Talk:Sinking of the RMS Lusitania

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Opening Paragraph[edit]

Should the line "The ship was identified and shot by torpedoes by the German U-boat U-20 and sank in 20 minutes." not be changed to reflect the almost universally accepted opinion that only one torpedo was actually fired? --JackStonePGD (talk) 21:30, 23 February 2013 (GMT)

I just changed this line to "The ship was identified and torpedoed by the German U-boat U-20 and sank in 20 minutes." JackStonePGD (talk) 02:05, 7 March 2013 (UTC)


Just watched this docudrama on The Military Channel. Governments will always use its people as human shields and pawns to protect and enrichen its plutocratic rulers. I pray our universe was kind to the souls who went down with the Lusitania. Both the people on the Lusitania itself and the German soldiers who helplessly stained their souls by being forced into perpetrating this disaster of humanity. A perfect example of how nobody wins a war. --XB70Valyrie (talk) 22:47, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Lusitania Manifest[edit]

Surely the manifest of the Lusitania should get a more rigorous examination? To cite the 1915 words of Herman Winter of the Cunard Line on the subject surely does not get us to the truth very far or fast. It appears to me that the findings of Colin Simpson's book The Lusitania (1973) should also be cited in this context. Simpson found an original of the Lusitania manifest in the papers of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt library. Roosevelt was the assistant secretary of the Navy at the time, and it makes a great deal of sense to cite Simpson as a counterweight to Winter on this issue. Winter was surely not a disinterested observer but represented the interests of the Cunard Line. You can find a review of Colin Simpson's book in the Modern Age Dec. 1973, p. 424+ which will help to bring you up to speed. You can find the article here: --Menckenire (talk) 01:56, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Conspiracy theories[edit]

This article has Template:Conspiracy theories at the bottom, but there is nothing in the article about the Lusitania conspiracy theories. RMS Lusitania#Conspiracies has several, however, offered without comment or analysis. That seems a bit inconsistent. StAnselm (talk) 06:47, 22 September 2013 (UTC)

Sank due to the single torpedo - only ? Never ![edit]

The U20 did fire one torpedo, its second last (which made a return journey necessary, the regulations stipulated that one torpedo must be kept for the home journey). The crew and captain of U20 had no intention of sinking the ship (despite of what the German war time propaganda may have written at the time) - the single torpedo wouldn't be enough to sink such a large vessel. But a huge explosion was heard a few seconds after the impact of the torpedo. US customs papers shows that Britain (without the captain's knowlidge) in secret transported tons of ammunition. This made Lusitania a legal target, but much more important - without the ammuniotion as cargo , Lusitania wouldn't have sunk at all. This has been proved even by a BBC documentary. The BBC also made a (very good) film about this sad event, starring John Hannah. Yet this article lead still 100 years afterwards sounds like war time propaganda. Later, the British admirality attempted to blame the surviving captain (who was a good swimmer). Luckelly for him, the sea court had a very thourogh and fairminded judge. I think the lead needs a modern update. Boeing720 (talk) 01:55, 24 November 2013 (UTC)

I am going to revert your change, pending discussion, because it is unsuitable as it stands. The lead is there to summarise what is elsewhere in the article, not to introduce new material. Also, for potentially contentious information, you need careful referencing, not just a general reference to a TV documentary and a comment about a docu-drama. I don't know anything at all about the circumstances of the sinking and I am not agreeing with or disagreeing with the information you have added. Thincat (talk) 18:35, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
I can appriciate the centance "The lead is there to summarise what is elsewhere in the article, not to introduce new material." - but to me, this proves that a modernisation of other parts of this semi long article also is needed. Reguarding sources - the BBC must be concidered thrusworthy reguarding this matter, or do You not support that idea Yourself ? No other television network are so trusted anywhere in the world. It'a a non commercial network with outstanding rumour already as radio corporation. Sinking of the Lusitania: Terror at Sea (or as labeled at f.i. Danish DR Lusitania: Murder on the Atlantic). The Wikipedia article doesn't cover much of the film. And it was fictional - whith only a starting and finishing comment by John Hannah. But the casting credits reveals that the film was made due to the previuos BBC TV-documentary. I do trust modern day BBC-documentaries. Would it help if I can find out more about the "pure" documentary ? Year (1-2 years before the film), director, executive producer and possible narrator etc ? I also curious what You think about a single 1914-torpedo that in 20 minutes sinks a 300 meter long ship with lots of water tight "walls" (sorry for not knowing even my native language's word for "wall on ships"). Compared with Titanic, which got 7 or 8 water tights "walls" damaged. A single topedo can only affect a maximun of two. Yet the gigantic vessel sunk around 5-6 times faster than what Titanic did. Doesn't that raise any questions (ment as a humble question) ? To me it does. /best reg Boeing720 (talk) 03:58, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

Position - 18 minutes ?[edit]

The following centance contains an error "Lusitania sank in only 18 minutes, 11.5 miles (19 km).." What's ment by 18 minutes ? Longitude time-minutes ? If so the distance between each longitude and time-minute decreases in length towards the poles. Only at the equatior does a longitude time-minute eaquals a nautical mile. If "11.5 miles" is 11.5 nautical miles this equals 21.3 km. If by 11.5 miles is ment UK (land) miles then this equal 18.5 km (and 10.0 nm). If 18 minutes is ment "time minutes" - then You have to know at wich latitude. If its ment as "distance minutes" wcich are the same as nautical miles, nm, then problem still exist. 18 nm = 33.3 km or 20.7 UK mile.

I do not know myself which number that is correct. But here's a small convertion table

  • 1 nm = 1.852 km = 1.152 UK mile
  • 1 UK mile = 1.608 km = 0.868 nm
  • 1 km = 0.622 UK mile = 0.540 nm
  • (1 time minute is moving 270 deg West or 90 degr. East until local noon has changed 1 minute. That's a lot shorter at 80th latitude compared with at the equator, or latitude 0. I strongly recomend not using it for distances - but for east-western positions only, longitudes)

For any distances at sea or in the air, I recommend the use of nautical miles, nm. And knots for speed. 1 knot = 1 nm/h. On land both mile/km ought to be used. And somebody - please find out correct distance from the Irish shores to where the vessel sank. Boeing720 (talk) 05:14, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

POV wording with regard to international law.[edit]

The following sentence seems to betray a strongly pro-German POV:

'The "Prize rules" or "Cruiser rules", laid down by the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, governed the seizure of vessels at sea during wartime, although changes in technology such as radio and the submarine eventually made parts of them irrelevant.'

No country, except Germany, seemed to have a problem abiding by the prize rules and these rules were in effect as a part of treaty law between belligerents throughout the great war. Technologies and radio hardly rendered these parts of the Hague Convention irrelevant, they were quite relevant and this is demonstrated by the fact that their violation was largely responsible for the US joining the allies as an associated power in 1917. As an aside, the 1856 Declaration of Paris should probably also be included as part of the relevant treaties regulating prize rules. 2602:306:B8C7:11E0:9872:E19D:6FAF:D4ED (talk) 05:23, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

The British violated the Cruiser Rules first in World War I. ( (talk) 16:27, 21 May 2016 (UTC))

According to Bailey and Ryan, Lusitania was travelling without any flag and its name painted over with darkish dye[edit]

Seems to be wrong, see The ship's name is clearly seen on the bow, Time Index 5:03 - 5:15. I suspect that older versions of this film have been exposed during copying, so the ship's name was not there to see.--RöntgenTechniker (talk) 23:11, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

Navigational significance of Old Head of Kinsale[edit]

My understanding is that a German submarine was loitering in the area off Old Head of Kinsale because this was an important navigational point where a ship could definitively fix her position on approaching land after an Atlantic crossing. This might be a point lost to those who navigate by satellite rather than by sextant. The captain of the Lusitania was possibly unwise to close the Irish coastline at such a predictable point, but the alternative was to risk making a navigational error that would also imperil the ship.

I don't have any good sources to rely on as references to include the above (and it probably needs explaining a bit better) - but I presume that such sources are out there and may already be available to contributors to this article.

ThoughtIdRetired (talk) 23:18, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

The Wanderer rescue[edit]

Why is there no mention here of the rescue by the fishing boat The Wanderer: [1]? Martinevans123 (talk) 21:45, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

"Dan O'Connell" and "The Elizabeth" rescues[edit]

This text was recently added to the "100th anniversary" section of the main article:

"Captain James Hagan of the 'Dan O'Connell' and Captain Edward White of 'The Elizabeth'
Both boats of the Arklow fishing Fleet were operating at the Old Head of Kinsale at the time of the attack on the Lusitania, and moved swiftly to the rescue of the passengers. Both Captains and their crew were commended for their help and bravery and rewarded by the Cunard Company with Certificates of Honor and £93.7s to share among their crews. Not only did these extraordinary fisherman rescue hundreds of survivors but they continued to go out over and over again to retrieve the bodies of the poor souls for burial in Cobh and the surrounding area. [source: The Irish Times, 9 December 1915, and The Sphere London, 1915."}

I have removed it from that article as it seemed more appropriate here. I'd suggest that this could possibly be added to this article, if the sources could be verified. Martinevans123 (talk) 16:46, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

I find it quite shocking that the only mention of these boats in the article seems to be as "Irish fishermen" in a single image caption. These men were heroes and were recognised as such. Martinevans123 (talk) 15:04, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

last voyage and sinking/ departure[edit]

Did Detective Inspector William Pierpoint survive? It is not clear. Terry Thorgaard (talk) 14:35, 7 May 2015 (UTC) Ah: this source,, indicates that he did survive. Terry Thorgaard (talk) 14:45, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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What about the British blockade?[edit]

Germany maintained its submarine warfare was in direct response to the Royal Navy's blockade, which was illegal under international law. ( (talk) 14:37, 21 May 2016 (UTC))

Blockade addition[edit] Please stop adding the same unsourced content to this article[2] and to RMS Lusitania[3]. If the blockade is directly related to the sinking of the Lusitania, you should have no problem providing a reliable source to support your additions. Until then, it's inappropriate to continue reinserting unsourced material. I've explained the reasoning at Talk:RMS Lusitania#Blockade as well. PermStrump(talk) 17:39, 28 May 2016 (UTC)