Dernburg then dealt with questions of the right of the cross (but not by name), although the German spokesman stated that “the right of search should not be exercised if it is certain that such ships carry contraband goods” (“Sinking Justified” 1915). Dernburg continued to list the metals and ammunition that the Lusitania was carrying at the time of its fall, a list that Dernburg provided from published manifestos. The Lusitania had lost all protection for merchant ships through Convention XI of the Second Hague Convention, because the Lusitania had effectively been transformed into a warship by its contraband. In this way, Dernburg attempts to justify full submarine warfare within the framework of existing martial law. Initially, the British had not shared the news of the Zimmerman telegram with American officials because they did not want the Germans to discover that British code breakers had cracked the German code. However, after Germany resumed all-out submarine warfare in February, the British decided to use the note to incite public opinion and American opinion to join the war. The British finally transmitted the Intercept to Wilson on February 24. The American press brought the story the following week. Gerard`s words proved to be accurate when Germany announced, on February 1, 1917, the resumption of all-out submarine warfare. Two days later, Wilson announced a severance of diplomatic relations with the German government, and on April 6, 1917, the United States formally entered World War I on the allied side. On 18 February 2, 1915, German Admiral Hugo von Pohl declared the waters surrounding the British Isles a war zone and warned that any Allied commercial ship found in the war zone would be destroyed, while indicating that it would not always be possible to avoid endangering the ship`s crew and passengers; Pohl also said neutral ships were also at risk, given that Britain has recently abused neutral flags to describe its ships. On 7 May 1915, RMS Lusitania was submerged by the Imperial Navy submarine U-20 off the south coast of Ireland; Of the 1,962 passengers and crew on board, 1,198 people died, including 128 U.S. citizens.
Immediately after the sinking, German actors in the United States began to justify the actions of U-20 and dissuade the United States from going to war. If we look at the German defense of the Lusitania immersion, we can see how the German Empire made legal arrangements to defend the practice of submarine warfare without restriction in general. The day after the fall of the Lusitania, Dr. Bernhard Dernburg – the former German colonial secretary – made a statement in Cleveland on behalf of the German Empire, which was later published in the New York Times. Germany`s resumption in 1917 of submarine attacks on passenger and merchant ships was the main motivation for Wilson`s decision to lead the United States into World War I. After the sinking of an unarmed French ship, the Sussex, in the English Channel in March 1916, Wilson had threatened to sever diplomatic relations with Germany if the German government did not attack all liners and allow the crews of enemy merchant ships to escape from their ships before any attack. . .