The Laconia is a British ocean liner. Today she is approaching Fastnet, nearing the end of a journey across the Atlantic, when she is encountered by the U-50. The German U-boat fires a torpedo, which hits the ship but fails to sink her. So the Germans fire again and this time they have more luck, hitting the Laconia’s engine room and bringing her down.
The Laconia’s passengers and crew abandon ship. Most survive, but 6 of the 73 passengers and another 6 of the 216 crew members are killed. Among the dead passengers are two American citizens, Mrs Mary Hoy and her daughter Elizabeth. The USA has already broken off diplomatic relations with Germany as a result of the escalated U-boat war. This attack can only heighten tensions between the two nations.
The ambassador of death: Germany’s ambassador Count Bernstorff in the New York Herald (Trenches on the Web)