When German U-boat Commander Walther Schwieger ordered a torpedo strike on the Lusitania, he didn't know it would be the shot that eventually led the U.S. into WWI. But it wasn't a mistake, either.
The sinking of the Lusitania and the impact it had in determining the fate of World War I is widely known. But few know the stories of the passengers and crew aboard the doomed luxury liner, or the German commander who ordered the deadly attack on May 7, 1915. Follow the final voyage of the massive ship, from her celebrated exit from New York's Pier 54 to her 18-minute plummet off the coast of Ireland. Through firsthand accounts, meet the men, women, and children who rode the "Greyhound of the Seas" into a war zone, and into history.
Access even more free Smithsonian Channel full episodes and documentaries online through participating TV providers.
Find out if your television provider carries Smithsonian Channel.
Don't panic! It's simple to upgrade to the latest version of one of these browsers:
Don't panic! To get the best possible experience on smithsonianchannel.com we recommend you upgrade your operating system.
For the best possible site experience, please use Chrome for Android.
Add username "SmithsonianChan" on Snapchat for fun and fascinating facts. We'll be sharing spontaneous photos and videos as inspiration strikes.