Hi, are there any known old photographs of the wreck when it was discovered in the 1930's? I was curious if it was in as bad condition as it is now, did the wrecks structure give in as it looks now when the wreck sank in 15'?
I'm not aware of any photos of the wreck dating from the 1930's. While diving was technically possible, it would have been a risky proposition just to go down, much less take photos. The submersibles which would make this possible wouldn't even exist for another 30 years.
As I understand it, the wreck wasn't always in quite the miserable condition it's in now. However, the Royal Navy using the wreck as a target for anti-submarine excercises didn't help matters and what depth charges didn't wreck, time and the relentless corrosion wrought by salt water finished the job.
The best I have are a few pictures taken aboard the expedition vessel from the 1930s and the diver getting ready to go. One of them is in Senan Molony's excellent book, Lusitania: An Irish Tragedy. Great book to have with excellent details about the expedition.
>>Maybe it was done in secret? Maybe the feeling is different now than it was then?<<
No, it wasn't done in secret, and even in wartime, it's hard to conceal depth charge runs over the same spot which happens on a frequent basis within easy eyesight range of the Old Head of Kinsale. I think what you'll find is that the sentiments were different, say along the lines of "It's just another old shipwreck." Even if it wasn't, there was still the concern that hostile submarines might just be using the wreck as a hiding place, and in time of war, military concerns tend to trump sentimentality.