The Arabic attack was the sinking during World War I by a German submarine of the British passenger liner Arabic. It heightened diplomatic tensions and public outrage that led to American entry into the war.
On Aug. 19, 1915, a German submarine torpedoed without warning the British White Star passenger liner Arabic, with the deaths of two U.S. citizens. This attack occurred soon after the exchange of notes that followed the similar torpedoing of the Lusitania, in which President Woodrow Wilson had insisted that the lives of noncombatants could not lawfully be put in jeopardy by the capture or destruction of unresisting merchantmen. The Arabic attack showed that Germany had not accepted the American position. After seeking to justify the attack on the ground that the Arabic was attempting to ram the submarine, the German government disavowed the act and offered indemnity.