Page 3651

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