Kisten mit Gewehrpatronen, 2000 Kisten mit weiterer Munition für Handfeuerwaffen. Zusammen gut 10,5 Tonnen Sprengstoff. Deutschen Berechnungen bedeutete das "5 400 000 Schüsse oder bei einer Trefferwahrscheinlichkeit von drei Prozent den Tod von 150 000 Deutschen". Die Passagierliste zählt 1257 Gäste, darunter 218 Amerikaner.

Am 22 April erscheint in den 50 größten Tageszeitungen der USA eine Anzeige der deutschen Botschaft, die "Ozean-Reisende" ausdrücklich vor der beabsichtigten Reise warnt. Die Anzeigenflut alarmiert den britischen Geheimdienst, alle Marinestellen werden per Funk sofort angewiesen, nach deutschen U-Booten im Westen und Süden Englands Ausschau zu halten. Der deutsche Marine-Geheimdienst entziffert den Funkspruch und unterrichtet sofort den deutschen Admiralstab, der die drei U-Boote "U 20", "U 27" und "U 30" mit Kurs Irland in Marsch setzt.

Am 30. April ist die Lusitania auslaufbereit. Kapitän Turner meldet sich beim New Yorker Sonderstab der Admiralität und nimmt dessen Weisung entgegen: "Kurs auf die Südwestküste Irlands". Dort wird er westlich des Fastnet-Felsens von dem Kreuzer "Juno" erwartet. Er hat den Auftrag die Lusitania die restliche Fahrt nach Liverpool zu sichern.

05. Mai: Dank "Room 40" weiß auch die britische Admiralität inzwischen wo die deutschen U-Boote lauern und so kann Admiral Oliver dem Marineminister Churchill anhand der Lagekarte die genaue Position von "U 20" erläutern. "U20" befindet sich unweit der Stelle bei Fastnet, dem vorgesehen Treffpunkt, wo der britische Kreuzer "Juno" den Geleitschutz der "Lusitania" übernehmen soll. Oliver versucht Churchill klarzumachen, dass "Juno" jedem U-Boot-Angriff hilflos ausgeliefert sei und man den Kreuzer zurückbeordern müsse. Churchill stimmt zu. Bereits im November 1914 (siehe weitere Informationen hier) hatte Churchill angeordnet entzifferte deutsche Funksprüche nur ihm persönlich auszuhändigen. Er unterrichtet nur den Chief of the War Staff, Admiral Oliver und einer sehr begrenzten Zahl anderer höheren Offiziere des Naval Staff. Am Nachmittag des 5. Mai wird "Juno" befohlen die Fahrt abzubrechen und nach Queenstown zurückzukehren. Die "Lusitania" wurde aber darüber nicht informiert und so steuert der Schnelldampfer schutzlos dem deutschen U-Boot "U 20" entgegen. Erst als "U 20" zwei britische Schiffe bereits versenkt hat, warnt die Marinenstelle Queenstown die "Lusitania: "U-Boote aktiv an der Südküste Irlands". Trotz dieser Warnung hält sich Kapitän Turner an die Weisung, seinen Kurs keinesfalls ohne Genehmigung der Admiralität zu ändern. Die Reaktion der Admiralität: Man funkt Turner irreführende Positionsangaben von "U 20" und verschweigt ihm, dass drei Tage zuvor die Liverpool-Route um die Nordküste Irlands freigegeben worden ist.

07.Mai: Turner erhält den Befehl nicht Liverpool, sondern Queenstown anzulaufen, damit gerät die "Lusitania" unmittelbar in die Schusslinie von "U 20". "Damit wird die Lusitania von der britischen Admiralität direkt vor die Torpedorohre deutscher U-Boote gelenkt, um den Gegner zu einer Tat zu provozieren, die Amerika in den Krieg verwickeln soll", schreibt Janusz Piekalkiewicz in seinem Buch "Der Erste Weltkrieg", Econ Verlag 1998/Weltbildverlag 1999.
Um 2.20 Uhr MEZ nachmittags, erreichte die Lusitania bei schönem klaren Wetter die Südküste Irlands. Nach Angaben von "U 20" Kommandant, Kapitänleutnant Walther Schwieger führte sie keine Flagge, aber sicherlich wusste er sehr genau welches Schiff da vor ihm lag. Um 3.10 Uhr gab "U 20" einen Torpedoschuss auf die Lusitania ab, die an der Steuerbordseite in der Höhe der Kommandobrücke getroffen wurde. Der Detonation des Torpedos folgte unmittelbar eine weitere Explosion von ungemein starker Wirkung. Das Schiff legte sich schnell nach Steuerbord über und begann zu sinken. Da der Ozeanriese über 48 Rettungsboote und 26 zusammenklappbare Rettungsflöße verfügte, ist es den Fischern aus Queenstown möglich, bis zum Abend 761 Menschen lebend zu bergen, auch Kapitän Turner wird nach 4 Stunden aus dem kalten Wasser gerettet. 1198 Passagiere und Besatzungsmitglieder, darunter 124 Amerikaner, sind mit der Lusitania untergegangen.



Das Drama vor der irischen Küste erregt die Welt wie kaum ein anderes Ereignis. Welche politische Brisanz der Fall hat, wird aus einem Leitartikel der Mit Trauerrand erscheinenden "New York Tribune" deutlich: "Seit dem 7. Mai werden Millionen in diesem Land bedauern, daß in Flandern keine Amerikaner mitfechten gegen Hunnen und Vandalen." Tatsächlich erwartet man in England stündlich den Kriegseintritt der USA.

Die Auseinandersetzung um die Frage Kriegsverbrechen oder berechtigte Kriegshandlung verstummt seit dem Mai 1915 nicht mehr. Die Engländer behaupten stets, die Lusitania" sein ein unbewaffnetes, rein ziviles Schiff gewesen. In Wirklichkeit war der Cunard-Liner schwer bewaffnet und mit gefälschten Ladepapieren ausgestattet, um die wahre Fracht zu verheimlichen: riesige Mengen an Munition und Konterbande, die Tausenden deutschen Soldaten den Tod gebracht hätten. Der deutsche Admiralsstab dagegen vertritt die Ansicht, der Torpedoschuss sei schon deshalb gerechtfertigt, weil die "Lusitania" Gewässer durchfahren habe, die die Deutschen zum Kriegsgebiet erklärt hatten. Für sie sein "die warnungslose Versenkung ein militärisch und völkerrechtlich einwandfreier Kriegsakt".
Nach der Katastrophe bezichtigt die britische Admiralität den deutschen Admiralsstab des Massenmords auf See und beschuldigt gleichzeitig Kapitän Turner, durch seine Kursänderung das Unheil verursacht zu haben. In einem Schreiben der Admiralität an Richter Lord Mersey, der den Lusitania-Fall unersucht, wird dem Gericht sogar nahe gelegt, Kapitän Turner als den Hauptschuldigen zu verurteilen. Der Lord dagegen spricht Turner von jeder Schuld frei. Er ist über die Haltung der britischen Admiralität derart empört, dass er nie wieder das Richteramt ausübt. Turner bleibt stets dabei, dass er von der Admiralität eigene Instruktionen erhalten habe, aber er weigerte sich sein Leben lang, etwas über deren Inhalt zu sagen. Und die Akten des Naval Intelligence Department, die sich auf die "Lusitania" und ihre Ladung beziehen, sind im Navy Records Office in Bath aufbewahrt. Sie befinden sich selbst heute noch immer auf der Geheimliste !
Das New Yorker Appellationsgericht stellte Ende Januar 1923 in einer gerichtlichen Entscheidung fest, dass die "Lusitania" Munition an Bord gehabt hatte, dass die Versenkung nicht als "Seeräuberverbrechen", sondern als eine regelrechte Kriegshandlung angesehen werden muss.

Das deutsche U-Boot "U 20" strandete am 05. November 1916 vor der jütländischen Küste und wurde selbst zerstört. Kapitän Walther Schwieger, geboren am 07. April. 1885, gilt seit dem 06. September 1917 mit "U 88" in der Nordsee als verschollen.

Während die Auseinandersetzung um die Versenkung der englischen "Lusitania" trotz bekannter Fakten bis heute teils sehr kontrovers geführt wird, ist das Schicksal der versenkten deutschen Flüchtlingsschiffe heute relativ unbekannt. Erinnert sein hier an:

* 30.01. 1945 - "Wilhelm Gustloff" 9350 Tote, darunter ca. 4000 Kinder und Säuglinge aus Ostpreußen
* 10.02. 1945 - "General von Steuben" ca. 2700 Tote
* 10.04. 1945 - "Neuwerk" ca. 710 Tote
* 11.04. 1945 - "Posen" und "Moltke" mit ca. 1000 Toten
* 13.04. 1945 - "Karlsruhe" mit ca. 850 Toten
* 16.04. 1945 - "Goya" mit ca. 6500 Toten
* 03.05. 1945 - "Musketier" mit ca. 800 Toten

Unbekannt ist die Zahl von Flüchtlingen und KZ-Häftlingen auf den Schiffen:

* "Deutschland"
* "Cap Arkona"
* "Vega"
* "Bolkoberg"

die durch britische Luftangriffe am 03. Mai 1945 (!) versenkt wurden. Die Fahrgastschiffe konnten je nach Fahrt bis zu 10000 Menschen aufnehmen.

©http://www.deutsche-schutzgebiete.de/lusitania.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 07 Mei 2006 19:03    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Hauptmann @ 22 Okt 2005 17:07 schreef:
Is er toevallig een forumlid die een kopie heeft van Jane's van 1914? Ben beniewd wat daar nou instond over dit schip.


Deze vraag is voor mij nog steeds actueel. Smile
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BerichtGeplaatst: 07 Mei 2006 20:07    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

http://www.antiqbook.nl/boox/bkw/8737.shtml Smile

Gr P
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BerichtGeplaatst: 07 Mei 2006 20:09    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Tsja, het is een reprint. Ik denk er nog even over na, dankjewel Pegoud!
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BerichtGeplaatst: 07 Mei 2006 20:11    Onderwerp: nog wat extra informatie over de discussie! Reageer met quote

http://www.gwpda.org/naval/lusika00.htm

Hier nog een interessante link waarin nogal wat sterke argumenten staat die nog niet aangedragen zijn.

Het grootste probleem mijns insziens voor Duitsland was dat onderzeeboten geen "echte" mogelijkheid hadden passagiers op te nemen of in veiligheid te brengen. Het "vieren" van de dood van burgens middels het tot zinken brengen van de Lusitania met een memorial medialle door de Duitsers was denk ik nog de stomste zet die ze maakten. Gezien wat de Duitsers met burgers in Belgie en andere plaatsendeden hoeven we ons denk ik ook geen illusies maken over de humaniteit van de Duitse militaire strijdkrachten.

Net zoals het Zimmerman telegram werd hier dankbaar gebruik van gemaakt door de geallieerden.

Marc
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BerichtGeplaatst: 07 Mei 2006 20:13    Onderwerp: He toevallig Reageer met quote

Hee ik zag dat Yvonne dit artikel NET gepost heeft in zijn geheel.

Geheel toevallig (ja echt wel!)

Marc
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BerichtGeplaatst: 07 Mei 2006 20:14    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

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Toeval Smile
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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Mei 2006 8:32    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

WHO SANK THE "LUSITANIA" ?

WHO is responsible for the sinking of the Lusitania, for the deliberate murder which has always remained deep in the consciousness of every American, and which at the outset turned this great nation against Germany?

In the first place there was no mistake---no question of orders exceeded or disobeyed. Count von Bernstorff frankly, boldly, defiantly, and impudently advertised to the world, with the authority of the German Government, that the attempt to sink the Lusitania would be made. The Foreign Office, no doubt, acquainted him with the new policy. Von Tirpitz, then actual head of the Navy Department and virtual head of the whole navy, openly showed his approval of the act, and threw all his influence in favor of a continuation of ruthless tactics. But a question which involved a breach of international law, a possible break with a friendly power, could not be decided by even the Foreign Office and Navy together.

The Great General Staff claims a hand in the decision of all questions of foreign policy which even remotely affect the conduct of the war. Similarly it was the duty of the Foreign Office to point out the possible consequences under the rules of international law; but when the question of submarine warfare was to be determined, the consultation was usually at the Great General Headquarters. At these meetings von Tirpitz or the navy presented their views and the Great General Staff sat with the Emperor in council, although it was reported in Charleville at the time of the settlement of May, 1916, that Falkenhayn, speaking in favour of submarine war, had been rebuked by the Emperor, and told to stick to military affairs.

All the evidence points to the Emperor himself as the responsible head who at this time ordered or permitted this form of murder. The orders were given at a time when the Emperor dominated the General Staff, not in one of those periods, as outlined in a previous chapter when the General Staff, as at present, dominated the Emperor. When I saw the Kaiser in October, 1915, he said that he would not have sunk the Lusitania, that no gentleman would have killed so many women and children. Yet he never disapproved the order. Other boats were sunk thereafter in the same manner and only by chance was the loss of life smaller when the Arabic was torpedoed. It is argued that, had the Emperor considered beforehand how many noncombatants would be killed, he would not have given the order to sink that particular boat. But what a lame excuse! A man is responsible for the natural and logical results of his own acts. It may be too that Charles IX, when he ordered, perhaps reluctantly, the massacre of St. Bartholomew, did not know that so many would be killed, but there can be no Pilate-washing-of-the-hands,---Emperor William was responsible. He must bear the blame before the world.

Blood-shed in honorable war is soon forgotten; but the cowardly stroke by which the Kaiser sought to terrorise America, by which he sent to a struggling death of agony in the sea, the peaceful men and women and children passengers of the Lusitania, may ever remain a cold boundary line between Germany and America unless the German people utter a condemnation of the tragedy that rings true and repentant.

We want to live at peace with the world when this war is over, to be able to grasp once more the hands of those now our enemies, but how can any American clasp in friendship the hand of Germans who approve this and the many other outrages that have turned the conscience of the world against Germany?

To Americans in Berlin, the sinking of the Lusitania came like a lightning stroke. No Bernstorff warnings had prepared us. I believed I would be recalled immediately. In making preparations to leave, I sent a secretary to see the head of one of the largest banks in Germany, a personal friend, to ask him, in case we should leave, to take for safe-keeping into his bank our silver, pictures, etc. He said to my secretary, "Tell Judge Gerard that I will take care of his valuables for him, but tell him also, that if the Mauretania comes out to-morrow we shall sink her, too."

That was the attitude of a majority of the business men of Germany. German casualties at that time had been great so that the mere loss of human life did not appal as would have been the case in a country unused to the daily posting of long lists of dead and wounded. Consequently the one feeling of Germany was of rejoicing, believing indeed that victory was near, that the "damned Yankees" would be so scared that they would not dare travel on British ships, that the submarine war would be a great success, that France and England deprived of food, steel and supplies from America soon would be compelled to sue for peace, especially since the strategically clever, if unlawful, invasion of France by way of Belgium had driven the French from the best coal and iron districts of their country.

I do recall that one Imperial Minister, a reasonable individual whose name I think it best not to mention, expressed in private his sorrow, not only for the deed itself, but for the mistaken policy which he saw, even then, would completely turn in the end the sympathies of America to the Entente Allies. And there were others, ---among the intellectuals, and, especially, among the merchants of Hamburg and Frankfort who had travelled in the outer world both on pleasure and business, who realised what a profound effect the drowning of innocent men, women and children would have on our peace-loving people.

Many of these men said to me, "The sinking of the Lusitania is the greatest German defeat of all the war. Its consequences will be far-reaching; its impression, deep and lasting."

The Teutonic Knights, from whom the ruling class of Prussia is descended, kept the Slavic population in subjection by a reign of physical terror. This class believes that to rule one must terrorise. The Kaiser himself referring to the widespread indignation caused by German outrages of the present war, has said: "The German sword will command respect."

Terrorism --- "Schrecklichkeit" --- has always formed a part, not only of German military inclination, but of German military policy. I often said to Germans of the Government, "Are you yourselves subject to being terrorised? If another nation murdered or outraged your women, your children, would it cause you to cringe in submission or would you fight to the last? If you would fight yourselves, what is there in the history of America which makes you think that Americans will submit to mere frightfulness; in what particular do you think Americans are so different from Germans?" But they shrugged their shoulders.

I have heard that in parts of Germany school children were given a holiday to celebrate the sinking of the Lusitania. I was busy with preparations, too anxious about the future to devote much time to the study of the psychology of the Germans in other parts of Germany at this moment, but with the exception of the one Cabinet Minister aforementioned, and expressions of regret from certain merchants and intellectuals, it cannot be denied that a great wave of exultation swept over Germany. It was felt that this was a master stroke, that victory was appreciably nearer and that no power on earth could withstand the brute force of the Empire.

Mingled with this was a deep hate of all things American inculcated by the Berlin Government. And we must understand, therefore, that no trick and no evasion, no brutality will be untried by Germany in this war. It was against the rules of war to use poison gas, but first the newspapers of Germany were carefully filled with official statements saying the British and French had used this unfair means. Coincidentally with these reports the German army was trying by this dastardly innovation to break the British lines. It was not a new procedure. Months before the Lusitania crime, the newspapers and people had been poisoned with official statements inflaming the people against America, particularly for our commerce with the Entente in war supplies.

It was the right, guaranteed by a treaty to which Germany was a signatory, of our private individuals to sell munitions and supplies, but as Prince von Buelow once remarked on December 13th, 1900, in the Reichstag, "I feel no embarrassment in saying here, publicly, that for Germany, right can never be a determining consideration."

Indeed the tame professors were let loose and many of them rushed into government-paid print to prove that, according to law, the murders of the Lusitania were justified. A German chemist friend of mine told me that the chemists of Germany were called on, after poison gas had been met by British and French, to devise some new and deadly chemical. Flame throwers soon appeared together with more insidious gases. And it is only because of the vigilance of other nations that German spies have not succeeded in sowing the microbes of pestilence in countries arrayed against lawless Germany.

Remember there is nothing that Kaiserism is not capable of trying in the hope of victory.

http://www.lib.byu.edu/~rdh/wwi/memoir/Gerard2/Kaiserism1.htm#ch3
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BerichtGeplaatst: 10 Jul 2006 9:06    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

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BerichtGeplaatst: 16 Jul 2006 6:45    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Propaganda in the New York Times: The Sinking of the Lusitania

Introduction

At approximately 2:30 PM on May 7, 1915 the British merchant ship Cunarder Lusitania sank after being struck by a German torpedo off the coast of Ireland. Over one thousand lives were lost as the ship sunk so quickly that many lifeboats did not have time to deploy.

The incident is well documented in the newspapers of the time and one in particular, the New York Times, served as the forum for the public to assign responsibility. From the day of the Lusitania's launch, until President Wilson's "declaration of intent," the most detailed reporting on the views of the public, politicians, and foreign governments surrounding the sinking were printed in the Times. Nearly six full pages of articles as well as a full page of editorials, constituting a third of the paper's total reporting.

The debates put forth in the pages of the Times had few details on which to base their arguments.

As far as they were concerned, the facts surrounding the Lusitania were as follows:

* The Cunarder Lusitania was a British merchant ship flying under the charter of the British Admiralty and, thus, flew the flag of Great Britain.

* On May 1, 1915, the day the Lusitania set sail from New York, the German Embassy in the United States published a warning in the newspapers of major cities warning Americans that a war zone in the seas surrounding Great Britain had been established by the Imperial German Government and that passengers sailing on ships flying the British flag did so at there own risk.

* Four months earlier, Germany had declared the North Atlantic a war zone and announced it's intention to use submarines to break through the British blockade of food to the mainland.

* The Lusitania sailed with a passenger list totaling 1,918 names of which 171 were Americans.

* Four months earlier, Germany had declared the North Atlantic a war zone and instituted a blockade of British ships believed to be shipping arms to the mainland.

* The sinking of the Lusitania was the third instance involving the sinking of a ship by German submarines that resulted in the death of American civilians. The first was the sinking of the British ship Falaba in March, in which an American citizen named Leon C. Thrasher was one of 111 deaths reported. On May 1, the day the Lusitania set sail, the American oil transport Gulflight was sunk on its way to France. Three members of the crew were killed including the Captain who died of heart failure sixteen hours after the sinking. The two others drowned.

These are the unquestioned facts surrounding the sinking of the Lusitania. In the days following the sinking, rumors proliferated throughout the world, assigning blame, responsibility, and demanding American action of one form or another. The New York Times reported many of these rumors and opinions, in the form of exposes, articles, and editorials.

About the New York Times

When Alfred S. Ochs became publisher of the Times in 1896, he announced the establishment of a regular section of the paper which will reprint letters written by readers, creating one of the first daily Letters to the Editor pages in journalism history. In doing so, Ochs turned The Times into more than just an outlet for the news. Instead, the paper became the authoritative voice of America.

At the start of the Great War, the Times circulated about 250,000 copies each day. By the end of the war, this number had risen to around 390,000. This large exposure to the American public became the target of German propagandists who believed the New York Times preached an anti-German agenda to the general public.

In their own admission, the Times believed responsibility for the war was in German hands. In fact, they prided themselves on their ability to argue this case.

"The chief public service of The Times in the war was that from the very beginning it understood where the rights and wrongs of the conflict lay, it was able to justify its position by sound argument, and it never ceased to maintain that position with all the vigor which its editors were able to command. The furious hostility toward the paper which the Germans and their sympathizers soon displayed is the best measure of its success in performing this duty."1

With regards to the editorial pages the Times believed that everyone should be heard as long as they contributed to the argument, even if German.

"Access to its columns has been denied to no German sympathizer, if reputable, responsible and literate. Some of them, indeed, were neither reputable nor responsible, but if they seemed to have anything of value to contribute to the discussion The Times heard them."2

While The Times prided itself on its ability to report the news with a neutral eye, it is evident, by the frequency and placement of certain articles, that The Times' view that Germany was responsible for the war seeped into its front-page coverage.

Why the Lusitania Created Such a Stir

With half of the world waging an already long and brutal war, the question must be asked why the sinking of one ship created such a stir. German submarines had been sinking ships in the open seas quite frequently since the war zone was established in February 1915. The Lusitania, in fact, was the ninety-first ship destroyed by German torpedo or mine in the 122 days since the war zone had been in effect. Twenty-one ships, including the American Gulflight were sunk in the week after the Lusitania embarked on its voyage from New York. Only three of the ninety-one sunken vessels were American owned and operated.

The major reason why the Lusitania garnered so much attention was because of the sheer magnitude of the incident. Over a thousand lives were lost, by far the most of any incident up to that point. Of the ninety previous incidents, only twenty-two resulted in the loss of life and only five of those resulted in ten or more deaths.

One can also view the sinking as "the straw that broke the camel's back". Twenty-one ships had been sunk in the past week and, while the Gulflight is the only one to receive significant press coverage, it was perceived that the Germans had gone far enough. When the German government issued the war zone decree, President Wilson sent a note warning Germany that if a German war vessel should destroy an American vessel or the lives of American citizens:

"it would be difficult for the Government of the United States to view the act in any other light than as an indefensible violation of neutral rights which it would be hard, indeed, to reconcile with the friendly relations now so happily subsisting between the two Governments,"3

and that German would be held to "strict accountability" if there are American casualties. The warnings started a ripple effect of tension that widened with the sinking of the Gulflight and culminated with the destruction of the Lusitania.

The large outcry after the Lusitania sunk was also due to the large number of similarities that newspaper reporters could make to the sinking of the Titanic, occurring just three years earlier, and the Maine, an incident which incited Americans to go to war. The major similarity is that the Lusitania was believed to be unsinkable, at least by a German submarine, as it was believed to be the fastest merchant vessel in the British fleet. On the day the German Embassy issued the advertisement warning passengers that sailing on a British ship will be doing so at their own risk, passengers aboard the Lusitania scoffed. Alexander Campbell is reported to have said:

"The Lusitania can run away from any submarine the Germans have got."4

Other articles describe the ship as "the great, swift vessel,"5 and the passengers':

"loss of life is believed to have been due to the calmness they displayed in the face of danger. Most of them were at luncheon when the steamer received her death blow, and they declined to join the rush for the boats and the belts."6

The sinking of the U.S.S. Maine, in Havana Harbor on February 15, 1898 was regarded as the incident that propelled the United States into war with Spain. At the time, the Maine provided journalists with the right ammunition to rally American sentiment against Spain. The newspapers were filled with articles and opinions condemning the sinking of the Maine and calling for immediate action. Like the Maine, the sinking of the Lusitania was an event that newspapers could use to appeal to public sentiment.

In the opinion of The Times, the sinking of the Lusitania represented the point in which the war became a domestic issue.7 The dramatic loss of life would create an intense storm of opinion among the masses and, thus, sell newpapers.

Controlling Perceptions of the War Before the Sinking of the Lusitania

Gauging the actual feelings of the general public is an extremely difficult task when looking at newspapers. Majority of the opinions reported in The Times are written by intellectuals who represent much of The Times' readership, not by the grassroots population. Therefore, only assumptions can be made based on the frequency or placement of particular articles. These assumptions are justified by the fact that newspapers are sold and that the editors would not focus on particular subjects or opinions unless they felt they would sell newspapers. In response to the outbreak of the European war, the New York Times opinion pages are filled with articles professing and justifying American neutrality with a slight favoring of the Allied powers.

One article of this nature stands out among the rest. Appearing as the featured editorial on October 2, 1914, Charles W. Eliot, President Emeritus of Harvard University writes a lengthy disposition of the American public opinion with regard to the war. In the editorial, Eliot states:

"it would be a serious mistake to suppose that Americans feel any hostility or jealousy toward Germany... although they now feel that the German Nation has been going wrong in theoretical and practical politics for more than a hundred years."8

He then goes on to state the American people have great respect for Germany with regard to their relatively recent unification, their commercial and industrial advances, and the intellectual contributions made by German thinkers and scholars. Unfortunately, the American people, according to Mr. Eliot, are appalled by the actions of Germany in the early stages of the war. He says that:

"Americans see, in the treatment by the German Government of the Belgium neutralization treaty as nothing but a piece of paper, evidence of the adoption... of a retrograde policy of the most alarming sort... The violation of the neutral territory of Belgium would have determined American opinion in favor of the Allies."9

This one article summarizes the New York Times' tone with respect to the opinion of the American public on the issue of the European war. I feel that one can safely assume that this was not the opinion of the entire public. American residents of German descendency were the largest single ethnic group as they represented 17% of the foreign born population and 2.5% of the total population in 1910.10 As immigrants from Germany, these people would likely favor Germany in the war yet maintain the neutral attitudes of their adopted country. While Eliot recognizes that the British write much of the reporting available to the American public, he claims that this is not a reason for American sympathies toward the Allied powers. This opinion is certainly justified in October 1914, soon after the war began, but the opinions and tones of the American people as reported in the New York Times changes drastically after the sinking of the Lusitania.

Opinion After the Sinking

The attitudes of the public after the sinking are numerous yet relatively homogeneous. Opinions expressed in the New York Times, can be lumped into general categories:

* Shocked and outraged (anti-Germany and pro-American intervention in the war)

* Shocked and cautious (anti-Germany but anti-American intervention in the war)

* Shocked yet satisfied (pro-Germany and anti-American intervention in the war)
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BerichtGeplaatst: 16 Jul 2006 6:48    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Shocked and Outraged

The most prominent opinion expressed in the pages of the New York Times, although not necessarily by The Times, is the "shocked and outraged" opinion. While calls to war are not expressed directly in most of the articles printed, there is definitely an attempt to stir emotions in that direction. Evidence that is not considered hard fact (as outlined above) is presented, and arguments are consistently made to show that Germany is the evil aggressor and that the public will decide the proper course of action. The subtler forms of controlling public opinion towards supporting America if they chose war will be discussed below.

First, I would like to illustrate the blatant calls to war that can be obviously categorized as "shocked and outraged." This category is presented as the view of the legitimate press in Allied nations. On May 9, The Times first published excerpts from Canadian newspapers sympathetic to the Allied cause. The comments made by these papers are extremely vigilant in their outrage and anti-German sentiments. The Toronto Telegram writes:

"The blood of these murdered victims cries for vengeance. If that cry is unheard, the people of the United States will always bear upon them the stigma of the greatest humiliation ever put upon a nation."11

J.A. MacDonald, editor of the Toronto Globe adds:

"Does he (President Wilson) think the mad dog of Europe can be trusted at large? Is it not almost time to join in hunting down the brute?"12

The Toronto Star declares:

"The crime that has occurred was planned, was known at the German Embassy in Washington, was known to the person or persons who sent those anonymous telegrams. What will the United States do about it?"13

This statement was made in spite of reports that the telegrams mentioned never actually existed.

Foreign presses are not the only ones "shocked and outraged." The Times makes sure to interview prominent American citizens. Businessman A.J. Drexel, an American living in London, states that the sinking of the Lusitania is:

"the most infernal outrage that has happened during the war... I don't see how the American Government can do anything but go into the war itself... Is America to raise no voice in protest?"14

The New York Times themselves didn't hesitate to cry for war in their editorial section. One such editorial, appearing under the headline "War by Assassination," claims that the State Department should:

"demand that the Germans shall no longer make war like savages drunk with blood, that they shall cease to seek the attainment of their ends by assassination of non-combatants... Germany is at war with the whole-civilized world... The sinking of the Lusitania will stir the American people as they have not been stirred since the destruction of the Maine... President Wilson, will resist all promptings to unreasonable or hasty action. But he knows the people who have put him at the head of the nation, he will instinctively know and understand the feeling that pervades the country today, and he will respond to it by taking the firm, wise course which justice, right, and honor demand."15

The most prominent American to voice his views was Colonel Theodore Roosevelt. On May 10, Roosevelt made the bold declaration that not only should America act, but will.

"The sinking of the Lusitania was not only an act of simple piracy, but that it represented piracy accompanied by murder on a vaster scale than any old-time pirate had ever practiced before being hung for his misdeeds... This was merely the application on the high seas... of the principles which when applied on land had produced the innumerable hideous tragedies that have occurred in Belgium and in Northern France. The use of the phrase, `strict accountability,' of course, must mean that action will be taken by us without an hour's unnecessary delay."16

The "shocked and outraged" category of opinion is also characterized by the blatant exaggeration of circumstances surrounding the sinking. One article reporting on the affect the sinking had on the public in London reports that:

"the underwater fleet must have been on the lookout for the Cunarder so as to demonstrate to the world that German warnings were not empty threats."17

It is unknown whether or not the German submarines were on lookout for the Lusitania. It is certainly possible, as there were submarines patrolling the area declared by Germany as a war zone. In the same article it is reported that "transatlantic liners usually followed a certain distinct track," an argument used to imply that the German's had planned on sinking the Lusitania from the very beginning. The arguments made by the reporters take logical events, and spin them in such a way as to make logic seem like evil. After all, Germany's blockade would be useless if they didn't patrol the areas through which they know British ships are going to pass.

The skewing of facts can be attributed to the lack of facts present. As I mentioned earlier, all that was truly know in the days following the sinking was that the boat sunk, evidently by a torpedo, while sailing along the coast of Ireland. In the initial reports received from London, the New York Times says that a German submarine "sent two torpedoes crashing into her side."18 The very next day, the front-page headline read "HIT BY THREE TORPEDOES." The text of that same article states that "several torpedoes were hurled at the ship; some say four and others seven... Conflicting reports as to the side struck suggest that more than one submarine may have participated." The headline serves as an attention getting device to lure readers into believing that the crime was more heinous than previously thought. The text adds to the horror by giving the impression that the Germans would stop at nothing to sink the ship quickly. In this case, the facts or known details are not "reported" with a neutral journalistic intent, but are distorted in such a way as to stir emotions and create outrage among citizens who rely on the newspapers as their legitimate source for details surrounding an already well publicized incident.

In one case, the shocked and outraged expressed themselves not vocally, as much of the opinion in the New York Times is often expressed, but through political protest. This protest was sometimes very blunt as when Americans in London "hailed a newsboy and on glancing at the official statement shouted and shook their fists in disgust."19 Others rioted in the streets of England forcing cities to close local bars and taverns at six o'clock.20 The London Stock Exchange went as far as barring its German members from entering the house. When a man passed by the bulletin boards of Times Square and shouted, "Hurrah for the Germans" a dozen men rushed him.21

Shocked and Cautious

The "shocked and cautious" school of opinion is distinguished by its unwillingness to give in to popular passions. Those advocating caution tend to be more articulate than the general public. The most prominent public figure advocating caution was Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan. His plea to "Not Rock the Boat," was the rallying cry of the cautious school of opinion. When criticism arose with regards to President Wilson's playing golf and going for a drive on the day he received news of the disaster, Bryan justifies his actions as:

"not having been due so much for recreation as to set an example to the country; to indicate that if the head of the nation was able to go about his affairs without excitement the rest of the his fellow citizens should do the same."22

The other major advocacy group for caution is found in the halls of Congress. These lawmakers were cautious for a different reason. The impression given is that they recognize the need for national unity and are not calling out for war because it is still unknown as to what the President's plan may be. The general consensus among lawmakers is to support the President. Senator Sheppard from Texas wishes to "handle the present situation with patience and calmness, trusting the President to take the proper council." Senator Vardaman of Mississippi was a little more forward in his statement but still cautious about the words he chose. He says:

"I do not think that this one act would justify war, but President Wilson is on the job... I have faith in his prudence and good judgment in dealing with this delicate situation."23

For many legislators, their caution was due to a downplaying of the incident. Many believed that the sinking of the Gulflight was a more pressing issue as it was actually an American ship that was sunk. Senator William Stone, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, was quoted as saying:

"from our standpoint as a neutral nation the Gulflight presents a more delicate and serious complication that the case of the Lusitania."24

Other prominent figures advocating caution are priests around the country. The opening paragraph of an article headlined by the phrase, "Lusitania's End Arouses Pastors" lists the comments made by several New York clergymen. The comments range from "A crime against civilization," and "one of the blackest acts ever perpetrated by human beings," to "not piracy but organized murder."25 These comments are extremely passionate and have the potential to create the outrage discussed above, especially when you consider that it is religious leaders making these statements. The difference is that the clergymen fall back on their religious morals and say:

"what shall we do? Go to war? No, let our brother Germany be unto us as a heathen, one who has cut himself off from the congregation of Israel."26

Shocked Yet Satisfied

Articles justifying the sinking, constituting the "shocked yet satisfied" school of thought, are few and far between and when they are made available, often times they are small and buried on the inner pages of the newspaper. One article stating that Germany received a tip that the Lusitania was carrying contraband of war, thus justifying the sinking, appears on page seven, almost halfway through the paper.29 Editorial letters supporting the German cause don't appear until page six of the May 11 edition, four days after the sinking.30

German officials or reprints from German newspapers are the only articles justifying the sinking to receive front-page status. The small article appearing on May 11, states the official German dispatch to the United States Department of State:

"The German Government desires to express its deepest sympathy at the loss of lives on board the Lusitania. The responsibility rests, however, with the British Government..."31

Two very conspicuous means of diminishing the importance of this article are present. The first is the fact that the word "sympathy" appears in quotes in the headline. While this can easily been read as the headline quoting the text of the statement issued, it also attaches the possibility that the word "sympathy" will be read as insincere.

The other way the editor of the Times tries to influence the reader is by placing, directly underneath the statement made by the German Government, a statement made by the coroner's jury in Ireland who investigated the death of five passengers aboard the Lusitania. In his report, the coroner charges:

"the officers of said submarine and the Emperor and the Government of Germany, under whose orders they acted, with the crime of wholesale murder."32

The placement of this article almost forces the reader to read this very powerfully worded statement by a "jury."

The justification of the sinking cannot be forgotten, however. The "shocked yet satisfied" school is comprised of mostly Germans or German-Americans. The most prominent voice appearing in the New York Times is that of Dr. Bernhard Dernburg, former German Colonial Secretary and considered the Kaiser's official spokesperson in the United States. The arguments made by Dr. Dernburg are the basic arguments made by any source of German sympathy. Among his arguments is that Germany engaged in submarine warfare only as a last resort to alleviate the Britain's blockade of food products entering Germany. Dernburg is quick to point out that the German Government offered to cease the use of submarines if Britain agreed to cease their blockade. They did not and, thus, the Germans had no choice but to use submarines as mechanisms of war.

Dr. Dernburg also states that the Cunard line did not warn American passengers that the ship carried ammunition.

"If that warning was not given, American passengers were being used as a cloak for England's war shipments."33

This makes the strong point that the British are responsible for the loss of American lives, a point also made by the German Government in their official statement to the US Department of State.

"British merchant vessels are being generally armed with guns and have repeatedly tried to ram submarines so that a previous search was impossible. If England, after repeated official and unofficial warnings, considered herself able to declare that a boat ran no risk and thus light-heartedly assumed responsibility for the human life on board a steamer which, owing to its armament and cargo was liable to destruction, the German Government, in spite of its heartfelt sympathy for the loss of American lives, cannot but regret that Americans felt more inclined to trust English promises rather than to pay attention to the warnings from the German side."34

The German press, on the other hand, is portrayed as less than official. Any article reprinted from a German newspaper is one that boasts about the great success exhibited by the sinking and portrays the English as foolish for entering a war with a superior Germany. One article calls the sinking:

"an extraordinary success. Its destruction demolished the last fable with which the people of England consoled themselves: on which hostile shipping relied when it dared to defy the German warnings. We do not need to seek grounds to justify the destruction of a British ship. She belonged to the enemy and brought us harm. She has fallen to our shots."35

Another article quotes the Cologne Gazette as:

"deprecating the drowning of non-combatants, and saying further: `This weapon of ours may hit the enemy as terribly and as painfully as the 42-centimeter guns... The English, of course, will make a terrible cry about this so-called barbarous method of warfare by Germans, but will say nothing about the great quantity of war material for England and her allies which was on board the Lusitania.'"

This portrayal of the "shocked yet satisfied" school intends to subvert the arguments made. By printing the sensationalistic journalism that appears in German papers just after logical arguments made by German intellectuals and officials, the New York Times displays an anti-German agenda and further attempts to sway the public towards the "shocked and outraged" means of thinking.

Blaming the Germans

The German articles presented also have a whining tone to them. Almost all of them lay responsibility on the British. Coming from the Germans this makes sense if you consider that they may not have wanted the United States to enter the war, despite arguments made that the sinking of the Lusitania was an attempt to intimidate the United States and other neutral powers into the war.37 Germany was not the only group to blame Britain for the Lusitania disaster. The British themselves had a tendency to assign blame to their government. Lord Charles Beresford said he "thought the sinking was due to a shortage of cruisers to protect the trade routes."38 The Captain of the ship even participated in assigning responsibility to the British Admiralty.

"The Admiralty never trouble to send out to meet the Lusitania. They only look after the ships that are bringing the big guns over."39

It would seem, according to the articles printed in the Times, that Americans were helpless victims no matter how you look at the situation. They were either improperly warned by British officials, or had the misfortune of being on a British ship sunk by submarines deployed in response to British brutality. Never were Americans portrayed as responsible for not heeding German warnings and boarding a ship flying the flag of a belligerent nation.

Conclusion

On May 11, 1915, the President Wilson's official response was published in the Times:

"America must have the consciousness that on all sides it touches elbows and touches heart with all the nations of mankind. The example of America must be a special example, and must be an example not merely of peace, because it will not fight, but because peace is a healing and elevating influence of the world and strife is not. There is such a thing as a man being too proud to fight. There is such a thing as a nation being so right that it does not need to convince the others by force that it is right."40

The statement represents the end of a period of time in which questions, doubts, fears reigned free in America. There is no doubt that the swell of opinion sparked by the sinking of the Lusitania continued with President Wilson's remarks but the fact that America was not to enter the war marked a significant turning point in the styles of opinion expressed. After Wilson's declaration of the United States' intent and the initial shock of the sinking had subsided, the voice of opinion had a new rallying cry. "No need to fight if right," became such a powerful statement, that the United States avoided entering the European War for another two years.

Despite the maintenance of neutrality, the Lusitania incident marked the turning point in American public opinion. Opinion was no longer neutral. Whatever justification made for America to remain neutral militarily, there was little attempt to justify the Germans as civilized in their techniques of war. Rather than protect the ideals of German culture and scholarship, Americans were now aligned with the Allies and their quest to protect the balance of power in Europe... according to the New York Times.

1. Davis, Elmer, History of the New York Times: 1851-1921. New York Times (New York 1921) pg. 335-336.
2. ibid.
3. New York Times, "Wilson Shocked at Torpedo Blow" May 8, 1915 pg. 2
4. New York Times, "Sails Undisturbed by German Warnings," May 2, 1915 pg. 1
5. New York Times, "Some Dead Taken Ashore," May 8, 1915 pg. 1
6. New York Times, "Hit by Three Torpedoes," May 9, 1915 pg. 1
7. Davis, Elmer, History of the New York Times: 1851-1921. New York Times (New York 1921) pg. 352.
8. New York Times, "America and the Issues of European War," October 2, 1914, pg. 10
9. ibid.
10. http://www.census.gov/population/www/censusdata/pop-hc.html
11. New York Times, "Canadian Press Asks United States to Act." May 9, 1915 pg. 2
12. ibid.
13. ibid.
14. New York Times, "Americans in London Are Deeply Stirred." May 8, 1915 pg. 1
15. New York Times, "War by Assassination" May 8, 1915 pg. 14
16. New York Times, "United States Must Act at Once on Lusitania, Says Colonel Roosevelt." May 10, 1915
17. New York Times, "Loss of the Lusitania Fills London With Horror and Utter Amazement." May 8, 1915 pg. 1
18. New York Times, "Some Dead Taken Ashore" May 8, 1915 pg. 1
19. New York Times, "Loss of the Lusitania Fills London With Horror and Utter Amazement." May 8, 1915 pg. 1
20. New York Times, "Liverpool Moves to Prevent Riots." May 11, 1915 pg. 2
21. New York Times, "Bulletins Stir up War Sympathizers." May 8, 1915 pg. 2
22. New York Times, "Bryan Starts Inquiry" May 9, 1915 Pg. 1
23. New York Times, "Lawmakers Urge Nation To Be Cool."
24. New York Times, "Bryan Starts Inquiry," May 9 1915 pg. 1
25. New York Times, "Lusitania's End Arouses Pastors." May 10, 1915 pg. 4
26. ibid.
27. ibid.
28. New York Times, "Upheld in German Pulpits," May 10, 1915 pg. 4
29. New York Times, "Says Germany Got Tip on Contraband" May 11, 1915 pg. 7
30. New York Times, "Defends Germany For Retaliating," May 11, 1915 pg. 6
31. New York Times, "Germany Sends Regret, and `Sympathy' But Says, the Blame Rests With England," May 11, 1915 pg. 1
32. New York Times, "Kaiser and His Officers Guilty of Murder, Says Inquest Report On Loss of the Lusitania," May 11, 1915 pg. 1
33. New York Times, "Sinking Justified, Says Dr. Dernburg," May 9, 1915 pg. 4
34. New York Times, "Germany Sends Regret, and `Sympathy' But Says, the Blame Rests With England," May 11, 1915 pg. 1
35. New York Times, "Calls Sinking A Naval Duty" May 10, 1915 pg. 1
36. New York Times, "Berlin Hails New Triumph," may 9, 1915 pg. 4
37. New York Times, "Bryan Starts Inquiry," May 9, 1915 pg. 1
38. New York Times, "Beresford Blames A Lack of Cruisers" May 8, 1915 pg. 1
39. New York Times, "Liner Unprotected, Captain Complained" May 8, 1915 pg. 3
40. New York Times, "No Need to Fight, If Right," May 11, 1915 pg. 1

http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1341485
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BerichtGeplaatst: 09 Apr 2007 9:34    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Kent iemand de hier aangehaalde bron?

Quote:
The Lusitania's cargo, according to Howard Zinn contained the following:

1,248 cases of 3-inch shells
4,927 boxes of cartridges (1000 rounds per box)
2,000 cases of small-arms ammunition.

...hardly an innocent cargo.

http://blog.pennlive.com/americanhistory101/2007/04/too_proud_to_fight_us_involvem.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 09 Sep 2007 17:25    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Hadden we deze pagina al ergens?

NTRODUCTION

Over the years there have been numerous debates about whether the Cunard liner Lusitania was camouflaged when she left New York for her last voyage on May 1, 1915. Some historians have stated with a dismissive wave of the hand that, of course, her funnels were obviously this color or that without then offering any substantial proof or hard evidence to support their claims. It is as though they were somehow able to see into the distant past and speak with an absolute certainty.

Ken Marschall’s startlingly realistic paintings of the Lusitania sinking have again raised this unanswered question, and many people have requested information about how Ken decided which camouflage colors to paint the ship. Because of this, Lusitania historian Eric Sauder examines the available evidence and attempts to answer the question once and for all.

***

Lees verder:


http://lusitania.marconigraph.com/mfa_funnel.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Sep 2007 8:48    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The Lusitania Disaster

On May 7, 1915, the German submarine (U-boat) U-20 torpedoed and sank the Lusitania, a swift-moving British cruise liner traveling from New York to Liverpool, England. Of the 1,959 men, women, and children on board, 1,195 perished, including 123 Americans. A headline in the New York Times the following day—"Divergent Views of the Sinking of The Lusitania"—sums up the initial public response to the disaster. Some saw it as a blatant act of evil and transgression against the conventions of war. Others understood that Germany previously had unambiguously alerted all neutral passengers of Atlantic vessels to the potential for submarine attacks on British ships and that Germany considered the Lusitania a British, and therefore an "enemy ship."

The sinking of the Lusitania was not the single largest factor contributing to the entrance of the United States into the war two years later, but it certainly solidified the public's opinions towards Germany. President Woodrow Wilson, who guided the U.S. through its isolationist foreign policy, held his position of neutrality for almost two more years. Many, though, consider the sinking a turning point—technologically, ideologically, and strategically—in the history of modern warfare, signaling the end of the "gentlemanly" war practices of the nineteenth century and the beginning of a more ominous and vicious era of total warfare.

Throughout the war, the first few pages of the Sunday New York Times rotogravure section were filled with photographs from the battlefront, training camps, and war effort at home. In the weeks following May 7, many photos of victims of the disaster were run, including a two-page spread in the May 16 edition entitled: "Prominent Americans Who Lost Their Lives on the S. S. Lusitania." Another two-page spread in the May 30 edition carried the banner: "Burying The Lusitania's Dead—And Succoring Her Survivors." The images on these spreads reflect a panorama of responses to the disaster—sorrow, heroism, ambivalence, consolation, and anger.

Remarkably, this event dominated the headlines for only about a week before being overtaken by a newer story. Functioning more as a "week in review" section than as a "breaking news" outlet, the rotogravure section illustrates a snapshot of world events—the sinking of the Lusitania shared page space with photographs of soldiers fighting along the Russian frontier, breadlines forming in Berlin, and various European leaders

foto's en ©
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/rotogravures/rotolusit.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 02 Jan 2009 8:56    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Secrets Of The Lusitania Revealed

US (ChattahBox) – It May 7, 1915, a quiet day that became one of the most important for the US in World War I. The Lusitania, a passenger ship carrying nearly 1,200 people, 128 of which were American citizens, was sailing along the coast of Ireland, when a German torpedo was launched into her side.

A second explosion from somewhere within the ship’s bowels rocked the giant ocean liner as passengers scrambled into lifeboats, trying to evacuate the Lusitania. But in less then 20 minutes she had been taken under, and with her so had 1,119 of the people who had occupied her decks.

It was the move that was needed for the US to join the British in their battle against the German’s, and it propelled us into World War I with the ferocity of those who had been wronged by a senseless act. But divers may have a little more to add to the story.

According to divers who have been collecting the remains, the German’s may have been right to assume the Lusitania was holding more then just people. Nearly half of the hidden cargo on board is said to have been of secret munitions that were being transported to the UK, in an attempt to aid the British in their war effort.

While it doesn’t change the tragedy of the event, or the outrage of the deaths of so long ago, it does put a certain spin on history, and certainly a new look into the propaganda that followed in an effort to stir American hatred against the Germans.

So far, four million rounds of .303s were found on board, and Gregg Bemis, the American businessman who owns the rights to the remains and is holding the excavation, thinks it’s unlikely that that will be all that’s found.

‘I’ve always felt there were some significant high explosives in the holds - shells, powder, gun cotton - that were set off by the torpedo and the inflow of water. That’s what sank the ship.’

© http://chattahbox.com/us/2008/12/21/secrets-of-the-lusitania-revealed/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 08 Jul 2009 5:20    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Als de Lusitania door Churchill en co aan de Duitsers is aangeboden om de VSA in de oorlog te betrekken is deze opzet mislukt. Het duurde immers nog twee jaar voordat dat land mee ging doen.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Jan 2010 13:42    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Ik meen dat we deze nog niet hebben:

Captain Turner's Fatal Decision
May 7, 1915, approx 1.40pm

The fog had finally burned off, and Captain Turner of the RMS Lusitania found himself in the unenviable position of not knowing precisely where he was. He had an idea, but he needed a more accurate assessment. Over the last twenty-four hours he had received numerous reports of U-Boat activity in the area, and he was certain they would lay in wait for his ship outside the port of Queenstown, where he had been diverted due to the U-Boat activity. He wanted a clean run into port. Any delay could make him a target.

He ordered the ship to be slowed down, and set on a straight course along the Irish coast Near Old Head of Kinsale, so that he could do an accurate 4-point bearing.

In doing so he sealed the fate of his ship...

Dit en nog veel meer leeswerk en beeldmateriaal:
http://hubpages.com/hub/World-War-1-The-Sinking-of-Lusitania
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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Jan 2010 19:31    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Quote:
Als de Lusitania door Churchill en co aan de Duitsers is aangeboden om de VSA in de oorlog te betrekken is deze opzet mislukt. Het duurde immers nog twee jaar voordat dat land mee ging doen.


De VS waren dan ook totaal niet in staat om in 1915 iets substantieels bij te dragen aangezien ze in die periode op alle fronten te zwak waren bewapend. De ondergang van de Lusitania heeft in de VS een discussie aan gang gezwengeld die de relatieve zwakheid van de VS blootlegde, waarna vrij snel een herbewapeningsslag op gang kwam.

Een van de drijvende krachten achter die discussie was Hudson Maxim, die een bestseller schreef met de veelzeggende titel 'Defenseless America'. Maxim verloor enkele goede vrienden die aan boord van de Lusitania waren ten tijde van de torpedering en hij hield een aardige donderspeech tijdens een herdenkingsbijeenkomst ter ere van dit echtpaar (Elbert en Alice Hubbard).
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