RMS Lusitania sinking

RMS Lusitania

By Emily Retter and Sam Webb - Mirror

These fascinating images show the RMS Lusitania, which became a watery grave for nearly 1,200 innocents when it was torpedoed by a German sub in the First World War.

The disaster, 100 years ago this Thursday, came nine months into the conflict and fanned hatred of the Germans.

German submarine U20 had been patrolling British waters off the coast of Kinsale, County Cork, for hours. Commander Walther Schwieger could not believe his luck when the Lusitania sailed into view on the seventh day of its passage towards Liverpool from New York.

Without warning, he fired the torpedo on that sunny afternoon and 1,198 of the 1,959 passengers and crew on the liner were killed.

The images were taken using sonar images and will allow "new research and analysis", according to Joe McHugh, Ireland’s minister for natural resources.

Despite German threats in 1915 that passengers sailing the Atlantic were in danger, few Brits doubted the invincibility of Cunard’s greatest liner.

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wreck Lusitania WW I Ireland

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