Lusitania: 18 Minutes That Changed World War One

About the Show

On 7th May 1915 the passenger liner Lusitania was just off the coast of Ireland, nearing the end of its journey from New York to Liverpool, when it was torpedoed by a U-boat. The sinking was more dramatic than the Titanic - in just 18 minutes, the ship was gone. The 1,198 victims came from all over the world. Most of their bodies - men, women and children - washed up on the Irish coast. The political repercussions were massive. U-boat captain Walter Schwieger went from national hero to the most hated man in the world. France and Britain used the sinking, and the fact that 128 Americans died, to pull the US into the war. As a result, the Lusitania has always been told as a 'big American history story', and both the human detail and the international importance have been lost. Now, as a result of new research, we can tell the human story of that desperate 18 minutes for the first time. And how the race for survival aboard the Lusitania impacted on the lives of millions world-wide.