Hi Jeff

Here's a period postcard that I bought on ebay showing the Lusitania before her sinking. In many ways of course as major a disaster as the sinking of the Titanic, although the April 1912 sinking of the Titanic by an iceberg gets all the attention in terms of romance and movie depictions.

The Titanic was a Liverpool registry vessel although built in Belfast at Harland and Wolff's shipyards. She sailed from Southampton on her maiden and only voyage and she never visited Liverpool, unlike the Lusitania, which made numerous voyages from Princes Landing Stage at Liverpool.

I have just realized that the postcard written by a passenger due to take the 7 November 1907 voyage from Liverpool to New York, was from a person who would have been on one of the first east-to-west voyages after the maiden voyage of Lusitania. See Wikipedia which shows a dramatic photograph of Lusitania at the end of the first leg of her maiden voyage, New York City, September 1907.

Quoting from Wikipedia about the 1915 sinking of the Lusitania by the German U-Boat U-20, the incident that famously would bring the United States into World War I on the side of Britain and France--


"On 7 May Lusitania was nearing the end of her crossing [from New York to Liverpool], as she was scheduled to dock at the Princes Landing Stage in Liverpool later that afternoon. She was running parallel to the south coast of Ireland, and was roughly 11 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale when the liner crossed in front of U-20 at 2:10 p.m. It was sheer chance that the liner became such a convenient target, since U-20 could hardly have caught the fast vessel otherwise. Schwieger gave the order to fire one torpedo, which struck the Lusitania on the starboard bow, just beneath the wheelhouse. Moments later, a second explosion erupted from within the Lusitania's hull where the torpedo had struck, and the ship began to founder in a much more rapid procession, with a prominent list to starboard.

"Almost immediately, the crew scrambled to launch the lifeboats. While the Lusitania carried more than enough lifeboats for all on board, the conditions of the sinking made their usage extremely difficult, and in some cases impossible due to the ship's severe list. In all, only six out of 48 lifeboats were launched successfully, with several more overturning, splintering to pieces and breaking apart. Eighteen minutes after the torpedo struck, the bow struck the seabed while the stern was still above the surface, and in a manner similar to the sinking of the Titanic three years earlier, the stern rose into the air and slid beneath the waves."

"Of the 1,959 passengers and crew aboard the Lusitania at the time of the sinking, 1,195 lost their lives that afternoon in the waters of the Irish channel."

Best regards