Travellers intending to embark on the Atlantic voyage are reminded that a state of war exists between Germany and her allies and Great Britain and her allies; that the zone of war includes the waters adjacent to the British Isles; that, in accordance with formal notice given by the Imperial German Government vessels flying the flag of Great Britain, or of any of her allies, are liable to destruction in those waters and that travellers sailing in the war zone on ships of Great Britain or her allies do so at their own risk.
Imperial German embassy
Washington, D.C., April 22, 1915.
Despite this warning, relying on President Wilson’s note to Germany of Feb. 10, 1915, which declared that the United States would “hold the Imperial Government of Germany to a strict accountability” for such an act within the submarine zone; relying, also, on the speed of the ship, and hardly conceiving that the threat would be carried out, over two thousand men, women, and children embarked. The total toll of the dead was 1,150, of whom 114 were known to be American citizens.
The German Embassy’s warning advertisement was repeated on May 8, the day following the loss of the Lusitania. On May 12 the German Embassy notified the newspapers to discontinue publication of the advertisement, which had been scheduled to appear for the third time on the following Saturday.]
[By The Associated Press.]
BERLIN, May 14, (via Amsterdam to London, May 15.)—From the report received from the submarine which sank the Cunard Line steamer Lusitania last Friday the following official version of the incident is published by the Admiralty Staff over the signature of Admiral Behncke:
The submarine sighted the steamer, which showed no flag, May 7 at 2:20 o’clock, Central European time, afternoon, on the southeast coast of Ireland, in fine, clear weather.
At 3:10 o’clock one torpedo was fired at the Lusitania, which hit her starboard side below the Captain’s bridge. The detonation of the torpedo was followed immediately by a further explosion of extremely strong effect. The ship quickly listed to starboard and began to sink.
The second explosion must be traced back to the ignition of quantities of ammunition inside the ship.
It appears from this report that the submarine sighted the Lusitania at 1:20 o’clock, London time, and fired the torpedo at 2:10 o’clock, London time. The Lusitania, according to all reports, was traveling at the rate of eighteen knots an hour. As fifty minutes elapsed between the sighting and the torpedoing, the Lusitania when first seen from the submarine must have been distant nearly fifteen knots, or about seventeen land miles. The Lusitania must have been recognized at the first appearance of the tops of her funnels above the horizon. To the Captain on the bridge of the Lusitania the submarine would have been at that time invisible, being below the horizon.