Sinking of the RMS Lusitania
The loss of the British ocean liner RMS Lusitania on May 7, 1915, was a turning point in World War I’s history. Off the coast of Ireland, a German submarine torpedoed the ship as it sailed from New York to Liverpool.
A total of 1,198 people, including 128 Americans, were killed in the attack. Tensions between the United States and Germany escalated after the incident, leading to more anti-German sentiment and ultimately the United States’ entry into the war in 1917.
The Lusitania disaster demonstrated how war was evolving, with civilian ships becoming targets in what were once considered no-fire zones. Public fury was stoked by the catastrophe, and it helped shape attitudes toward Germany. The sinking of the Lusitania was just one of many interconnected events that ultimately led to the United States joining the war.