Mountbatten, Cold War and Empire, 1945-79

Mountbatten, Cold War and Empire 1945-79 focuses upon Admiral Lord Mountbatten as a commanding – if controversial – figure in the history of Britain and its empire, from Churchill’s wartime coalition through to the Labour governments of the 1960s, and forms a sequel to Mountbatten: Apprentice War Lord. Written in three parts, focusing on the premierships of Churchill and Attlee; Eden, Macmillan, Douglas-Home; and Wilson, this book examines the debates over Mountbatten’s record in Southern Asia in 1943-6 and 1947-8. Additional chapters focus on Mountbatten’s position at the heart of the British state and his pivotal role at key moments in the immediate post-war era, most notably the partition of India, the Suez Crisis and the renewal of an ostensibly independent nuclear deterrent. This book also considers Mountbatten’s relationship with Anthony Eden, both during and following the Suez Crisis, as well as detailing Mountbatten’s achievements as First Sea Lord and Chief of the Defence Staff under Harold Macmillan and his immediate successors. Smith acknowledges Mountbatten’s centrality to the history of Britain and its empire in the immediate post-war era and, in doing so, presents a fascinating picture of one of the most prominent figures of the 20th-century. Smith’s scrupulous examination of primary sources, including those available in the Broadlands Archives, results in a thorough examination of a controversial figure: by eschewing often baseless speculation about Mountbatten’s personal life Smith creates the first comprehensive overview of Admiral Lord Mountbatten’s career from 1943 to the mid-sixties.