The latest issue of The St. Mihiel Trip-Wire, the always readable online magazine about the Great War, includes a major feature on H.M.S. Hampshire, the ship which sank when taking Kitchener on a secret mission to Russia.
What really interests me is the abundant collection of rumours and conspiracy theories that followed Kitchener’s death.
- The ship was sabotaged by Sinn Fein.
- It was sunk by the British government to get rid of Kitchener.
- It was destroyed by a cabal in Britain who wanted to stop Kitchener co-ordinating with the Russians, because they wanted to bring the War to a negotiated peace.
- Kitchener had committed suicide in London (because of his homosexuality) and sinking the ship was a way of disposing of the body honourably.
- The ship was sunk by British forces who thought it was German (and surviving seamen were shot when they reached the shore in the Orkneys.)
Which to believe? You decide.