Page 3650

3650 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

Although it was not a fight to the

finish, the battle, judged by the power

and variety of the fleets engaged, was the

most stupendous ever seen. The two

fleets united could easily have destroyed

all the other warships in existence and all

the other war craft since the beginning

of time. It has been estimated that the

total cost of the battle, including ammunition expended and ships damaged or sunk,

was approximately two hundred million

dollars.

Seven days after the Battle of Jutland

or Horn Reef, as the great sea fight has

been variously called, a startling disaster

befell the British nation. Late in the

afternoon of the 7th of June, the old

cruiser Hampshire took on board, near

the most northern point of Scotland,

Lord Kitchener, Secretary of State for

War, and a number of other gentlemen

of note. Lord Kitchener and those who

accompanied him were on their way to

Russia to hold a council with the Russian

authorities. The weather was stormy,

with rain, and a high sea was running.

Near eight o'clock, when the Hampshire

was about two miles off the coast of one

of the Orkneys, she struck a mine, and,

within twenty minutes, she sank with a

loss of over three hundred lives. The

disaster was witnessed from shore, and, for

a considerable time, it was thought that

there were no survivors, but two days

later eleven men managed, after being

buffeted by the sea for forty-eight hours,

to reach land. Lord Kitchener was not

among them, nor was his body ever found.

His tragic fate made a profound impression

not only in Great Britain but throughout

the world. Opinions differed as to the

seriousness of the loss; some contended

that his place could not be filled, while

others asserted that his great work was

already done, and that his passing would

have little influence on the course of the

war. On the 13th of June, a great memorial service, attended by the King