The destruction and sinking of the RMS Lusitania off the coast of Ireland in 1915 was one of the early losses just prior to World War I. It is known now that submarines, called U-boats belonging to the nation of Germany sank the Cunard class ocean going luxury liner near the coast of Ireland in the year 1915.
One of the surprising items about the event was the sheer speed that the vessel went down. It slipped beneath the waves in a little under 20 minutes, from the first damage of the vessel to when it finally submerged took a little over 18 minutes from start to finish.
There were 1,200 passengers and crew members on board that perished from the attack. The RMS Lusitania was a luxury ocean liner owned by the British Cunard Steamship Company, and it was constructed in Scotland, finished in 1906.
It has been in service a little less than 10 years when it was torpedoed by a German U-boat on the night of May 7th, 1915. It sank about 8 miles from Kinsale, Ireland, and it is known that 1,198 passengers and crew members were killed by the sinking of the ocean liner.
The location where the RMS Lusitania went down is in very deep water, and subject to deep water ocean currents. The general public was outraged by the sinking of the civilian ocean liner. It was known in fact as a blockage runner, which many thought made it a legitimate target, but because it was not a warship and was in fact a civilian ocean liner, it may have resulted in the advance of the United States to join ultimately World War I in 1917. Great Britain did ship a certain amount of munitions at times aboard the Lusitania and its sister ships, but the outcry at its sinking was still a cry heard around the world.
The sinking of the RMS Lusitania is thought by many to be the second most famous civilian ocean liner disaster after the infamous sinking of the SS Titanic.