Life of Lord Kitchener

Life of Lord Kitchener

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Life of Lord Kitchener

Life of Lord Kitchener

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Excerpt

In August 1914 Kitchener was to envisage the chief emprise of his career in the great hour when the country accepted a tremendous challenge.

Over the first days of the Great War brooded that atmosphere of fate which is seldom absent from large transactions. Events resulting from more than human cunning and wickedness unrolled themselves with apocalyptic majesty and inevitableness; and this savour of preordination attaches to the almost accidental presence of Kitchener in England in August 1914. He had arrived from Egypt in July, intending to stay till September; but he had hardly landed when he heard that Austria was presenting a pistol to Serbia's head, and he knew that Germany's finger would be on the trigger. He was not likely to belittle the significance of this. A German menace to European peace had long been present to his mind, and he felt that our military arrangements were dangerously inadequate to our responsibilities. He had refrained from an appeal to Caesar of the many heads; where Lord Roberts's persuasive eloquence had failed, he could hardly hope to succeed. But if he had said little, he had done much. India he had left prepared, as never before, for war; he had won for us the heart and hand of South Africa . . .

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