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On this day: Horror at sea

“A mass of glass, wood, etc came pouring on our heads (…) We ducked into the smoking room shelter and I never saw my companions again,” survivor Robert Rankin recalled the moments shortly before the Lusitania sank to a watery grave. The British ocean liner RMS Lusitania, which had left New York for Liverpool, was hit by a torpedo from a German U-boat not far off the Irish coast shortly before two o’clock in the afternoon on May 7, 1915. Seconds after the fatal impact another explosion, the cause of which is still unclear, shook the vessel; she sank in just 18 minutes.

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