Ninety-eight years ago today, the R.M.S Titanic hit an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean and sank, taking with her 1,517 passengers and crew, and cementing her place in history forever. Three years later on May 7, 1915, the R.M.S. Lusitania was hit by a German U-boat torpedo and sank carrying with her 1,198 passengers and crew and serving as a pivot point in history, turning the world toward war. Both were tragedies of horrific proportions whose devastating effects rippled around the world; both still capture our imagination nearly a century later. Both offered lessons in the days, weeks and months after their sinking, and both still offer lessons almost a hundred years later.
Together, the Titanic and the Lusitania comprise two of the most investigated maritime tragedies in history. At the time, they taught us lessons about politics, engineering and arrogance. It is nearly a hundred years later and they are still teaching us, only now the lesson is in human nature, social order and our instinct to survive. Continue reading “Titanic and Lusitania: Lessons in Time, Tragedy and Survival”