A first-hand account of the Lusitania’s doomed final voyage.
On May 7, 1915, the German U-boat U-20 fired a torpedo into the side of the passenger liner RMS Lusitania as it passed the Old Head of Kinsale in Ireland on its way to Liverpool, England. This act of war had a terrible toll—of the 1,962 passengers and crew, 1,191 lost their lives, many of them women and children.
One of the passengers on the ship was Charles E. Lauriat, Jr., a rare book dealer who travelled regularly to London for business. When the German embassy placed a warning in New York papers warning that any ships of Great Britain and her allies would be considered fair targets, Lauriat, along with most of others, dismissed the notion that a civilian liner would actually be attacked.
Lauriat’s memoir of the journey recreates the torpedo attack—describing the listing ship as it filled with water and people scrambled for lifeboats, too often finding them inaccessible or unusable—and details the rescue that came too late for most of his fellow passengers. Lauriat then points out the many faults of the official inquiry, telling the true story of that tragic day.
With a new foreword and photos of the ship, The Lusitania’s Last Voyage is a gripping account of one of history’s greatest naval disasters.
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