Mountbatten: Apprentice War Lord by Adrian Smith

By Adrian Smith

A far-sighted battle hero or an formidable networker promoted above his skills? Deservedly celebrated as a naval officer and confidant of global leaders, however, for a few, Mountbatten's skills stay questionable. during this well timed new biography, Adrian Smith paints a distinct and convincing photograph, of an primarily glossy determine of a technocratic age, a nuts and bolts officer specialising within the technical branches of the Senior carrier, and aristocrat possibly, yet dedicated to professionalism and the decrease deck.  Smith brings Mountbatten to existence and uncovers the basic features. underneath the wealthy, aristocratic, pleasure-loving and privileged external there has been a deeply human, even susceptible yet pushed personality -- and a pivotal determine within the imperial and army heritage of the 20th century.

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81 A quarter of a century later, with Hampshire taking such a prominent role in the dispatch of the Task Force, one can picture a very different scenario: the nation’s best known admiral of the fleet standing bolt upright in full dress uniform on the dockside at Southampton relishing his self-appointed ceremonial role of despatching the QE2 and Canberra south, and of welcoming them home three months later. Truly, Lord Louis died before his time was up. 2 Lord Louis Mountbatten – a royal parvenu?

Everyone whom Mountbatten had intended to be there was there: from the extended family of Victoria and Albert to the old comrades of Burma and the Kelly. A crowd of 50,000 lined the streets in London, but even those paying their respects at home could sense from the televised proceedings that here was a potent and powerful mix of pomp, ceremony, dignity, collective mourning, and private grieving – gravitas, respect, shock, and regret, but also warmth and good humour. ’3 30 Mountbatten Dickie had seen his every demand satisfied because the denizens of Balmoral were in wholehearted agreement with the immediate family that this should be so.

47 Brooke rightly saw Churchill as a deus ex machina figure in the lives of both Mountbattens, everpresent and ever ready. 48 The warm relationship between Churchill and Mountbatten – cracked but by no means wholly shattered by the events of March 1947–May 1948 – lies at the heart of this book. Introduction 19 The volume of literature specifically about Mountbatten is remarkable; and yet moored alongside this raft of biographies lies an argosy of specialist studies where one man is invariably the focal point.

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