On May 7th, 1915 the Lusitania was sunken 10 miles off the Ireland coast. A German U-boat sunk it with only one torpedo. Captain Schwieger, the commander of the U20, surfaced only to recharge its batteries. But saw the Lusitania in the distance. From 700 meters away he fired one of his two torpedoes. The second explosion caused the Lusitania to roll over. Eighteen minutes later the Lusitania was completely sunk. 1,198 people died, 128 of those were U.S. citizens.
The sinking of the Lusitania caused an outrage. Germany apologized and said they only fired one torpedo. This raised the issue of why there was such a big second explosion. Germany blamed Britain for breaking the rules of war by carrying heavy ammunition on a civilian ship. The British denied this by saying that coal dust caused the second explosion.
Although the American people had a right to be mad at the sinking of the largest passenger ship in the transatlantic ocean, the Germans warned them. The German Embassy sent a message, a few days earlier, warning that any ship that didnít carry an ally flag through the war zone might get sunk.
Works cited: Internet <C:\WINDOWS\Desktop\pierce\Lusitania.htm>
Text book: The Americans Reconstruction to the 21st Century