ADMIRAL OF THE FLEET EARL MOUNTBATTEN OF BURMA

Innovator, statesman and hero on two fronts

Lord Mountbatten had fully embraced busyness in a war he knew was coming, as Joshua M Casper writes. His leadership as a destroyer captain motivated a nation, he forged meaningful political relationships and his staff helped plan the largest amphibious invasion yet seen. Now, the war took him to Asia to battle a new foe.

Mountbatten speaking with Capt John Cassady and Cmdr Howard Caldwell on the USS Saratoga. (VIA AUTHOR

M ost Britons recognised the public image of Lord Louis Mountbatten when the Second World War started – an aristocrat who had made quite a name for himself as a socialite with royal connections. Yet, the future Earl of Burma’s leadership acumen and ability to galvanise creativity had drawn him into the inner sanctum of command. He had been integral to the European incursion. Now, he was off to the Far East as The Supreme Allied Commander of South East Asia to help revitalise an army bogged down by the Japanese in Burma. It was all too close to the Jewel in the Crown – India.

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