On this day 98 years ago, the German U-Boat; U-20, torpedoed and sunk the SS Lusitania.
On the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, she was commandeered by the Admiralty as an armed merchant cruiser, but proved unsuitable in this role, and was allowed to resume passenger services on condition that she carried government cargoes. When she left New York for Liverpool on what would be her final voyage on 1 May 1915, submarine warfare was intensifying in the Atlantic. Germany had declared the seas around the United Kingdom to be a war-zone, and Germans in America had been specifically warned by their embassy not to sail in the Lusitania. On the afternoon of May 7, the Lusitania was torpedoed by a German U-Boat, 11 miles off the southern coast of Ireland and inside the declared “zone of war”. A second internal explosion sent her to the bottom in 18 minutes, claiming the lives of 1198 people.