HUMAN SHIELDS (“DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE THE LOVE OF GOD GOES…” –Gordon Lightfoot)

After wresting it from sister-ship Lusitanis*, R.M.S. Mauritania held the Blue Riband of the Atlantic for thirty (30) years until, on the eve of World War II, she was edged out by the brand-new Queen Mary, who traded it back-and-forth with Normandie (sunk by stupidity in New York Harbor) until bot were trounced by SS United States at 35 knots (that’s over 40mph, folk, too fast for all but barefoot water skiing) in 1952. By then, of course, people in a hurry began their tragic decline, and an era ended.

 

*During WW I, the British criminally packed munitions aboard this passenger ship; a German U-boat obligated. NOTE: Lusitania being so large (nearly 800’), the kraut commander reasoned that one torpedo*, placed well-forward into the cargo spaces, would sink her slowly enough to allow lifeboat deployment, but all that ordnance exploded and she sank in 12 minutes, taking 1,100 people with her. A photo exists showing a life jacketed mother holding her infant, both dead from hypothermia within sight of land in the frigid English Channel. “Does anyone know..?”

*He did not fire a spread.

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