3651 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY- THE GREAT WAR.
and Queen and most of the other high
dignitaries of the realm, was held at St.
Paul's Cathedral, and similar services were
held in many other places throughout
the empire. Steps were taken to commemorate his services in more durable form,
but his most fitting monument was the
great new British army which was his
creation and which was soon to enter
upon a glorious career of victory.
For a long time there was much mystery
regarding Kitchener's fate. Rumors long
persisted in England that he was still alive.
Some said he was in Russia commanding
the Russian armies. Others believed that
there were traitors in the War Office who
knew his plan of departure and had managed to have a time bomb placed on the
Hampshire. .Admiral Jellicoe says in his
book: "Between 7:30 and 7:45 p. m. the
Hampshire struck a mine about one and
one-half miles off shore, between the
Brough of Bairsay and Marwick, Head;
she sank in fifteen minutes, bows, first,...
There was at first doubt in the minds of
some people as to whether the loss of the
Hampshire was due to a mine or a submarine, but these doubts were set at rest:
by the sweeping operations which were
undertaken as soon as the weather permitted. They resulted in the discovery
of moored mines of the type laid in southern
waters by enemy submarines, these mines
being easily distinguishable from those
laid by surface vessels.''
Meanwhile, Austria-Hungary had aimed
a great blow at Italy. The point chosen
for attack was the Trentino, and the
object of the "'drive" was not only to
relieve the city of Trent, which was threatened by the Italians, but to break through
to the rich plains of Lombardy, capture
Milan and Venice, and envelop the Italian forces on the Gorizia front in one vast,
cataclysmic disaster. For months the Dual
Monarchy had been massing hundreds
of thousands of troops between the Adige
and Brenta Rivers and had brought thither
about two thousand cannons, many of
them of the heaviest calibre.
Toward the middle of May, the Austrians began a terrific bombardment of
the Italian positions on this front, and,
on the 15th, great masses of infantry were
hurled at the positions between the Adige
and the upper Astico. The Italians fought
bravely and were aided by the mountainous
character of the region, but their fortifications had been wrecked by the bombardment, and they were forced to fall back,
leaving about 2,500 of their number prisoners. The Austrians followed up their
success systematically, moving forward
their artillery, striking now here, now there,
and every day gaining ground and reaping
a harvest of prisoners and guns. On the
18th, for the first time since the outbreak
of hostilities, the Austrians forced their
way over the frontier to Italian soil and
established themselves on a ridge of the
Monte Baldo in the Lago di Garda region.
By the end of May, the drive had not only
netted considerable territory but over
thirty thousand prisoners and between