Exploring the Lusitania - 1995
Probing the Mysteries of the Sinking that Changed History
From The Inside Flaps
Avenge the Lusitania! was the slogan emblazoned on British recruiting posters during the second year of the Great War.
In May of 1915, a German torpedo sank the sleek Cunard liner Lusitania with the loss of 1,195 civilian lives. The sinking turned world opinion against Germany, and the deaths of 123 American passengers was the first step in bringing the United States into World War I.
But almost from the moment the torpedo was fired, controversy has surrounded the Lusitania. Why did she sink so quickly? Why was there a second explosion? Had the liner been carrying munitions for the British? Did Winston Churchill, then First Sea Lord, allow the sinking in the hope that it might draw America into the war? Rumors of conspiracies and cover-ups surround the liner, and eighty years later she is still a ship of mystery.
In August of 1993, Dr. Robert Ballard, the discoverer of the Titanic and the Bismarck, led an expedition to the wreck of the Lusitania, off the coast of Ireland, in search of answers. Using a small submarine and remotely controlled camera vehicles, Ballard and his team studied the wreck like a team of underwater detectives trying to solve a murder mystery.
Their high-quality underwater images of the shattered wreck can now shed light on the cause of the sinking that sent her to the bottom in minutes. Ballard’s conclusions are authoritative and provide a fascinating, definitive account of what happened on that fateful May afternoon eighty years ago.
Exploring the Lusitania is also a glorious illustrated history of one of the proudest examples of the age when liners ruled the sea lanes, featuring Ballard’s excellent underwater photography paired with high-quality archival material in fascinating “then and now” spreads. And paintings by noted marine artist Ken Marschall, who accompanied Ballard on his expedition and was able to paint the Lusitania firsthand from a submarine, capture the lost liner in all her shattered poignancy.
Dr. Robert D. Ballard is known around the world for his explorations of both the Titanic and the legendary battleship Bismarck. But he is also one of the world’s foremost oceanographers and has for many years used submersibles to explore the ocean depths and chart their hidden features.
Dr. Ballard is also founder of the JASON Foundation for Education, a nonprofit organization that involves schoolchildren in live electronic field trips. Since its first expedition in 1989, the JASON Project has involved more than two-and-a-half-million students around the world in its interactive programs.
Dr. Robert Ballard works with his wife, Barbara Earle Ballard, who is president of Odyssey Corporation and Odyssey Expeditions, which developed, organized and executed the expedition off Ireland that resulted in this book as well as the National Geographic television special on the Lusitania. Dr. Ballard has also coauthored a novel with Tony Chiu entitled Bright Shark, and acted as a technical advisor for Steven Spielberg’s television adventure series Seaquest DSV. In the summer of 1995, Ballard explored the Titanic’s sister ship Britannic, which sank off Greece in 1916.
Spencer Dunmore worked closely with Robert Ballard on the research, organization and writing of this book. A Canadian writer, he is the author of several books, including Wings for Victory and the bestselling novel Bomb Run.
Ken Marschall created lifelike paintings of the Lusitania wreck as well as numerous paintings of her on the surface for this book. Exploring the Lusitania marks the fourth time he has worked with Robert Ballard. The world’s foremost painter of the Titanic, his work was prominently featured in Titanic: An Illustrated History.
Eric Sauder, a leading expert on the Lusitania, served as historical consultant for both the exploration and this book, providing many of the pictures from his private collection.
An Alternate Selection of History Book Club and a Dividend Selection of Book-of-the-Month
A Time Warner Company
A Warner/Madison Press Book 0-446-51851-4
Printed In Italy
($54.00 in Canada)
Exploring the Lusitania
Synopsis: On May 7, 1915, the fastest, most luxurious cruise ship in the Cunard line, the Lusitania, was sunk by a German U-boat, spurring U.S. involvement in World War I. Now, best-selling author/researcher Robert Ballard probes the decades-old controversy surrounding this pivotal maritime tragedy.
From the Back Cover
The man who brought the world the Titanic now reveals the most mysterious liner of all time ...
On May 7, 1915, a torpedo from a German submarine hit the elegant Cunard liner Lusitania. In less than twenty minutes, the ship sank, taking the lives of 1,195 people. For eighty years, this great maritime tragedy has been shrouded in controversy. Was the Lusitania carrying munitions? Why was there a second explosion?
Now underwater explorer Robert Ballard illuninates this ship of mystery. In his tiny submarine, he has probed the entire length of the haunting wreck in search of clues. His History-making finding are revealed in this enthraling book highlighted by hundreds of breathtaking photographs, paintings, and diagrams.
Description From the Publisher
In August of 1993, Dr. Robert Ballard, the discoverer of the Titanic and the Bismarck, led an expedition to the wreck of the Lusitania, off the coast of Ireland. Using a small submarine and remotely controlled camera vehicles, Ballard and his team studied the wreck like a team of underwater detectives trying to solve a murder mystery. Their high-quality underwater images of the shattered wreck can now shed light on the cause of the sinking that sent her to the bottom in minutes. Ballard's conclusions are authoritative and provide a fascinating, definitive account of what happened on that fateful May afternoon eighty years ago.
- CHAPTER ONE The Old Head of Kinsale, 1993... 10
- CHAPTER TWO The 202nd Crossing...24
- CHAPTER THREE The Last Departure...40
- CHAPTER FOUR A Fateful Encounter...72
- CHAPTER FIVE Abandon Ship!...87
- CHAPTER SIX Pointing the Finger... 118
- CHAPTER SEVEN Exploring the Lusitania... 144
- CHAPTER EIGHT Lusitania Then and Now... 155
- CHAPTER NINE What Sank the Lusitania ?... 190
- CHAPTER TEN Epilogue... 198
- Chronology... 204
- End Matter...214
Library of Congress Catalog Listing
- Personal name: Ballard, Robert D.
- Main title: Exploring the Lusitania : probing the mysteries of the sinking that changed history / Robert D. Ballard, with Spencer Dunmore ; paintings by Ken Marshall ; historical consultation by Eric Sauder.
- Published/Created: New York : Warner Books, c1995.
- Description: 227 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 29 cm.
- ISBN: 0446518514 (hardcover)
- LC classification: D592.L8 B345 1995
- Related names: Dunmore, Spencer, 1928-
- LC Subjects: Lusitania (Steamship); Shipwrecks--History--20th century.
- Notes: "A Warner/Madison Press book." Includes bibliographical references (p. 219) and index.
- LCCN: 95002771
- Dewey class no.: 940.4/514
- Type of material: Book