Encyclopedia > Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma

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Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma

Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma (June 25, 1900 - August 27, 1979), was a British statesman, uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He was the last Viceroy of India, and First Sea Lord[?].

He was born in Windsor Castle, in England, as HSH Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas, Prince of Battenberg, although his German styles and titles were dropped in 1917. He was the son of Prince Louis Battenberg[?], who had been obliged to resign as First Sea Lord on the outbreak of World War I because of his Austrian origins.

Mountbatten served in the navy during the First World War, and in the Second World War he commanded the 5th destroyer flotilla and was later Supreme Allied Commander in South-East Asia. His experience in the region led to his being appointed Viceroy of India after the war. In his position as Viceroy, Mountbatten oversaw the granting of independence to both India and Pakistan. He was familiarly known to British people as "Lord Louis", and was given the title "Earl Mountbatten of Burma" in recognition of his service in the Far East.

Mountbatten -- known within the family as "Dickie" -- was a strong influence in the upbringing of his great-nephew, Charles, Prince of Wales.

On August 27, 1979, while holidaying as usual in his summer home in Sligo[?] in the Republic of Ireland he was killed by a bomb planted in his boat in Donegal Bay[?], along with his elder daughter's mother-in-law Lady Brabourne (aged 82), their grandson Nicholas Knatchbull[?] (aged 14), and a local boy working as a crew member, Paul Maxwell[?] (aged 15). The Provisional IRA, admitted the responsibility for the bomb. The killing of Mountbatten, and the accompanying murder of eighteen soldiers the same day in a bombing in Northern Ireland led to public outrage in Ireland. The President of Ireland, Patrick Hillery, and the Taoiseach (prime minister) Jack Lynch both attended a memorial service for Lord Mountbatten in St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin.

Further reading

  • Mountbatten: the official biography, by Philip Ziegler[?] (Collins, 1985)
  • Eminent Churchillians, by Andrew Roberts[?] (Phoenix Press, 1994). The author states that it "makes the case for the impeachment of the last Viceroy of India, on the grounds that his cheating over the India-Pakistan frontier and his headlong rush towards partition led to around one million deaths in Punjab and the North-West Frontier in 1947-48".



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