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Interview of Adm. of the Fleet Lord Louis Mountbatten, RN, by Larry Collins
[for the book Freedom at Midnight - not used] . London Oct. 5, 1973.

Original interview files by Larry Collins and correction fax by Lady Brabourne (Mountbatten's daughter). Click on the icons below to zoom:

Page 1 Page 2 Lady Brabourne fax
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[transcription with corrections]

Sept. 1941 - Group photo of Adm. Mountbatten and collegues, see legend below

September 1941. First row from left: Lt. Gen. Walter C. Short, Captain Lord Louis Mountbatten, RN, Adm. H. E. Kimmel. Second row from left: Maj. Gen Frederick L. Martin, RAdm. P. L. Bellinger, both known for having written the Martin-Bellinger Report.
Click on the image to zoom.

At the end of his 1941 visit to the United States, Lord Mountbatten went to New York to visit his daughter Patricia who was attending a finishing school. She remembers how distraught her father was then, while telling her about what he thought were very poor Pearl Harbor defences.
In those same days, General George C. Marshall was describing Pearl Harbor to FDR, as an impregnable fortress.

Page. 135 excerpt from Mountbatten, by Richard Hough, © 1980, 1981 Richard Hough, Random House, New York, 1981.

Within a short time he was in America and then at Pearl Harbor as a guest of the United States Navy and Admiral Harold P. Stark, Chief of Naval Operations. As an officer who had witnessed tragically and at first hand the terrible power of the bomber against naval vessels unprotected by fighter aircraft, Mountbatten was appalled at the lack of preparedness in Hawaii. But when he saw Stark again in Washington on his way back to London and gave him his opinion, Stark did not take it as seriously as Mountbatten had hoped. "I'm afraid putting some of your recommendations into effect is going to make your visit out there an expensive one for the Navy," he commented with a laugh.
It was just ninety days before the Japanese attack.

Page. 150 excerpt from Mountbatten, the Official Biography, by Philip Ziegler, © 1985-2001 Philip Ziegler, Phoenix Press, London 2001.

He met almost everyone who counted in the American naval establishment - Admiral King, the Commander-in-Chief of the Atlantic Fleet; Colonel Knox, the Secretary of the Navy; Admiral Stark, the Chief of Naval Operations - and briefed them fully if somewhat tendentiously on the state of the war in Europe. A visit to the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor was soon to prove of unexpectedly topical interest. He was appalled by the inadequate preparations against surprise attack and told his daughter Patricia of his forebodings when he saw her in New York a few days later. He went out in Admiral Halsey's flagship, the Enterprise, was transferred to the destroyer Balch, and took part in an attack by the destroyer squadron on the US Fleet.