The sinking of the Lusitania inspired many young US citizens to volunteer for service during the First World War. The sinking of this great British oceangoing liner provoked outrage around the world on an unprecedented scale. On May 7, 1915, a German torpedo sent the ship to the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean in just 18 minutes, its speedy descent into the depths occurring far too fast for most of those aboard to make it to the lifeboats. Of the 1,962 passengers and crew on board, 1,200 were lost, including 94 children and, crucially, 128 US civilians, many of whom were prominent figures. President Woodrow Wilson’s neutral stance started to crack. All over the country there were calls for the United States to take up arms against Germany. In many ways, the Lusitania tragedy was the major turning point of the Great War, and perhaps the single greatest factor that eventually brought the United States into the war in April 1917.