Lusitania depth charged?


Scott Mills

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Greetings all! Let me preface this by saying I know next to nothing about the sinking or wreck of this Cunarder--I am a White Star man through and through--but I was having a conversation with my dad today in which he brought up that the Royal Navy attempted to destroy the wreck in the 1940s.

Now I'm sure I can look this up on the internet, but frankly I trust you lot more than I do some random website. So is their any truth to this? If so, what is the story as to why?
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>So is their any truth to this? If so, what is the story as to why?<<

Yes, it happened.

Two reasons: One, it was a big honking target and easy to reference for target practice during the Second World War by way of sonar. (ASDIC) Second: It discouraged hostile submarines from using the wreck as a hiding place.

A lot has been made out of this, looking for sinister reasons for it, but there's really nothing more to it then that.
 

Scott Mills

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Michael,

Makes sense. My father has always been a bit of a conspiracy theorist. In fact just the other day he was telling me about the Olympic/Titanic switch theory in very housed toned.

It is a shame though that wreck has been as damaged as it has. After seeing a drawing the other day I am sure Biskark, which sank (or was scuttled) under heavy naval artillery fire looks in better condition.
 

fred123

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I don't like to think of myself as a person likely to be sucked into conspiracy theories, but it similarly strikes
me as a bit naive to think that countries don't sometimes take actions which are done for reasons of national
pride -- especially when that pride reflects upon their stature in history.

As far as I know, the British Navy has never confirmed nor denied using the Lusitania as a practice target. On
the other hand, the multiple dive expeditions on it have claimed to confirm seeing unexploded depth charges
on the periphery near the wreck. That and the fact that the shallowest depth of the wreck has sunk by about
20 meters over the years gives credence to the idea that it has been blasted.

What we do know as confirmation from multiple dive expeditions is that it appears confirmed that the ship was carrying
some amount of munitions, with claims that the amount involves millions of rounds.

From a historical perspective, the moral difference is night and day. The sinking of the Lusitania was one of the seminal
events of WWI, ultimately used as motivation to move the US into declaring war. If the Lusitania was indeed a legitimate
target as opposed to an innocent victim of an overzealous, brutal U-boat attack, then the propaganda value of the attack is
entirely different.

Does it really take that much of aconspiracy theory to think that a country might take a few overt steps to hide the fact that
its public disclosures were not always entirely truthful and above board?
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Does it really take that much of aconspiracy theory to think that a country might take a few overt steps to hide the fact that
its public disclosures were not always entirely truthful and above board? <<

The problem is that the British government never really hid the fact that the ship was carrying munitions. The information was recorded on the amended manifest after the ship sailed. None of this is really the big smoking gun a lot of conspiracy theorists make it out to be. The amount carried by the ship was trivial and would not have lasted for more then a few minutes of combat on the Western Front.

If they really had wanted to hide anything, then all the government would need to do is forbid dives to the wreck and make it stick. They haven't bothered to do this.
 

Scott Mills

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Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
>>Does it really take that much of aconspiracy theory to think that a country might take a few overt steps to hide the fact that
its public disclosures were not always entirely truthful and above board? <<

The problem is that the British government never really hid the fact that the ship was carrying munitions. The information was recorded on the amended manifest after the ship sailed. None of this is really the big smoking gun a lot of conspiracy theorists make it out to be. The amount carried by the ship was trivial and would not have lasted for more then a few minutes of combat on the Western Front.

If they really had wanted to hide anything, then all the government would need to do is forbid dives to the wreck and make it stick. They haven't bothered to do this.

I have an interesting musing. So why isn't Lusitania considered a war grave, when there are actually people still in her, but Britannic is, when all 31 of the dead were recovered?
 

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