No one knows for sure who shot down Malaysian Airlines flight MH17. Was it the Russians? Ukrainian separatists? The Ukrainian military? Or even Chechnian rebels with aid from middle eastern terror organizations? No one is quite sure.
But in 1915, a passenger ship named the Lusitania. which carried 150 Americans, was sunk by a German U-Boat and began our involvement in WWI.
Could we be witnessing the same thing going on now? Does Russia think the plane was carrying something deadly? Decide for yourself:
The Lusitania made her maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York in September 1907. Construction had begun in 1903 with the goal of building the fastest liner afloat. Her engines produced 68,000-horse power and pushed the giant through the water at an average speed over 25 knots. Dubbed the “Greyhound of the Seas” she soon captured the Blue Ribbon for the fastest Atlantic crossing.The British Admiralty had secretly subsidized her construction and she was built to Admiralty specifications with the understanding that at the outbreak of war the ship would be consigned to government service. As war clouds gathered in 1913, the Lusitania quietly entered dry dock in Liverpool and was fitted for war service. This included the installation of ammunition magazines and gun mounts on her decks. The mounts, concealed under the teak deck, were ready for the addition of the guns when needed.
On May 1, 1915, the ship departed New York City bound for Liverpool. Unknown to her passengers but probably no secret to the Germans, almost all her hidden cargo consisted of munitions and contraband destined for the British war effort. As the fastest ship afloat, the luxurious liner felt secure in the belief she could easily outdistance any submarine. Nonetheless, the menace of submarine attack reduced her passenger list to only half her capacity.
On May 7, the ship neared the coast of Ireland. At 2:10 in the afternoon a torpedo fired by the German submarine U 20 slammed into her side. A mysterious second explosion ripped the liner apart. Chaos reigned. The ship listed so badly and quickly that lifeboats crashed into passengers crowded on deck, or dumped their loads into the water. Most passengers never had a chance. Within 18 minutes the giant ship slipped beneath the sea. One thousand one hundred nineteen of the 1,924 aboard died. The dead included 114 Americans.
In the ship’s nursery Alfred Vanderbilt, one of the world’s richest men, and playwright Carl Frohman tied life jackets to wicker “Moses baskets” holding infants in an attempt to save them from going down with the ship. The rising water carried the baskets off the ship but none survived the turbulence created as the ship sank to the bottom. The sea also claimed Vanderbilt and Frohman.