In 1915 the world was at war and the Lusitania was the last word in luxury liners. The fastest passenger ship to cross the Atlantic it would carry the rich and famous in opulent style, to their death!
The Royal Navy had officially classified the Lusitania as an Auxiliary Cruiser. In effect, a warship and a target for German U-Boats sinking allied ships under the brutal rules of ‘unrestricted submarine warfare’. Even more sinister and unknown to the passengers, cargo for the May 1915 voyage included thousands of tons of dangerous contraband.
After what seemed like a routine voyage Lusitania was attacked by U-20 off the coast of Ireland. A single torpedo sunk the giant ship in just 18 minutes taking over 1200 men, women and children down with it. The heartbreaking tragedy of the doomed passengers and crew, the bravery of many and cowardice of a few are all told here.
What followed? An official cover up that tried to blame the captain of the Lusitania, hide Admiralty incompetence, conceal the carrying of contraband and deny using passengers as human shields.
Both sides used the sinking as propaganda to bolster recruitment for the war effort and hatred of the enemy. Both sides blamed the other. It contributed to the USA entering the war in 1917.
Even today diving on the wreck of the Lusitania is discouraged by the British government. There have been many theories and myths surrounding the Lusitania Disaster. In this presentation we will weigh the evidence and you will be the judge!
Presenter – Kez Hasanic
Kez has had a lifelong interest in History and in particular military and naval history. Before retirement in 2018 he served 40 years as a History teacher at Kogarah High School. During that time, he taught a number of students who would win the NSW Premier’s Award for HSC History, was closely involved with the History Faculty at Sydney University for teacher training and was also involved in creating user scenarios for a number of historical military and naval computer simulations. Currently Kez is active as a volunteer guide at the Australian National Maritime Museum and recently joined the museum’s speaker’s group. In addition, he is a musician and motoring enthusiast.
Details: Date and Time: 11:00am, Wednesday 13th. April 2022 (Sydney time)
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Meeting ID: 861 2551 9557. Passcode: 252940
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