The March Toward Total War: German's Doctrine of Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the Sinking of R.M.S. Lusitania Presentation by George N. Vourlojianis, Ph.D.
The First World War is the seminal man-made catastrophe of the twentieth century. Europe's greatest states committed all the resources they possessed to its waging. The dynamic created erased not only geographic boundaries, but those of civility, so-called rules of war and morality. It irrevocably altered the character of warfare as the distinction between civilians and soldiers was not only blurred, but disappeared forever. The March Toward Total War addresses the introduction and use of the submarine as a terror weapon which when unleashed knew no limits. Germany's sinking of the passenger-liner Lusitania in which over 1100 civilian men, women and children lost their lives stunned the world. It's sinking and the intentional killing of so many non-combatants ushered in the era of unrestricted warfare – Total War. Professor Emeritus George Vourlojianis retired in 2015 after 25 years of presenting American history classes at Lorain County Community College. He continues to present military history courses at John Carroll University in Cleveland. He is the author of two books on Ohio's military history and is the recipient of four distinguished teaching awards. Funding for this program is made possible in part by Ohio Humanities.