ocean warfare

The French battleship Mirabeau bombarding Athens during the November events (source). She transported men to Athens in reaction to Greece’s neutrality. After almost hitting the Royal Palace, King Constantine became willing to compromise. By 1917, the Mirabeau’s primary duty was to guard the Mediterranean from the German-Ottoman warship, the SMS Goeben before remaining in Murdos for the remainder of the Great War.

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Sam’s top 4 7 Anime of 2013

  1. Gatchaman Crowds
  2. Shingeki no dead friends Kyojin (Attack on titan)
  3. Aoki Hagane no arpeggio: Ars Nova (Arpeggio of Blue Steel)
  4. Oreimo 2 (My little sister can’t be this cute! 2)
  5. Suisei no Gargantia (Gargantia on the Verdurous planet)
  6. Kyokai no kanata (Beyond the boundary)
  7. Magi: Kingdom of Magic 

Opinions in the captions tbh

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The 100th Anniversary of the Sinking of the RMS Lusitania

From the file unit: In the Matter of the Petition of the Cunard Steamship Company, Limited, as Owner of the Steamship LUSITANIA for Limitation of its Liability. Series: Admiralty Case Files, 1790 - 1966.


The pride of the Cunard Line, the ocean liner RMS Lusitania left New York City with over 1,900 passengers and crew on its fateful final voyage 100 years ago on May 1, 1915.  

The Lusitania was a luxury ocean liner, advertised by the Cunard Line as one of the fastest in the world. The most expensive cabin on the Lusitania would cost nearly $47,000 today for a one way ticket. During its last voyage from New York to Liverpool the ship had a top speed of about 21 knots, as opposed to its usual 25 knots in an effort to conserve coal. 

Passengers were informed by a war clause on their tickets that a war was being fought by the United Kingdom. World War I had raged in Europe since the previous summer, and while the United States was still officially neutral, passenger ships leaving the US were thought to be carrying supplies to the British.

However, the war clause merely stated that arrival, departure, routes, and ports of call were subject to change, not that the Lusitania was a potential target for German U-boats. Besides that, most thought that the Lusitania was simply too fast for a German submarine to catch…

via National Archives Education on Facebook

Watch for more posts on the 100th Anniversary of the Sinking of the Lusitania.

RMS Lusitania Leaves New York City on its Fateful Last Voyage, May 1, 1915

One hundred years ago, in the midst of the First World War, the RMS Lusitania left New York for Liverpool, England with nearly 2000 passengers and crew members aboard. In the film below, passengers arrive in a flurry of a cabs and board the ship. Less than a week later, most of them were dead, victims of Germany’s escalating wartime tactics.

On May 7, 1915, just off the coast of Ireland, the ship crossed paths with a German U-boat and was struck by a torpedo. 1,191 passengers and crew would lose their lives. 128 were Americans, including writer Elbert Hubbard, who is seen in the featured film at 3:00. Many attribute the sinking of the Lusitania with increased hostility toward Germany in isolationist America. The United States entered World War I two years later.

For more on the Lusitania, see posts on our sister blog, Prologue, including a piece about the ship’s difficult-to-launch lifeboats that resulted in increased fatalities, and an interview with the Lusitania’s captain, William T. Turner, following the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.

via The Unwritten Record » Impending Disaster: Footage of the Lusitania’s Departure from New York

More on the 100th Anniversary of the Sinking of the Lusitania »  

Sketch Showing Lifeboats Stowed and Secured on Board the SS [RMS] Lusitania, 12/6/1917

From the series:  In the Matter of the Petition of the Cunard Steamship Company, Limited, as Owner of the Steamship LUSITANIA for Limitation of its Liability

Built in England, the RMS Lusitania was the pride of the Cunard Line’s fleet. Lusitania completed 201 Atlantic ocean crossings between her maiden voyage in September 1907 and May 1915, holding the record for the fastest time between 1907 and 1909.

The Lusitania left New York for the final time on May 1, 1915, under good weather, but that did not mean she was entering calm waters.

Although technically still neutral in 1915, the United States continued to conduct commerce with the Great Britain, a practice that put the Lusitania at risk. Fearing passenger boats would be used to ship war material, the German government approved unrestricted submarine warfare in February 1915.

After sighting her on May 7, 1915, off the coast of Ireland, the German submarine U-20 fired a single torpedo at the ship at 3:10 p.m. It was a direct hit.

A secondary explosion rocked the Lusitania shortly after the torpedo hit, only adding to the confusion on the ship. As passengers and crew scrambled to the lifeboats, survival took precedence over custom and law as those aboard discovered that many lifeboats were impossible to launch.

Survivor James Leary recalled that he reminded a crewmember that sailors were legally required to save passengers before abandoning ship. The crewman replied “passengers be damned: save yourself first.”

Eighteen minutes after being struck, the Lusitania lay beneath the waves. In total, 1,198 civilians perished, including 128 Americans, largely due to the Lusitania’s poorly designed lifeboat launch system.

A century later, historians question whether the U-20’s sinking of the Lusitania led the United States to enter World War I. Yet, they generally agree that it played a significant role in turning public opinion against Germany. Past blogs have explored this relationship, which can be found here and here.

Regardless of whether or not it was a contributing factor in sending our doughboys to France, the Lusitania is a notable chapter in the history of World War I and the United States more generally.

In recognition of the centennial of the sinking of the Lusitania, a sketch of the lifeboats will be on display in the East Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives in Washington, DC, from April 30 through June 3, 2015.

via Prologue: Pieces of History » On Exhibit: sketch of the RMS Lusitania’s lifeboat storage mechanism

More on the 100th Anniversary of the Sinking of the Lusitania »