Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten was one of Britain's great war heroes. A great-grandson of Queen Victoria, he entered the Royal Navy in 1913. (At that time his father, Prince Louis of Battenberg--later 1st marquess of Milford-Haven;1854-1921--was first sea lord; after the outbreak of World War I, however, he was forced to resign because of his German birth, and he later changed the family name to Mountbatten.) While chief of British combined operations (1942-43) in World War II, Mountbatten directed the invasion of Madagascar and commando raids on Norway and France. As supreme Allied commander for Southeast Asia (1943-46), he was responsiblefor the recapture of Burma from Japan. The last viceroy of India, hesupervised the creation of the states of India and Pakistan in 1947. He was created Lord Mountbatten of Burma that same year. Subsequently, he was first sea lord (1955-59). Mountbatten retired in 1965, although he remained a confidant of Queen Elizabeth II, whose husband, Prince Philip, was his nephew. He died when a bomb demolished his fishing boat in waters off the northwest coast of Ireland. A member of the Provisional wing of the Irish Republican Army was convicted of the murder.
In spite of his many achievements, the greatest legacy of Lord Mountbatten is negative. He should have settled the Kashmir issue prior to the withdrawal of the British from India. Because of leaving the Kashmir issue unresolved, three majors have been fought, millions have died, and there are constant threats of a new war, this one nuclear, between India and Pakistan.