Lusitania Kinsale - The Voyage
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Survivors Struggle

Torpedo Strikes

Kinsale Inquest
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The Voyage

The voyage under Captain William Turner was uneventful and the first class passengers were enjoying lunch to the strains of the "Blue Danube" when disaster struck. The ship had turned in the direction of Cobh (then Queenstown) and some claim it had received orders to do so as it was known there was a submarine in the area which had just sunk the schooner, Earl of Lothian. However, at 2 p.m., Captain Schwieger in the U-20 was lining up the Lusitania for a single shot, his final attack on shipping before returning to Germany. The torpedo struck at a point 20 to 40 feet forward of the bridge, alongside one of the cargo holds, but there was a second huge explosion and the ship was gone in just 18 minutes. 1200 people died, a higher percentage than on the Titanic. Many suffered injuries caused by falling lifeboats and debris as the ship developed a steep list and sank quickly as a result of that second explosion. The inquest was held in the Kinsale Courthouse / Town Hall, now the Museum, was conducted by solicitor, John Horgan with a jury of 14 Kinsale men. It returned a verdict "wilful murder" against the Kaiser and the German forces much to the surprise of the British authorities who feared that such a well-known supporter of the nationalist Redmond would return an anti-British verdict.