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Includes 17 maps and the First World War Illustrations Pack – 73 battle plans and diagrams and 198 photos
Field-Marshal Horatio Herbert Kitchener served in the British Army from his teenage years in the Royal Engineers to his elevation to the highest military rank forty-four years later in 1916. In this balanced biography, written by a fellow British Army officer who served in the First World War, his long career in the army and as a colonial administrator is charted in vivid detail.
Kitchener came to worldwide attention in 1898 for winning the Battle of Omdurman and securing control of the Sudan, after which he was given the title “Lord Kitchener of Khartoum”; as Chief of Staff (1900–02) in the Second Boer War he played a key role in Lord Roberts’ conquest of the Boer Republics, then succeeded Roberts as commander-in-chief–ultimately winning the war against the insurgent Boers. After a quarrelsome term as Commander-in-Chief (1902–09) in India he returned to Egypt as Consul-General.
In 1914, at the start of the First World War, Lord Kitchener became Secretary of State for War, a Cabinet Minister. One of the few to foresee a long war, he organised the largest volunteer army that both Britain and the world had seen, and oversaw a significant expansion of materials production to fight Germany on the Western Front. Despite having warned of the difficulty of provisioning Britain for a long war, he was blamed for the shortage of shells in the spring of 1915 – one of the events leading to the formation of a coalition government – and stripped of his control over munitions and strategy.
Kitchener drowned on 5 June 1916 when HMS Hampshire sank west of the Orkney Islands, Scotland. He was making his way to Russia in order to attend negotiations but the ship struck a German mine. He was one of the 600 killed on board the ship.