U.S. team to solve ‘dark secret’ of the Lusitania off Cork coast

A dive team is set to descend and discover why the Lusitania sank so quickly off the Irish coast after being attacked by a German submarine in 1915.

The sinking of the ship in 1915 with Americans on board was the major influence in the US joining World War I.

One of the mysteries that the crew hopes to be able to solve is why the ship sank so quickly after being hit with only a single torpedo fired from the German submarine.

The ship was briefly the largest ship ever built but it set sail from New York despite warnings that German submarines were patrolling the Atlantic route.

Lusitania departed New York on 1st of May 1915 . On May 6th as the Lusitania entered Irish waters it encountered heavy fog and used its foghorn to warn other vessels of its presence. After the fog cleared it was a perfectly sunny day.

The crew of a German submarine named the detected the boat at a distance of two miles and launched a torpedo. the German captain Walther Schwieger's own words, were recorded in the log of U-20: his submarine

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“Torpedo hits starboard side right behind the bridge. An unusually heavy detonation takes place with a very strong explosive cloud. The explosion of the torpedo must have been followed by a second one [boiler or coal or powder?]... The ship stops immediately and heels over to starboard very quickly, immersing simultaneously at the bow... the name Lusitania becomes visible in golden letters.”

"It sounded like a million-ton hammer hitting a steam boiler a hundred feet high," one passenger said. A second, more powerful explosion followed, sending a geyser of water, coal, dust, and debris high above the deck.

Suspicions were immediately aroused that the Lusitania was carrying explosives given the ferocity of the explosion after just one torpedo hit but that has never been proven.

The ship now lies  off the coast of Cork, and the dive will be the biggest one in close to two decades, according to The Evening Herald. The dive will be ten days long, and it will filmed for a documentary set to be released next year, called “The Dark Secret.”

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