Atrocities of World War I

Essay by JermD303High School, 10th grade February 2004

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During World War I, there were many occupations of territory by both sides of the conflict. During this time, there were many acts of atrocities, immoral acts against humankind, which occurred. Some of these events were real, while others were pure acts of fabrication. Either way, these events were used as propaganda to help supply the war effort. Postcards and flyers were made of these events to help spark a hate for the enemy, and these objects were widely used on both sides to help support the war effort.

Perhaps one of the biggest blunders of the war, the sinking of the Lusitania was an atrocity committed by the German empire that they would soon regret. The HMS Lusitania was a British passenger liner that ferried people and goods between Britain and the United States. "The Lusitania was very popular because of her speed and luxurious accommodations. She was considered "the acme of comfort," and deemed a "floating palace" by her passengers" (Simpson 7).

On May 17, 1915, a periscope was observed off in the distance. By the time it was seen it was too late. A German torpedo impacted into the side of the Lusitania, crippling her. The ship shows evidence that she may have been torpedoed a second and possibly even a third time. There has been controversy over this fact due to the fact that it is not sure what cargo the Lusitania was carrying. The original ship manifest stated that the ship would be carrying passengers as well as precious stones. It is believed that instead she was carrying millions of shells of rifle ammunition. These objects could have instead been the cause of the second, most destructive, explosion.

Either way, the Lusitania sunk within twenty minutes of being hit. 1,201 lives were lost in the...