Mountbatten of Burma: Captain of War, Guardian of Peace by Ian McGeoch
Lord Louis Mountbatten achieved great things throughout his life, both in during times of war and peace, as a military leader and public servant.
During World War II, Mountbatten was a victorious commander. As Chief of Combined Operations (1941–43), his work on beach landings paved the way for D-Day. Then, as Supreme Allied Commander South-East Asia, he led the forces that drove the Japanese out of Burma and hastened victory in the Pacific.
When peace came, he brought independence to India and Pakistan as the last Viceroy of India. Mountbatten remains a controversial figure, but when his faults are considered in the light of the world-shaking events in which he was involved, they are overwhelmingly outweighed by his achievements.
The world was shocked by his murder on 27 August, 1979, by the IRA, in an explosion that also killed members of his family and a local Irish boy.
There have been many biographies of Mountbatten, but none by a naval officer, still less by one whose career was broadly contemporary with Mountbatten’s. With nearly 40 years of service, Ian McGeoch was able to observe Mountbatten’s naval career at close quarters and in 1944–45 served on his staff in the Pacific.
This biography, first published in 1996 as The Princely Sailor – Mountbatten of Burma, is the only one to focus almost entirely on Mountbatten’s remarkable and historically significant career in the armed services. This book analyses and often dismisses the ill-informed criticism of Mountbatten and highlights the remarkable vision and persuasive powers of a man who had to overcome the ‘disadvantage’ of royal lineage in order to be taken seriously as an officer and defence strategist.
The book is available from Haynes for £19.99
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