Armistice 100: Who really sank the Lusitania? This 1918 article casts doubt on official version of history...
Dateline: August 24, 1918: It was the act which turned opinions largely against German and simultaneously brought America into the Great European War - the sinking of the Lusitania.
Although the atrocity happened in 1915, the capture of a German U-boat captain three years later cast doubt upon the official version of events.
The sinking of the Lusitania was controversial, not least because outwardly it was a passenger ship. However, historians have since confirmed it was also carrying vast amounts of arms when it was sunk in the shipping lanes. At the time, the UK used the sinking as a propaganda tool.
One hundred years ago today, however, a German U-boat captain (unnamed) claimed to have sunk the Lusitania and many other vessels.
His statement contrasted with one put out by the Press Association just a week earlier, in which it was said two high profile German military leaders, Captain Schdweiger (drowned) and Captain Stasser, leader of many Zeppelin raids, had both died.
The German statement went into some detail about the death of Schdweiger, saying he was leaving port with U88 when an explosion was heard. It was feared the vessel was sunk by a British mine.
But was it true?
The article brooked the notion that both statement were examples of misinformation put out by the German government at the time “intended to shield those officers from the odium incurred by their acts and possibly from penalties which might be exacted by the Allies if they were actually captured, or if the German military situation becomes worse.”