Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma

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Template:Use British English Template:Infobox Officeholder Admiral of the Fleet Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas George Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma KG GCB OM GCSI GCIE GCVO DSO PC FRS (born Prince Louis of Battenberg; 25 June 1900 – 27 August 1979), was a British statesman and naval officer, an uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and second cousin once removed to Elizabeth II. He was the last Viceroy of India (1947) and the first Governor-General of the independent Union of India (1947–48), from which the modern Republic of India emerged in 1950. From 1954 until 1959 he was the First Sea Lord, a position that had been held by his father, Prince Louis of Battenberg, some forty years earlier. Thereafter he served as Chief of the Defence Staff until 1965, making him the longest serving professional head of the British Armed Forces to date. During this period Mountbatten also served as Chairman of the NATO Military Committee for a year.

In 1979 Mountbatten was killed by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA), who planted a bomb in his yacht, the Shadow V, at Mullaghmore, County Sligo, in Ireland.


Early life

File:Mountbatten familia.jpg
Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine, Prince Louis of Battenberg and their four children Princess Alice of Battenberg, Louise, George and Louis.
From the time of his birth through 1917, when he and several other British royals dropped their German styles and titles, Lord Mountbatten was known as His Serene Highness Prince Louis of Battenberg. He was the youngest child and the second son of Prince Louis of Battenberg and his wife Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine. His maternal grandparents were Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse, and Princess Alice of the United Kingdom, who was a daughter of Queen Victoria and Albert, Prince Consort. His paternal grandparents were Prince Alexander of Hesse and Princess Julia of Battenberg. His paternal grandparents' marriage was morganatic, because his grandmother was not of royal lineage; as a result, he and his father were styled "Serene Highness" rather than "Grand Ducal Highness", were not eligible to be titled Princes of Hesse and were given the less exalted Battenberg title. His siblings were Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark (mother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh), Queen Louise of Sweden, and George Mountbatten, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven.<ref name=burke>Montgomery-Massingberd, p. 303-304</ref>

Young Louis's nickname among family and friends was "Dickie", notable in that "Richard" was not among his given names. This was because his great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, suggested the nickname of "Nicky", however it got mixed up with the many Nickys of the Russian Imperial Family ("Nicky" was particularly used to refer to Nicholas II, the last Tsar) so they changed it to Dickie.Template:R

Louis was home-schooled for the first ten years of his life: he was then sent to Lockers Park School in Hertfordshire<ref name=odnb>Template:Cite web</ref> and on to the Royal Naval College, Osborne in May 1913.<ref name=heath183>Heathcote, p. 183</ref> In childhood he visited the Imperial Court of Russia at St Petersburg and became intimate with the doomed Russian Imperial Family, harbouring romantic feelings towards Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna, whose photograph he kept at his bedside for the rest of his life.<ref name=king49>King and Wilson, p. 49</ref>

In 1914, because of the growing anti-German sentiments that swept across Europe during the first few months of World War I, Prince Louis of Battenberg was removed from his position as First Sea Lord in the Admiralty and publicly humiliated by King George V and Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill. Though both men professed 'sadness' at having to do this, private conversations and letters show them both perfectly happy to sacrifice their "blue-eyed German".<ref>Von Tunzelman, p. 44-45</ref>


Early career

Louis was posted as midshipman to the battlecruiser HMS Lion in July 1916 and, after seeing action in August 1916, transferred to the battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth during the closing phases of World War I.<ref name=heath183/> In June 1917, when the Royal Family stopped using their German names and titles and adopted the more British-sounding "Windsor": Prince Louis of Battenberg became Louis Mountbatten, and was created Marquess of Milford Haven. His second son acquired the courtesy title Lord Louis Mountbatten and was known as Lord Louis informally until his death.<ref name=heath184>Heathcote, p. 184</ref>

File:David Kahanamoku, Lord Louis Mountbatten, Prince Edward, and Duke Kahanamoku, c.1920.jpg
David Kahanamoku, Lord Louis Mountbatten, Prince Edward, and Duke Kahanamoku, c.1920.
After his war service, and having been promoted to sub-lieutenant on 15 January 1919, Mountbatten attended Christ's College, Cambridge for two terms where he studied engineering in a programme that was specially designed for ex-servicemen.<ref name=heath184/> He was posted to the battlecruiser HMS Renown in March 1920 and accompanied Edward, Prince of Wales, on a royal tour of Australia in her.<ref name=heath184/> Promoted to lieutenant on 15 April 1920,<ref>Template:London Gazette</ref> he transferred to the battlecruiser HMS Repulse in March 1921 and accompanied Edward on a Royal tour of India and Japan.<ref name=heath184/> Edward and Mountbatten formed a close friendship during the trip.<ref name=heath184/> He was posted to the battleship HMS Revenge in the Mediterranean Fleet in January 1923.<ref name=heath184/>

Pursuing his interests in technological development and gadgetry, Mountbatten joined the Portsmouth Signals School in August 1924 and then went on to briefly study electronics at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich.<ref name=heath184/> Mountbatten became a Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE), now the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), which annually awards the Mountbatten Medal for an outstanding contribution, or contributions over a period, to the promotion of electronics or information technology and their application.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> He was posted to the battleship HMS Centurion in the Reserve Fleet in 1926 and became Assistant Fleet Wireless and Signals Officer of the Mediterranean Fleet under the command of Admiral Sir Roger Keyes in January 1927.<ref name=heath184/> Promoted to lieutenant-commander on 15 April 1928,<ref>Template:London Gazette</ref> he returned to the Signals School in July 1929 as Senior Wireless Instructor.<ref name=heath184/> He was appointed Fleet Wireless Officer to the Mediterranean Fleet in August 1931, and having been promoted to commander on 31 December 1932,<ref>Template:London Gazette</ref> was posted to the battleship HMS Resolution.<ref name=heath184/>

In 1934, Mountbatten was appointed to his first command - the destroyer HMS Daring.<ref name=heath184/> His ship was a new destroyer which he was to sail to Singapore and exchange for an older ship, HMS Wishart.<ref name=heath184/> He successfully brought Wishart back to port in Malta and then attended the funeral of King George V in January 1936.<ref>Template:London Gazette</ref> Mountbatten was appointed a Personal Naval Aide-de-Camp to King George VI on 23 June 1936,<ref>Template:London Gazette</ref> and, having joined the Naval Air Division of the Admiralty in July 1936,<ref name="Zuckerman">Zuckerman, p. 354–366</ref> he attended the coronation of King George VI in May 1937.<ref>Template:London Gazette</ref> He was promoted to Captain on 30 June 1937<ref>Template:London Gazette</ref> and was then given command of the destroyer Template:HMS in June 1939.<ref name=heath185>Heathcote, p. 185</ref>

In July 1939 Mountbatten was granted a patent (UK Number 508,956) for a system for maintaining a warship in a fixed position relative to another ship.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

Second World War

When war broke out in 1939, Mountbatten became commander of the 5th Destroyer Flotilla aboard his ship Kelly, which was famous for its many daring exploits.<ref name="Zuckerman"/> In late 1939 he brought the Duke of Windsor back from exile in France and in early May 1940, Mountbatten led a British convoy in through the fog to evacuate the Allied forces participating in the Namsos Campaign during the Norwegian Campaign.<ref name=heath185/> On the night 9 May/10 May 1940, Kelly was torpedoed amidships by a German E-boat S 31 off the Dutch coast and Mountbatten subsequently commanded the 5th Destroyer Flotilla from the destroyer HMS Javelin.<ref name=heath185/> He rejoined Kelly in December 1940 by which time the torpedo damage had been repaired.<ref name=heath185/> However Kelly was sunk by German dive bombers on 23 May 1941 during the Battle of Crete.<ref name=heath186>Heathcote, p. 186</ref> In Which We Serve was a British patriotic war film directed by David Lean and Noël Coward, and inspired by the sinking of Kelly. Coward was a personal friend of Mountbatten, and copied some of his speeches into the film.<ref name=heath186/> He was mentioned in despatches on 9 August 1940<ref>Template:London Gazette</ref> and 21 March 1941<ref>Template:London Gazette</ref> and awarded the Distinguished Service Order in January 1941.<ref name=dso/>

In August 1941, Mountbatten was appointed captain of the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious which lay in Norfolk, Virginia, for repairs following action at Malta in the Mediterranean in January.<ref name=heath186/> During this period of relative inactivity he paid a flying visit to Pearl Harbor, where he was not impressed with the poor state of readiness.<ref name=heath186/>

Mountbatten was a favourite of Winston Churchill, (although Churchill never spoke to him after 1948 since he was famously annoyed with Mountbatten's later role in the independence of India and Pakistan), and on 27 October 1941 Mountbatten replaced Roger Keyes as Chief of Combined Operations and received promotion to commodore.<ref name=heath186/> His duties in this role consisted of planning commando raids across the English Channel and inventing new technical aids to assist with opposed landings.<ref name="Zuckerman"/> Mountbatten, who was promoted to the acting rank of vice-admiral in March 1942, was in large part responsible for the planning and organisation of The Raid at St. Nazaire in mid 1942, an operation resulting in the disuse of one of the most heavily defended docks in Nazi-occupied France until well after war's end, the ramifications of which greatly contributed to allied supremacy in the Battle of the Atlantic. He personally pushed through the disastrous Dieppe Raid of 19 August 1942, (which some among the Allied forces, notably Field Marshal Montgomery, later claimed was ill-conceived from the start). The raid on Dieppe was widely considered a disaster, with casualties (including those wounded or taken prisoner) numbering in the thousands, the great majority of them Canadians.<ref name=heath186/> Historian Brian Loring Villa concluded that Mountbatten conducted the raid without authority, but that his intention to do so was known to several of his superiors, who took no action to stop him.<ref name=villa>Villa, p. 240–241</ref> Noteworthy technical achievements of Mountbatten and his staff include the construction of an underwater oil pipeline from the English coast to Normandy, an artificial harbour constructed of concrete caissons and sunken ships, and the development of amphibious tank-landing ships.<ref name="Zuckerman"/> Another project that Mountbatten proposed to Churchill was Project Habakkuk. It was to be a massive and impregnable 600-metre aircraft carrier made from reinforced ice ("Pykrete"): Habakkuk was never carried out due to its enormous cost.<ref name="Zuckerman"/>

File:SE 000014 Mountbatten as SACSEA during Arakan tour.jpg
Lord Louis Mountbatten, Supreme Allied Commander, seen during his tour of the Arakan Front in February 1944.

Mountbatten claimed that the lessons learned from the Dieppe Raid were necessary for planning the Normandy invasion on D-Day nearly two years later. However, military historians such as former Royal Marine Julian Thompson have written that these lessons should not have needed a debacle such as Dieppe to be recognised.<ref name=Thompson>Thompson, p. 263–9</ref> Nevertheless, as a direct result of the failings of the Dieppe raid, the British made several innovations – most notably Hobart's Funnies – specialized armoured vehicles which, in the course of the Normandy Landings, undoubtedly saved many lives on those three beachheads upon which Commonwealth soldiers were landing (Gold Beach, Juno Beach, and Sword Beach).<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

File:Mountbatten address, Singapore 1945.jpg
Mountbatten making an address in Singapore, 1945.
As a result of the Dieppe raid, Mountbatten became a controversial figure in Canada,<ref name=villa/> with the Royal Canadian Legion distancing itself from him during his visits there during his later career; his relations with Canadian veterans "remained frosty".<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

In August 1943, Churchill appointed Mountbatten the Supreme Allied Commander South East Asia Command (SEAC) with promotion to the acting rank of full admiral.<ref name=heath186/> His less practical ideas were sidelined by an experienced planning staff led by Lt-Col. James Allason, though some, such as a proposal to launch an amphibious assault near Rangoon, got as far as Churchill before being quashed.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

During his time as Supreme Allied Commander of the Southeast Asia Theatre, his command oversaw the recapture of Burma from the Japanese by General William Slim.<ref name=heath187>Heathcote, p. 187</ref> A personal high point was the reception of the Japanese surrender in Singapore when British troops returned to the island to receive the formal surrender of Japanese forces in the region led by General Itagaki Seishiro on 12 September 1945, codenamed Operation Tiderace.<ref>Park, p. 2156, para 360</ref> South East Asia Command was disbanded in May 1946 and Mountbatten returned home with the substantive rank of rear-admiral.<ref name=heath188>Heathcote, p. 188</ref>

Last Viceroy and first Governor-General

His experience in the region and in particular his perceived Labour sympathies at that time led to Clement Attlee appointing him Viceroy of India after the war,<ref>Template:London Gazette</ref> charged with overseeing the transition of British India to independence no later than 1948. Mountbatten's instructions emphasised a united India as a result of the transference of power but authorised him to adapt to a changing situation in order to get Britain out promptly with minimal reputational damage.<ref name=Ziegler359>Ziegler, p. 359</ref>

File:Mountbatten visiting Sardar.jpg
Lord and Lady Mountbatten at Mussoorie with Jawaharlal Nehru.
Mountbatten was fond of Congress leader Jawaharlal Nehru and his liberal outlook for the country. He felt differently about the Muslim leader Muhammed Ali Jinnah, but was aware of his power, stating "If it could be said that any single man held the future of India in the palm of his hand in 1947, that man was Mohammad Ali Jinnah.<ref name="SarJinna">Sardesai, p. 309-313.</ref> Mountbatten tried to persuade Jinnah of a united India, citing the difficult task of dividing the mixed states of Punjab and Bengal, but the Muslim leader was unyielding in his goal of establishing a separate Muslim state called Pakistan.<ref name="Greenberg, Jonathan D. 2005">Greenberg, Jonathan D. “Generations of Memory: Remembering Partition in India/Pakistan and Israel/Palestine.” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 25, no.1 (2005): 89. Project MUSE</ref>
File:Mountbattens with Gandhi (IND 5298).jpg
Gandhi with Lord and Lady Mountbatten, 1947
Given the British government's recommendations to grant independence quickly, Mountbatten concluded that a united India was an unachievable goal and resigned himself to a plan for partition, creating the independent nations of India and Pakistan.<ref name="Zuckerman"/> Mountbatten set a date for the transfer of power from the British to the Indians, arguing that a fixed timeline would convince Indians of his and the British government's sincerity in working towards a swift and efficient independence, excluding all possibilities of stalling the process.<ref name=Ziegler355>Ziegler, p. 355</ref>

Among the Indian leaders, Gandhi emphatically insisted on maintaining a united India and for a while successfully rallied people to this goal. However, when Mountbatten's timeline offered the prospect of attaining independence soon, sentiments took a different turn. Given Mountbatten's determination, Nehru and Patel's inability to deal with the Muslim League and lastly Jinnah's obstinacy, all Indian party leaders (except Gandhi) acquiesced to Jinnah's plan to divide India,<ref name=Ziegler373>Ziegler, p. 373</ref> which in turn eased Mountbatten's task. Mountbatten also developed a strong relationship with the Indian princes, who ruled those portions of India not directly under British rule. His intervention was decisive in persuading the vast majority of them to see advantages in opting to join the Indian Union. Thus the integration of the princely states can be viewed as one of the positive aspects of his legacy.<ref>Guha, p. 57</ref>

File:Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru as the first Prime Minister of free India.jpg
Lord Mountbatten with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru the first Prime Minister of sovereign India in Government House, Lady Mountbatten standing to their left.
When India and Pakistan attained independence at midnight on the night of 14-15 August 1947, Mountbatten remained in New Delhi for ten months, serving as India's first governor general until June 1948.<ref name=heath189>Heathcote, p. 189</ref>
File:Mountbatten Jinnah.jpg
Lord and Lady Mountbatten with Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Notwithstanding the self-promotion of his own part in Indian independence — notably in the television series The Life and Times of Admiral of the Fleet Lord Mountbatten of Burma, produced by his son-in-law Lord Brabourne and Dominique Lapierre, and Larry Collins's Freedom at Midnight (of which he was the main quoted source) — his record is seen as very mixed; one common view is that he hastened the independence process unduly and recklessly, foreseeing vast disruption and loss of life and not wanting this to occur on the British watch, but thereby actually causing it to occur, especially in Punjab and Bengal.<ref>See, e.g., Wolpert, Stanley (2006). Shameful Flight: The Last Years of the British Empire in India.</ref> John Kenneth Galbraith, the Canadian-American Harvard University economist, who advised governments of India during the 1950s, an intimate of Nehru who served as the American ambassador from 1961 to 1963, was a particularly harsh critic of Mountbatten in this regard.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

Career after India and Pakistan

File:HMS Glasgow Mounbatten.jpg
Mountbatten arrives on board HMS Glasgow at Malta to assume command of the Mediterranean Fleet, 16 May 1952
After India, Mountbatten served as commander of the 1st cruiser squadron in the Mediterranean Fleet and, having been granted the substantive rank of vice admiral on 22 June 1949,<ref>Template:London Gazette</ref> he became Second-in-Command of the Mediterranean Fleet in April 1950.<ref name=heath189/> He became Fourth Sea Lord at the Admiralty in June 1950 and attended the funeral of King George VI in February 1952.<ref>Template:London Gazette</ref> He then returned to the Mediterranean to serve as Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet from June 1952.<ref name=heath189/> Promoted to the substantive rank of full admiral on 27 February 1953,<ref>Template:London Gazette</ref> he attended the coronation of the Queen Elizabeth II in June 1953.<ref>Template:London Gazette</ref> Mountbatten served his final posting at the Admiralty as First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff from April 1955 to July 1959, the position which his father had held some forty years prior. This was the first time in Royal Naval history that a father and son had both attained such high rank.<ref>Patton, Allyson, Broadlands: Lord Mountbatten's Country Home in British Heritage, Vol. 26, Issue 1, March 2005, pp. 14-17. Accessed from Academic Search Complete on 13 May 2009.</ref> He was promoted to Admiral of the Fleet on 22 October 1956.<ref>Template:London Gazette</ref>

In his biography of Mountbatten, Philip Ziegler comments on his character:

"His vanity, though child-like, was monstrous, his ambition unbridled. The truth, in his hands, was swiftly converted from what it was, to what it should have been. He sought to rewrite history with cavalier indifference to the facts to magnify his own achievements. There was a time when I became so enraged by what I began to feel was his determination to hoodwink me that I found it necessary to place on my desk a notice saying: REMEMBER, IN SPITE OF EVERYTHING, HE WAS A GREAT MAN."<ref>Ziegler, p. 17</ref>

While serving as First Sea Lord, his primary concerns dealt with devising plans on how the Royal Navy would keep shipping lanes open if Britain fell victim to a nuclear attack. Today, this seems of minor importance but at the time few people comprehended the potentially limitless destruction nuclear weapons possess and the ongoing dangers posed by the fallout. Military commanders did not understand the physics involved in a nuclear explosion. This became evident when Mountbatten had to be reassured that the fission reactions from the Bikini Atoll tests would not spread through the oceans and blow up the planet.<ref>Zuckerman, 363.</ref> As Mountbatten became more familiar with this new form of weaponry, he increasingly grew opposed to its use in combat yet at the same time he realised the potential nuclear energy had, especially with regards to submarines. Mountbatten expressed his feelings towards the use of nuclear weapons in combat in his article "A Military Commander Surveys The Nuclear Arms Race", which was published shortly after his death in International Security in the winter of 1979–80.<ref>Mountbatten, Louis, "A Military Commander Surveys The Nuclear Arms Race", International Security, Vol. 4 No. 3 Winter 1979-1980, MIT Press. pp. 3-5</ref> After leaving the Admiralty, Lord Mountbatten took the position of Chief of the Defence Staff.<ref name=heath189/> He served in this post for six years during which he was able to consolidate the three service departments of the military branch into a single Ministry of Defence.<ref name=heath190>Heathcote, p. 190</ref>

Mountbatten was Governor of the Isle of Wight from 20 July 1965<ref>Template:London Gazette</ref> and then the first Lord Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight from 1 April 1974.<ref>Template:London Gazette</ref> From 1967 until 1978, Mountbatten became president of the United World Colleges Organisation, then represented by a single college: that of Atlantic College in South Wales. Mountbatten supported the United World Colleges and encouraged heads of state, politicians and personalities throughout the world to share his interest. Under Mountbatten's presidency and personal involvement, the United World College of South East Asia was established in Singapore in 1971, followed by the United World College of the Pacific (now known as the Lester B Pearson United World College of the Pacific) in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, in 1974. In 1978, Lord Mountbatten of Burma passed the Presidency to his great-nephew, the Prince of Wales.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

Long after the execution-style murders of the Russian Imperial Family, Mountbatten was called upon to authoritatively rebut impostors' claims to be the living Grand Duchess Anastasia, who had been his first cousin. Until his own assassination in 1979, Mountbatten kept a photograph of Anastasia's sister, Grand Duchess Maria, beside his bed in memory of his youthful romantic attachment to her.<ref name=king49/>

Alleged plots against Harold Wilson

Peter Wright, in his book Spycatcher, claimed that in 1967 Mountbatten attended a private meeting with press baron and MI5 agent Cecil King, and the Government's chief scientific adviser, Solly Zuckerman. King and Peter Wright were members of a group of thirty MI5 officers who wanted to stage a coup against the then crisis-stricken Labour Government of Harold Wilson, and King allegedly used the meeting to urge Mountbatten to become the leader of a government of national salvation. Solly Zuckerman pointed out that it was treason, and the idea came to nothing because of Mountbatten's reluctance to act.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

In 2006 the BBC documentary The Plot Against Harold Wilson alleged that there had been another plot involving Mountbatten to oust Wilson during his second term in office (1974–76). The period was characterised by high inflation, increasing unemployment and widespread industrial unrest. The alleged plot revolved around right-wing former military figures who were supposedly building private armies to counter the perceived threat from trade unions and the Soviet Union. They believed that the Labour Party, which is partly funded by affiliated trade unions, was unable and unwilling to counter these developments and that Wilson was either a Soviet agent or at the very least a Communist sympathiser – claims Wilson strongly denied. The documentary alleged that a coup was planned to overthrow Wilson and replace him with Mountbatten using the private armies and sympathisers in the military and MI5. The documentary stated that Mountbatten and other members of the British Royal Family supported the plot and were involved in its planning.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref>

The first official history of MI5, The Defence of the Realm published in 2009, tacitly confirmed that there was a plot against Wilson and that MI5 did have a file on him. Yet it also made clear that the plot was in no way official and that any activity centred on a small group of discontented officers. This much had already been confirmed by former cabinet secretary Lord Hunt, who concluded in a secret inquiry conducted in 1996 that "there is absolutely no doubt at all that a few, a very few, malcontents in MI5...a lot of them like Peter Wright who were rightwing, malicious and had serious personal grudges – gave vent to these and spread damaging malicious stories about that Labour government."<ref>Template:Cite news</ref>

Personal life


File:Louis and Edwina Mountbatten 01.jpg
Louis and Edwina Mountbatten

Mountbatten was married on 18 July 1922 to Edwina Cynthia Annette Ashley, daughter of Wilfred William Ashley, later 1st Baron Mount Temple, himself a grandson of the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury. She was the favourite granddaughter of the Edwardian magnate Sir Ernest Cassel and the principal heir to his fortune.<ref name=heath184/> There followed a glamorous honeymoon tour of European courts and America which famously included a visit to Niagara Falls (because "all honeymooners went there").<ref name="life1942081763">Template:Cite news</ref>

Mountbatten admitted "Edwina and I spent all our married lives getting into other people's beds."<ref>Zeigler, p. 53</ref> The biography of Labour MP Tom Driberg, written by Francis Wheen, claims that — like Driberg — Mountbatten had "a sexual preference for men".<ref>Wheen, p. 211</ref>

Edwina and India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru became intimate friends after Indian Independence. During the summers, she would frequent the prime minister's house so she could lounge about on his veranda during the hot Delhi days. Personal correspondence between the two reveals a satisfying yet frustrating relationship. Edwina states in one of her letters "Nothing that we did or felt would ever be allowed to come between you and your work or me and mine – because that would spoil everything."<ref>Bailey, Katherine, "India's Last Vicereine", British Heritage, Vol. 21, Issue 3, Apr/May 2000, p. 16</ref>

Daughter as heir

Lord and Lady Mountbatten had two daughters: Patricia Mountbatten, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma (born on 14 February 1924), sometime lady-in-waiting to the Queen, and Lady Pamela Carmen Louise (Hicks) (born on 19 April 1929), who accompanied them to India in 1947-48 and was also sometime lady-in-waiting to the Queen.<ref name=burke/>

Since Mountbatten had no sons, when he was created Viscount Mountbatten of Burma of Romsey in the County of Southampton on 27 August 1946<ref>Template:London Gazette</ref> and then Earl Mountbatten of Burma and Baron Romsey in the County of Southampton on 28 October 1947,<ref>Template:London Gazette</ref> the Letters Patent were drafted such that in the event he left no sons or issue in the male line, the titles could pass to his daughters, in order of seniority of birth, and to their heirs male respectively.<ref>Template:London Gazette</ref>

Leisure interests

Like many members of the royal family, Mountbatten was an aficionado of polo. He received U.S. patent 1,993,334 in 1931 for a polo stick.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> Mountbatten introduced the sport to the Royal Navy in the 1920s, and wrote a book on the subject.Template:R

Mentorship of Prince of Wales

Mountbatten was a strong influence in the upbringing of his grand-nephew, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and later as a mentor—"Honorary Grandfather" and "Honorary Grandson", they fondly called each other according to the Jonathan Dimbleby biography of the Prince—though according to both the Ziegler biography of Mountbatten and the Dimbleby biography of the Prince, the results may have been mixed. He from time to time strongly upbraided the Prince for showing tendencies towards the idle pleasure-seeking dilettantism of his predecessor as Prince of Wales, King Edward VIII, whom Mountbatten had known well in their youth. Yet he also encouraged the Prince to enjoy the bachelor life while he could and then to marry a young and inexperienced girl so as to ensure a stable married life.<ref>Junor, p. 72</ref>

Mountbatten's qualification for offering advice to this particular heir to the throne was unique; it was he who had arranged the visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to Dartmouth Royal Naval College on 22 July 1939, taking care to include the young Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret in the invitation, but assigning his nephew, Cadet Prince Philip of Greece, to keep them amused while their parents toured the facility. This was the first recorded meeting of Charles's future parents.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> But a few months later, Mountbatten's efforts nearly came to naught when he received a letter from his sister Alice in Athens informing him that Philip was visiting her and had agreed to permanently repatriate to Greece. Within days, Philip received a command from his cousin and sovereign, King George II of Greece, to resume his naval career in Britain which, though given without explanation, the young prince obeyed.<ref>Vickers, p. 281</ref>

In 1974 Mountbatten began corresponding with Charles about a potential marriage to his granddaughter, Hon. Amanda Knatchbull.<ref name = "Dimbleby204–206">Dimbleby, p. 204–206</ref> It was about this time he also recommended that the 25-year-old prince get on with sowing some wild oats.<ref name="Dimbleby204–206"/> Charles dutifully wrote to Amanda's mother (who was also his godmother), Lady Brabourne, about his interest. Her answer was supportive, but advised him that she thought her daughter still rather young to be courted.<ref name=JD>Dimbleby, p. 263–265</ref>

Four years later Mountbatten secured an invitation for himself and Amanda to accompany Charles on his planned 1980 tour of India.<ref name=JD/> Their fathers promptly objected. Prince Philip thought that the Indian public's reception would more likely reflect response to the uncle than to the nephew. Lord Brabourne counselled that the intense scrutiny of the press would be more likely to drive Mountbatten's godson and granddaughter apart than together.<ref name=JD/>

Charles was re-scheduled to tour India alone, but Mountbatten did not live to the planned date of departure. When Charles finally did propose marriage to Amanda later in 1979, the circumstances were tragically changed, and she refused him.<ref name=JD/>

Television appearances

In 1969 Earl Mountbatten participated in a 12-part autobiographical television series Lord Mountbatten: A Man for the Century, also known as The Life and Times of Lord Mountbatten, produced by Associated-Rediffusion and scripted by historian John Terraine.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref><ref>Template:Cite web</ref> The episodes were:<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

Template:Col-begin Template:Col-break 1. The King's Ships Were at Sea (1900–1917)
2. The Kings Depart (1917–1922)
3. Azure Main (1922–1936)
4. The Stormy Winds (1936–1941)
Template:Col-break 5. United We Conquer (1941–1943)
6. The Imperial Enemy
7. The March to Victory
8. The Meaning of Victory (1945–1947)
Template:Col-break 9. The Last Viceroy
10. Fresh Fields (1947–1955)
11. Full Circle (1955–1965)
12. A Man of This Century (1900–1968) Template:Col-end

On 27 April 1977, shortly before his 77th birthday, Mountbatten became the first member of the Royal Family to appear on the TV guest show This Is Your Life.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>


File:Loire Stained Glass.jpg
Christ in Triumph over Darkness and Evil by Gabriel Loire (1982) at St. George's Cathedral, Cape Town, South Africa, in memory of Lord Mountbatten.

Mountbatten usually holidayed at his summer home in Mullaghmore, County Sligo, a small seaside village between Bundoran, County Donegal, and Sligo town on the northwest coast of Ireland. The village was only 12 miles away from the border with Northern Ireland and near an area known to be used as a cross-border refuge by IRA members.<ref name="Time Magazine"/><ref name=onthisday />

Despite security advice and warnings from the Garda Síochána, on 27 August 1979 Mountbatten went lobster-potting and tuna fishing in a thirty-foot (10 m) wooden boat, the Shadow V, which had been moored in the harbour at Mullaghmore. IRA member Thomas McMahon had slipped onto the unguarded boat that night and attached a radio-controlled fifty-pound (23 kg) bomb. When Mountbatten was aboard en route to Donegal Bay, just a few hundred yards from the shore, the bomb was detonated. Who activated the radio-controlled bomb is not known: McMahon had been arrested earlier at a Garda checkpoint between Longford and Granard.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

The boat was blown to pieces by the force of the blast. Mountbatten, then aged 79, was fatally wounded. He was pulled alive from the water by nearby fishermen, but died from his injuries before being brought to the shore.<ref name=onthisday>Template:Cite web</ref><ref name=guardian>Template:Cite web</ref><ref>O'Brien, p. 55</ref> Others killed by the blast were Nicholas Knatchbull, his elder daughter's 14-year-old son, and Paul Maxwell, a 15-year-old youth from County Fermanagh who was a crew member. The Dowager Lady Brabourne, his elder daughter's 83-year-old mother-in-law, was seriously injured in the explosion and died from her injuries the following day.<ref>Patton, Allyson, "Broadlands: Lord Mountbatten's Country Home", British Heritage March 2005, Vol. 26 Issue 1, pp. 14-17.</ref> Nicholas Knatchbull's mother and father, along with his twin brother Timothy, survived the explosion but were seriously injured.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> The IRA issued a statement, saying:


Sinn Féin vice-president Gerry Adams said of Mountbatten's death:


On the day Mountbatten was assassinated the IRA ambushed and killed eighteen British Army soldiers, sixteen of them from the Parachute Regiment at Warrenpoint, County Down, in what became known as the Warrenpoint ambush.<ref name=onthisday /> Prince Charles took Mountbatten's death particularly hard, remarking to friends that things were never the same after losing his mentor. It has since been revealed that Mountbatten had been favourable towards the eventual reunification of Ireland.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref><ref>Template:Cite news</ref>


Mountbatten's tomb at Romsey Abbey

The President of Ireland, Patrick Hillery, and the Taoiseach, Jack Lynch, attended a memorial service for Mountbatten in St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin on 5 September 1979. Mountbatten was buried in Romsey Abbey after a televised funeral in Westminster Abbey which he himself had comprehensively planned.<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref>


On 23 November 1979 Thomas McMahon was convicted of murder based on forensic evidence collected by Dr James O'Donovan, for his part in the bombing. He was released in 1998 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.<ref name=onthisday /><ref>Maloney, p. 176</ref>

On hearing of Mountbatten's death the then Master of the Queen's Music, Malcolm Williamson, was moved to write the Lament in Memory of Lord Mountbatten of Burma for violin and string orchestra. The 11-minute work was given its first performance on 5 May 1980 by the Scottish Baroque Ensemble, conducted by Leonard Friedman.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

Mountbatten took pride in enhancing intercultural understanding and in 1984, with his elder daughter as the patron, the Mountbatten Internship Programme was developed to allow young adults the opportunity to enhance their intercultural appreciation and experience by spending time abroad.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>


Ribbon bars of the Earl Mountbatten of Burma
(foreign decorations included; incomplete)

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40px Knight of the Order of the Garter (KG) 1946<ref>Template:London Gazette KG</ref>
40px Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB) 1955
Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) 1945<ref>Template:London Gazette KCB</ref>
Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) 1943
40px Member of the Order of Merit (Military Division) (OM) 1965<ref>Template:London Gazette OM</ref>
40px Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India (GCSI) 1947
40px Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (GCIE) 1947
40px Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) 1937<ref>Template:London Gazette GCVO</ref>
Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) 1922<ref>Template:London Gazette KCVO</ref>
Member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO) 1920<ref>Template:London Gazette MVO</ref>
40px Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) 1941<ref name=dso>Template:London Gazette DSO</ref>
40px Knight of Justice of the Order of St John (KStJ) 1940<ref>Template:London Gazette KJStJ</ref>
Commander of Justice of the Order of St John (CStJ) 1929<ref>Template:London Gazette CStJ</ref>
40px British War Medal
40px Victory Medal
40px 1939–45 Star
40px Atlantic Star
40px Africa Star
40px Burma Star
40px Italy Star
40px Defence Medal
40px War Medal 1939–1945
40px Naval General Service Medal
40px King Edward VII Coronation Medal 1902
40px King George V Coronation Medal 1911
40px King George V Silver Jubilee Medal 1935
40px King George VI Coronation Medal 1937
40px Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal 1952
40px Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal 1977
40px Indian Independence Medal 1949
40px Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic 23px (Kingdom of Spain) - 1922
40px Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown 23px (Romania) - 1924
40px Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of Romania 23px (Romania) - 1937
40px War Cross 23px (Kingdom of Greece) - 1941<ref>Template:London Gazette Military Cross (Second Class) (Greece)</ref>
40px Chief Commander of the Legion of Merit 23px (United States of America) - 1943
40px Special Grand Cordon of the Order of the Cloud and Banner 23px (Republic of China) - 1945<ref>Template:London Gazette Order of the Cloud and Banner (China)</ref>
40px Distinguished Service Medal 23px (United States of America) - 1945<ref>Template:London Gazette DSM (US)</ref>
40px Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal 23px (United States of America) - 1945
40px Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour 23px (France) - 1946
40px 1939–1945 War Cross 23px (France) - 1946
40px Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of Nepal 23px (Kingdom of Nepal) - 1946
40px Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the White Elephant 23px (Kingdom of Thailand) - 1946
40px Knight Grand Cross of the Order of George I 23px (Kingdom of Greece) - 1946<ref>Template:London Gazette Order of George I (Greece)</ref>
40px Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion 23px (Kingdom of the Netherlands) - 1948<ref>Template:London Gazette Order of the Netherlands Lion</ref>
40px Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Aviz 23px (Portuguese Republic) - 1951
40px Knight of the Royal Order of the Seraphim 23px (Kingdom of Sweden) - 1952<ref>Template:Cite book</ref><ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
Grand Commander of the Order of Thiri Thudhamma 23px (Union of Burma) - 1956
40px Grand Commander of the Order of the Dannebrog 23px (Kingdom of Denmark) - 1962
40px Grand Cross of the Order of the Seal of Solomon 23px (Ethiopian Empire) - 1965
40px Bronze Star Medal 23px (United States of America) - ?
40px Order of Polonia Restituta 23px (Republic of Poland) - ?


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See also




Further reading

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Template:Authority controlar:لويس مونتباتن bn:লর্ড লুই মাউন্টব্যাটেন bg:Луис Маунтбатън br:Louis Mountbatten ca:Lluís Mountbatten cs:Louis Mountbatten da:Earl Mountbatten de:Louis Mountbatten, 1. Earl Mountbatten of Burma el:Λούις Μαουντμπάττεν es:Luis Mountbatten eu:Louis Mountbatten fr:Louis Mountbatten ko:루이스 마운트배튼 hi:लुईस माउंटबेटन, बर्मा के पहले अर्ल माउंटबेटन it:Louis Mountbatten he:לואי מאונטבטן kn:ಲೂಯಿಸ್‌ ಮೌಂಟ್‌‌ಬ್ಯಾಟನ್‌‌, ಬರ್ಮಾದ 1ನೆಯ ಅರ್ಲ್‌‌ ಮೌಂಟ್‌ಬ್ಯಾಟನ್‌‌ hu:Lajos Ferenc battenbergi herceg ml:ലൂയി മൗണ്ട്ബാറ്റൻ mr:लुई माउंटबॅटन my:မောင့်ဗက်တင်၊ လူဝီ nl:Louis Mountbatten ja:ルイス・マウントバッテン no:Lord Mountbatten pl:Louis Mountbatten pt:Louis Mountbatten, 1.º Conde Mountbatten da Birmânia ro:Louis Mountbatten, Primul Conte Mountbatten de Burma ru:Маунтбеттен, Луис sl:Louis Mountbatten fi:Louis Mountbatten sv:Louis Mountbatten ta:மவுண்ட்பேட்டன் பிரபு tr:Louis Mountbatten ur:لوئس ماؤنٹ بیٹن

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