Duitsche Lusitania en Tubantia-Penningen

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Press excerpt, official letter, and newspaper clipping commenting on the issuance of two German medals commemorating the sinking of Lusitania and Tubantia.


The sinking of SS Tubantia on 16 March 1916 by a German submarine, UB-13, caused outrage in the Netherlands. Tubantia was a Dutch ocean liner operating between the Netherlands and South America. Returning from Buenos Aires, the ship, fully loaded, was hit by a German mine. The passengers and crew were rescued successfully by three ships, Breda, Krakstau, and La Campine, but the precious cargo of gold reserves was lost. An orchestrated effort by the Germans to blame the British for the sinking of the biggest Dutch vessel included issuing a bronze medal detailing British guilt. Despite growing frustration with the British among the Dutch, as a result of British restrictions of sea trade, the Dutch did not believe the German version of this story. It seems from the above letter that the British were rather amused by German suggestions of British guilt. This is a great example of propaganda completely failing in its aim.