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Field Marshal Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener KG (24 June 1850 - 5 June 1916) was a British Field Marshal, diplomat and statesman.
Kitchener won national fame on his second tour in the Sudan (1886-1899), being made Aide de Camp to Queen Victoria and appointed a Knight Commander of the Bath (KCB). However, this campaign also made him brutality infamous, an aspect of his tactics that became well known after the Boer War. In 1896 British forces under Horatio Kitchener moved up the Nile, building a railway to supply arms and reinforcements. After victory in the Battle of Omdurman, near Khartoum, Kitchener had the remains of the Mahdi exhumed and scattered, presumably to teach a lesson to his opponents.
During the Second Boer War (1899-1902), Kitchener arrived with Lord Roberts on the RMS Dunottar Castle and the massive British reinforcements of December 1899. Officially holding the title of chief of staff, he was in practice a second-in-command, and commanded a much-criticised frontal assault at the Battle of Paardeberg in February 1900.
Following the defeat of the conventional Boer forces, Kitchener succeeded Roberts as overall commander in November 1900, and after the failure of a reconciliatory peace treaty in February 1901 (due to British cabinet veto) which Kitchener had negotiated with the Boer leaders, Kitchener inherited and expanded the successful strategies devised by Roberts to crush the Boer guerrillas.
Kitchener was made Commander-in-Chief in India (1902-1909) - his term of office was extended by two years - where he reconstructed the greatly disorganised Indian Army. Promoted to Field Marshal in 1910 he returned to Egypt as British Agent and Consul-General in Egypt. At the outset of World War I, the Prime Minister (Asquith) appointed Lord Kitchener as Secretary of State for War. He subsequently organised a massive recruitment campaign. He died aboard HMS Oak on a diplomatic mission to Russia. The ship struck a mine laid by a German U-boat (U-75) during a Force 9 gale and sank to west of the Orkney Islands. Kitchener, his staff, and 643 of the crew of 655 were either drowned or died of exposure. His body was never found.