- Place of Use Continent - Europe, Country - United Kingdom
- Category Communication artifacts
- Sub-category Personal symbol
- Department Arms and Technology
- Museum CWM
- Earliest 1915/05/05
- Latest 1979/12/31
- Inscription (box/boîte): R.M.S. LUSITANIA CUNARD LINE 32000 TONS SUNK ON HER RETUREN JOURNEY FROM THE UNITED STATES BY A SERMAN SUBMARIN MAY 7TH 1915; (document): Please do not destroy this When you have read it carefully through kindly pass it on to a friend. A German Naval Victory "with joyful pride comtemplare this latest dead of navy." Kolnische Volkszeitung 10May, 1915. this medal has been struck in Germany with the object of keeping alive in German hears the recollection of the glorious achievement of the German Navy in deliberately destroying an unarmed passenger ship, together with 1,198 non-combatants, men, women and children. On the obverse, under the legend "No contraband" (Keine Bannware) there is a representation of the Lusitania sinking. The designer has put in guns and aeroplanes, which (as was certified by the United States Government officials after inspection) the Lusitania did not carry; but has conveniently ommited to put in the women and children, which the world knows she did carry. On the reverse, under the legend "Business above all" (Geschaft uber alles), the figure of Death sits at the booking office of the Gunard Line and gives out tickets to passengers, who refuse to attend to the warning against submarines given by a German. This picture seeks apparently to propound the theory that if a murdered warns his victim of his intention, the guilt of the crime will rest with the victim, not the murderer. Replicas of the medal are issued by the Lusitania Souvenir Medal Committee, 32, Duke Street, Manchester Square W.1. All profits accruing to this Committee will be handed to St. Dunstan's Blinded Soldiers and Sailors Hostel.
- Materials Bronze, Paper
- Service Component Merchant Navy
- Unit SS Lusitania
- Person / Institution Associated institution, St. Dunstan's Blinded Soldiers and Sailors Hostel
- Measurements Height 1.4 cm, Length 7.9 cm, Width 8.0 cm
- Caption Lusitania Medal
British Version This British souvenir bronze medallion was created as propaganda related to the sinking of the Lusitania. Originally struck in Germany, artist Karl Goetz engraved the medal. On one side, the ironic words "no contraband goods" and the image of the sinking ship loaded with war supplies suggests that the Germans were justified in targeting a passenger liner. The other side shows a line of passengers willingly buying their tickets from death, even though they have been warned about the U-Boat threat, as shown in a newspaper. The medal first appeared with the incorrect date of 5 May 1915, two days before the actual attack. The British pounced on this. The medal's design was replicated in Britain and sold cheaply for propaganda purposes, an example of German militarism that celebrated the death of civilians and, with the incorrect date, an insinuation that it had been a pre-planned attack against the vessel.