Lusitania Kinsale - The Propaganda War
Home     The Ship     The Voyage     Propaganda     The Aftermath

Kaiser is accused

Recruitment Poster

Propaganda Postcard
Click any image to enlarge.

The Propaganda War

That verdict was used to whip up anti-German feeling in Ireland and the U.S. as well as in Britain, and there was rioting in Liverpool and Boston. The subsequent media propaganda war was won by the British. One attempt by the German artist, Karl Goetz, who designed a Medallion to portray the sinking as the result of the importing of arms, was turned into a successful black propaganda anti-German campaign funded by Selfridges. In an apparent attempt to divert attention from claims that the second explosion within seconds could have been caused by a cargo of munitions, the official Mersey inquiry, in April, claimed that the second explosion had been caused by another torpedo. Witnesses were hand picked and evidence screened to ensure that the verdict placed all the blame on the U-20 and the German authorities. There was also a campaign, orchestrated by Churchill, to blame Captain Turner for the loss of the Lusitania. After the war was over, the new German government agreed to pay compensation, while Cunard escaped any penalty as the findings of the Mersey inquiry were also applied to claims made in the U.S. courts. Media was almost unanimous in the condemnation, mainly in the press coverage, while the first ever animated film, The Sinking of the Lusitania by Windsor McKay, was made to expose the German "atrocity". Thousands of young Americans volunteered to fight in Europe while Britain launched a recruiting campaign based on the slogan, "Avenge the Lusitania"