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The wreck of the "Lusitania"
About the luxurious torpedeado transatlantic war conspiracy theoryTorpedo!... Torpedo to starboard!» That was the terrified cry that launched the Watcher of the British liner Lusitania, which placed the waters at high speed, the height of the southern coast of Ireland, on May 7, 1915. But there was no time to correct the course, to try to avoid the action of the projectile, which slammed into its target.
Twenty miles away, in the Old Head Kinsale, a tip that love the sea, to the South of Cork, a crowd admired the passage of the giant ocean liner built for the Cunard Steam Ship Co. Those who had binoculars were perplexed to see as began to raise the boat a weak pillar of smoke. A man controlled the clock: were the 2:11 in the afternoon. Eighteen minutes later, the Lusitania had sunk beneath the waves sweeping with 1198 people, 124 of which were American.
The last data ended up changing the course of history, because the death American passengers led to the intervention of United States America in world war I and thus ensured the victory of the allies.
The sinking of the Lusitania was not only one of the key events in the Kurdish the bloodiest war the world had known until then, also confronted historians with a mystery that until today not yet determined Ido. The mystery can be described in few questions: did was the ¡(tonto un barco de pasajeros o era un buque de guerra)!? is it true that it was carrying weapons? was the sacrificial transatlantic attempt, in order to intervene in the war to force United States of America?
The Lusitania was designed with the goal of winning the Blue Ribbon, a status reserved for the boat that crossed the Atlantic in less time; two German Maritime lines had handed out the annual trophy since 1897. The construction of the liner was subsidized by the British Admiralty through secret agreements with the Cunard, which were not revealed until a long time later. The ship was 203 feet long; He was able to carry, with luxury, 2300 passengers and 900 crew sailing at 25 knots and was gunship with twelve 6-inch guns.
The last voyage of the ocean liner from New York to Liverpool, began in May 1915. The Germans warned passengers intending to travel on the Lusitania to desist from his purpose and cancel their reservation underlined that all passenger ship belonging to a country enemy that entered waters of the war zone outlined to be attacked. Be warned neutral Governments that should not allow that their 'crew, passengers or goods' used those boats.
The German Embassy in Washington was even published in American newspapers ads that warned: "to travelers who intend to embark on a journey across the Atlantic, are reminded there State of war between Germany and Britain, and the British-flag ships can be destroyed. Passengers travelling by the war zone in bu Soc of Great Britain or its allies, will do so at their own risk»
Nevertheless, 188 Americans booked tickets aboard the Lusitania in which "innocent» statement of charge not included more than 4,000 boxes of ammunition carrying, aimed to contribute to the war effort of the allies.
While the transatlantic was moving away from New York, many people, across the Atlantic, feared for the fate of the Lusitania.
Winston Churchill by then first lord of the Admiralty, organized a meeting attended by lord Fisher, Chief of the Navy, and several experts in naval intelligence; These had been commissioned to prepare a report on the likely consequences of the sinking of a cruise ship with American passengers on board. «Almost at the same time, the United States Ambassador gives America in London asked, in a letter to his son, which dances ' < Uncle 5 am if a full American passenger cruise ship was blown to bits». For his part, King Jorge V granted an audience to the Edward House, Special Envoy of President Woodrow Wilson cornijal; during the interview, he says, the King asked Colonel this question: what would Amen' if the Germans sank the Lusitania?
All the elements were unprepared for the disaster. On 7 may, to the Lusitania it approached the Irish coast; the captain, Commander Willliam Turner, nicknamed Bowler Bill, (Bill, the Launcher), had only received a warning of the danger that had front: it was a radio-signed message by to Vice-Admiral sir Henry Coke - whose headquarters was located at Queenstown, Cork-that read: «Submarines in activity at the height of the southern coast of Ireland.»
One of these submarines was the U20, and was under the command of the Commander, Schwieger; the U20, who had been at sea since the previous 30 and traveled back to its base in Wilhelmshaven was the first to spot the boat. But at the beginning Schwieger did not recognize the transatlantic; could only describe it as "a forest of masts and chimneys»: by then, Lusitania was the most impressive of the banks in the world."
As it approached the end of Kinsale, the ship changed course "now headed straight toward us - tell Schwieger-; «could not have chosen a course more perfect if it had been deliberately, of offer a target.»
When the boat was approached only 365 meters, Captain Schwieger ordered to torpedo to be fired. It made white in the boat on starboard beneath the bridge. Water entered with a too strong pressure and could be contained by the 119 watertight compartments that do, the bow faded under a calm sea, the boat began to tilt towards starboard.!
When the bow hit the bottom of the sea, 96 meters deep, it was a while in the air, with its huge propellers pointing towards the sky.
Then, the immense hull of the liner slipped, spewing smoke and bubbles at the bottom of the sea. The surface Navy is populated by soon with pathetic figures; the Lusitania was well equipped with life-saving, but there was no time to use them. 1198 Who perished, 785 were passengers, and of these 125 were children, a pregnant woman, who gave birth during the journey, perished along with his small son.
Since then, it has developed a rigorous controversy among historians. It is a question of German silos were right in judging the Lusitania as a legitimate target for war; also attempts to clarify if the transatlantic was armed and whether it was transporting a military cargo. But the more troubling question is this: did the British Government to the Lusitania send u to gauntlet, through waters infested with German submarines, with the aim of forcing the Americans to enter the war?
The mysteries surrounding the sinking of the Lusitania has been exhaustive mind examined by historians, in particular by the writer Colin Simpson, whose book on the subject proposed many and controversial conclusions about the tragedy of the Lusitania.
The first one indicates that the ship was armed with at least twelve 6-inch cannons and carrying a rich cargo of ammunition and explosives. Simpson realized that the Lusitania was subjected, in a dry dock in Liverpool, in 1913, to modifications that trained him to be equipped with artillery heavy if necessary. Thus the transatlantic was in reality transformed into auxiliary war cruiser. The author argues that one of the boilers of the ship was converted into a reservoir of cartridges, equipped with hoists which could lift the projectiles up to cover.
More questionable is the second assertion of Simpson, according to which the British Admiralty (and this directly blames Churchill) withdrew the destroyers escort that protected the Lusitania, while is wise German submarines to interceptarían route.
The truth is that Captain Turner received never information that the warships guarding ship had been diverted and sent to another destination.
The own Turner, who survived the sinking, said during the rest of his life he had received a message in naval code, with the order of changing the direction of the ship and direct it towards the point where the German submarine was waiting for her.
During the years he spent researching, Simpson exhumed documents hitherto unpublished, from the national archives you Washington, the Admiralty and Cunard shipping company. These documents led him to believe, just like other historians, that after the British and North American disaster they agreed to lie about the case a thick veil Cloaker. Today it is stated that the Declaration of cargo of the ship was falsified; In addition, in the official parts of Henry Coke, both as to the signs of the Admiralty registry, missing entries for the May 7: unique lost pages of official documents throughout the period of the guerra.de are the great mysteries that has stumped researchers is a that the Lusitania sank so quickly.
Torpedo shoot submarine German was the G-type, whose power of destruction and penetration is only moderate. However, this single torpedo sank an or transatlantic in only 18 minutes: this fact has not been explained. He says that the transatlantic was a dangerous design defects in its structure. Engines and machinery were occupied too much space, for the art of the coal carrying ship had to be stored in armaments that had not been designed for that purpose.
They were mechanics who chose to store carbon, the special watertight compartments, an element intended to increase the safety of the boat, compartments or chambers of air, which should have kept the I rilo afloat, they were, for the tragic journey, loaded with coal until it stops.
But there is another reason, more sinister, which would explain the rapid sinking of the ship. The divers who descended to the bottom of sea to check the sunken transatlantic, reported that you one of the sides and the bottom of the o had been destroyed by an explosion produced in the interior of the ship.
This explosion would have been much more powerful than that caused a torpedo of type G. What could cause an explosion of this nature is what continues to be a mystery.
A plausible explanation would be that, in the cellars of the Lusitania, despite what ensured the official declaration of cargo, not only was stored butter and cheese, brass plates and canned meat. There were 4000 boxes ammunition which, as he admitted later, traveled clandestinely to or? Was the Lusitania in reality a transport war material, which camouflaged his true nature behind 1198 innocent people and lives to sacrifice?