The Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma

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Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma (June 25, 1900August 27, 1979 when killed by an IRA bomb), was a British statesman and an uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He was the last Viceroy and first Governor-General of independent India, and First Sea Lord, as was his father, Prince Louis of Battenberg.

His full style was: Admiral of the Fleet, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, 1st Viscount Mountbatten of Burma, 1st Baron Romsey, KG, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCIE, GCVO, DSO, PC, FRS.

Viceroy Mountbatten of India (1947)

Table of contents
1 Ancestry
2 Career
3 Marriage and descendants
4 Death
5 Quotations
6 Note
7 Further reading


He was born in Windsor Castle, in England, as His Serene Highness 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 of Battenberg, who had been obliged to resign as First Sea Lord on the outbreak of World War I because of his German origins (Battenberg had a youthful affair with the actress Lillie Langtry, and is sometimes said to have been the father of Jeanne Marie Langtry Malcolm.1). Louis was also a great-grandson of Queen Victoria.


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.

In 1940 he invented the Mountbatten Pink naval camouflage pigment. He was a favourite of Winston Churchill and in 1941 he replaced Roger Keyes as Chief of Combined Operations. He personally pushed through the disastrous Dieppe Raid (August 19, 1942) which led to the deaths of thousands of Canadian troops; a defeat Mountbatten tried to blame squarely on their commanding officer but which was largely the result of his botched planning. Field Marshall Montgomery felt the campaign misconceived from the start.


Marriage and descendants

Mountbatten - known to friends and family as "Dickie" - was a strong influence in the upbringing of his great-nephew, Charles, Prince of Wales. He was married on July 18, 1922 to Hon. Edwina Cynthia Annette Ashley, daughter of Wilfred Ashley, 1st Baron Mount Temple. Lady Mountbatten reportedly had affairs with Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and American actor-singer Paul Robeson. Mountbatten, too, indulged in affairs, yet he and Edwina remained devoted to each other until her death on Feburary 21, 1960 in Jesselton, North Borneo. They had two children: Patricia Mountbatten, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma (born Feburary 14, 1924), and Lady Pamela Carmen Louise (born April 19, 1929).

Since Mountbatten had no sons, when he was created Viscount on August 23, 1946, then Earl and Baron on October 28, 1947, the Letters Patent were drafted such that the titles would pass to the female line. This was to recognise his wartime service, and the regard he was held by the British Royal Family, as well as to atone for the disservice done to his father. Thus, on his death, the titles passed to Patricia.


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. The Provisional IRA admitted responsibility for the bomb. Other victims of the assassination were:

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. On November 23, 1979 Thomas McMahon was sentenced to life in prison for the assassination.


"I'm proud to say I have never been wrong about anything."

"You're so crooked Dickie if you swallowed a nail you'd shit a corkscrew." (Sir Gerald Templer on Mountbatten)


1It is often assumed (on the basis of Mountbatten's acknowledgement) that Louis Battenberg was the father of Jeanne-Marie. It appears that he paid support money for her in some regard - or Lillie was paid off at any rate. A recent biography of Lillie suggested that the father was really one Arthur Jones and that it was simply more profitable to blame Louis. In any case, given her mother's promiscuity it is difficult to be certain who Jeanne-Marie's father was.

Further reading

Preceded by:
The Viscount Wavell
Viceroy of India
Followed by:
Preceded by:
Governor-General of India
Followed by:
Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari

Preceded by:
New Creation
Earl Mountbatten of Burma Followed by:
Patricia Mountbatten