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THE “LUSITANIA” GOING DOWN AFTER SHE HAD BEEN TORPEDOED BY A GERMAN SUBMARINE: WILFUL AND .WHOLESALE MURDER COMMITTED BY “THE OFFICERS OF THE SUBMARINE AND THE GERMAN EMPEROR AND GOVERNMENT OF GERMANY.”
On the eve of the ” Lusitania ” sailing from New York, on May 1sr, the German Embassy at Washington promulgated a Berlin Government notification that a submarine attack on the great liner was planned, and warned off intending American voyagers by her. Not conceiving that any civilised nation could really contemplate so unspeakable a crime, the notice was treated by the passengers as incredible and mere bluff, and the ” Lusitania ” sailed with 90o6 people on board, 1255 being passengers. She crossed at z2 knots, and at two on the afternoon of May 7 was nearing the Old Head of Kinsale, on the South-West of Ireland. Information was received by “wireless ” that enemy submarines were off the Irish coast, together with special Admiralty instructions which Captain Turner stated at the Queenstown inquest he did his best to follow. The boats had been previously slung out and the ship slowed down to 15 knots, partly owing to fog early, and also so as to reach the Mersey on the tide and avoid delaying for a
pilot. The look-outs were doubled and a sharp watch kept for submarines. No submarines were seen, stated Captain Turner ; not a sign of any. He was on the bridge, when at a quarter-past two he heard somebody call : ” There ‘s a torpedo i ” Immediately after it struck, the ship heeled over and began to sink, foundering in eighteen minutes. The watertight compartments were closed, but, as stated at the inquest, the explosion and inrush of water burst them in. There was no panic, and officers and crew did everything possible for the women and children. The heeling-over rendered the starboard boats useless. The verdict of the coroner’s jury was in these unparalleled terms : ” This appalling crime was contrary to international law and the conventions of all civilised nations, and we therefore charge the officers of the submarine and the German Emperor and Government of Germany, under whose orders they acted, with the crime of wilful and wholesale murder.”–[Drau,,g Copysrig.ted in the Untlc St,.:c, cl,. l..]
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