May 1916

Kitchener and the Jutland

May 31, 1916, is identified as the beginning of the Battle of Jutland, the largest naval battle in the First World War.

The clash resulted in a British victory despite the Royal Navy losses where almost three times more than the German. The British fleet managed to repel the German attempt to force the naval blockade around their coasts. The Jutland battle, despite being a victory paid at high price, was further obscured a few days later. On June 5, Lord Horatio Herbert Kitchener (1850 – 1916), until then the main organizer of the English war, died in the sinking of the cruiser HMS Hampshire that, while sailing on the North Sea, hit a German mine; Kitchener's body was never recovered.

Represented on thousand of poster, Kitchener became one of the most representative icons of the British war effort; knitting passionate – enough to have a picture of him with needles – he is credited with the invention of the homonymous knitting stitches, the Kitchener stitch.