Lusitania, a British transatlantic liner sunk by a German submarine off Kinsale Head, Ireland, on May 7, 1915. Of 1,198 persons who lost their lives, 128 were Americans. There were 761 survivors. The incident aroused intense indignation in the United States and brought the country closer to intervention in World War I. Germany rejected a demand for reparations, stating—correctly—that the ship carried ammunition and that passengers had been warned by advertisements that they sailed at their own risk. Evidence made public after the war indicated that the Lusitania's captain, William T. Turner, had failed to follow standing orders regarding evasive action.
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World War I, also known as the Great War, left Germany and other countries humiliated and angry. Germany viewed the armistice that ended World War I as a truce, rather than a surrender. This view was ignored. Learn about events that led to World War II.