Schwieger diary on the sinking of the RMS Lusitania
No ship setting sail in the Atlantic was safe, a message the Germans sent clearly on May 7, 1915 when a U-Boat submarine torpedoed the British luxury liner, the RMS Lusitania. Only six of 48 lifeboats made it into the water, resulting in 1195 deaths among the 1959 passengers. The attack also caused the death of more than 120 Americans, turning popular opinion even more in favor of the Allied cause. President Woodrow Wilson was still averse to declaring war however, and instead sent a formal protest to Germany.
Kapitanleutnant Walter Schwieger was the commander of the submarine responsible for sinking the Lusitania. In his diary, eventually intercepted by U.S. military intelligence, he recounts the panic he witnessed on board the sinking vessel, and remarks on his hesitancy to fire a second torpedo amid the already-ensuing chaos.