Who was Lord Mountbatten?

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Lord Mountbatten also known as Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas, Prince of Battenberg. Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten was the Last Viceroy of India and the First Governor-General of Dominion India. In Indian history, certain individuals stand out for their exceptional contributions and influence. One such figure was Lord Mountbatten, his journey in India was full of significant events that led to the Independence of India and Pakistan. From his early life and education to his influential role in India, we will learn more about him in this blog. 

The Early Life of the Lord

  • Lord Mountbatten was born on June 25, 1900, and was named Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten.
  • He was born into an aristocratic family with a distinguished lineage that traced back to the 17th century.
  • He was the great-grandson of Queen Victoria and part of the distinguished British royal family.
  • Mountbatten’s father was Prince Louis of Battenberg who was an esteemed naval officer and his mother was Princess Victoria of Hesse and Rhine who was the daughter of Princess Alice who was a significant figure in the British royal family.
  • Growing up, Mountbatten had the privilege of a privileged upbringing, surrounded by the finest education and opportunities.
  • He was fondly called “Dickie” in the royal family and was the uncle of Prince Philip.

Educational History

  • Lord Mountbatten’s education played a significant role in shaping his extraordinary career.
  • He attended the Naval Cadet Training Ship at Osborne and Dartmouth in the year 1913, where he received comprehensive training in naval tactics, leadership, and navigation.
  • Mountbatten showed exceptional aptitude and skill in naval studies, earning a reputation for his strategic thinking and tactical acumen.
  • His educational pursuits continued at the Royal Naval College in the year 1916 where he honed his skills and deepened his understanding of naval operations.

After the outbreak of the Second World War, he commanded the destroyer HMS Kelly and the 5th Destroyer Flotilla. He was married to Edwina Ashley in 1922 and had 2 daughters with her.

Also Read – What is the Difference Between Governor-General and Viceroy?

What was Lord Mountbatten’s Role in India?

Lord Mountbatten’s role in India was undoubtedly one of the most significant chapters in his illustrious career. 

Before Independence – 

  • In 1947, as India grappled with the question of independence, Mountbatten was appointed as the last Viceroy of India and was entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing the transition to independence.
  • His task was daunting and filled with numerous challenges as he had to navigate complex political dynamics and negotiate with various influential leaders.
  • During his tenure as Viceroy, he initiated negotiations between prominent Indian leaders, such as Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
  • He rolled out the Mountbatten plan on 3rd June 1947.
  • During his tenure, he also introduced the Indian Independence Bill in the House of Commons.
  • Mountbatten played a critical role in the partition of India and Pakistan and the creation of two separate nations – India and Pakistan. India eventually became independent on August 15, 1947.
  • He appointed the two boundary commissions under the responsibility of Sir Cyril Radcliff for outlining the partition of Bengal and Punjab.

Also Read – What was the Two Nation Theory?

After Independence –

  • On August 15, 1947, India achieved its long-awaited independence from the British Empire. Lord Mountbatten was pivotal in overseeing the transfer of power and the handover of control to the newly appointed Indian leaders. 
  • Inter-Communal violence was widespread after the independence and partition of the nations, There was a huge population numbered around 3.5 million who migrated between the nations.
  • He was the interim and First Governor-General of Independent India till June 1948.
  • During this time, he took the Kashmir issue to the UN which resulted in a conflict between India and Pakistan.
  • He was conferred with the title of Earl of Mountbatten of Burma the same year.

How Did Lord Mountbatten Die?

In the year 1953, He returned to the Royal Navy and became the commander of a new NATO Mediterranean Command. In 1954, he was appointed as the First Sea Lord like his father and by the year 1959, he became the Chief of the defence staff.  By 1965, he retired from the navy service.

Also Read – India’s Journey to Independence from 1857 to 1947

On August 27, 1979,  Lord Mountbatten was assassinated by Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) terrorists who planted a bomb on his boat and blew it near his home which was meant for family holidays. A 15-year-old local boy with two of his relatives also lost their life in the blast. His title was later inherited by his daughter Patricia.

Other Viceroys of India

Lord Cornwallis Lord Curzon Lord Lansdowne
Lord Dalhousie Lord Auckland Lord Auckland
Lord Amherst Lord Macaulay Lord Lytton
Lord Minto I Lord William Bentinck Lord Charles Metcalfe

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