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Karl Goetz

German 1st Issue

British Anti-German Propaganda

German 2nd Issue

British Lusitania Medallion


One of the most famous commemorative medals in the Art Department's collection is Karl Goetz's 'Lusitania Medallion'. It was privately issued in Germany to mark the circumstances of the sinking of the Cunard liner RSM Lusitania in May 1915. British copies of the piece were subsequently widely distributed as part of a concerted anti-German propaganda campaign.

  The Sinking

Shortly after 2:10 pm on Friday 7 May 1915 in fine clear weather off the Old Head of Kinsale (a headland on southern coast of Ireland), the Cunard liner Lusitania (30,396 tons) was hit amidships by a torpedo. She was struck without warning and sank in a matter of twenty minutes. According to the latest evidence, 1,201 men, women and children were lost. Of these fatalities 128 were American citizens. The U20, the German submarine which fired the torpedo, circled the sinking ship then fled the scene, reaching its base at Wilhelmshaven on 13 May.

    Cunard Liner RMS Lusitania Cunard Liner RMS Lusitania Cunard Liner RMS Lusitania

Cunard Liner RMS Lusitania (Q 43227)


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