The Lusitania Disaster: Part 3 The Ship and the Sinking

May 2022

Part 3 of our mini-series on the Lusitania tragedy when, in May 1915 the Cunard passenger liner Lusitania was torpedoed 16 miles off the coast of Ireland, leading the deaths of over 1100 men, women and children. This episode looks at the general history of the ship, the reasons behind her construction, and the reasons behind her destruction. The episode puts the Lusitania sinking in the context of early twentieth century shipbuilding and of the First World War. To find out more Dr Sam Willis travelled to Liverpool on the day of the Lusitania memorial service, held on Albert dock where one of the Lusitania’s propellers survives, and spoke with Peter Kelly, a historian researching the biographies of every single passenger on board the ship on her fateful voyage.

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