Royal Destination Brandenburg Gate in Berlin

One of the most famous destinations in Germany certainly
is the Brandenburg Gate (in German: Brandenburger Tor)
in Berlin.

This Brandenburg Gate not only has a nice neoclassical
architecture it also has a fantastic royal history.

Brandenburg Gate in Berlin Germany own picture taken in 2013



Some royal history

The Brandenburg Gate was built on the orders of King
Frederick William II of Prussia after the (temporarily)
successful restoration of order during the early Batavian
Revolution in the Dutch Republic (nowadays The
Netherlands). It has been said that the people in the
Dutch Republic had to pay special taxes for the creation
of the Brandenburg Gate in Prussia.



Frederick William II of Prussia
Source picture: Wikipedia



The Gate was designed by Carl Gotthard Langhans and
built between 1788 and 1791, replacing the earlier simple
guardhouses which flanked the original gate in the
Customs Wall.

The Gate has twelve Doric columns, 6 to each side, forming
5 passageways. Citizens were allowed to use only the
outermost two on each side.  For decades only the royal
family was allowed to pass through the central archway.

After the Prussian defeat at the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt in
1806, Napoleon Bonaparte was the first to use the
Brandenburg Gate for a triumphal procession.




Napoleon in Berlin
Source picture: Wikipedia




When the Nazis gained power, they used the gate as a party
symbol. Luckily the gate survived World War II, although it
was badly damaged with holes in the columns from bullets and
nearby explosions.

After World War II, the governments of East Berlin and West
Berlin restored it in a joint effort. The holes were patched but
were visible for many years following the war.

On 14 August 1961, Brandenburg Gate border crossing was
closed. West Berliners gathered on the western side of the
gate to demonstrate against the Berlin Wall.

In 1963, U.S. President John F. Kennedy visited Berlin and
the Brandenburg Gate. The Soviets hung large red banners
across it to prevent him looking into East Berlin.

On 12 June 1987, U.S. President Ronald Reagan spoke to the
West Berlin populace at the Brandenburg Gate, demanding
the razing of the Berlin Wall.

During the Revolution of 1989, the wall was demolished and
the Brandenburg Gate symbolized the freedom and the desire
to unify the city of Berlin.

On 22 December 1989, the Brandenburg Gate border crossing
was reopened when Helmut Kohl, the West German chancellor
walked through to be greeted by Hans Modrow, the East German
Prime minister.

On 12 July 1994, U.S. President Bill Clinton spoke at the Gate
about peace in post-Cold War Europe.

On the evening of 9 November 2009, the Brandenburg Gate became
the main venue for the 20th. anniversary celebrations of the fall of
the Berlin Wall.

On 19 June 2013, U.S. President Barack Obama spoke at the Gate
about nuclear arms reduction and the recently revealed U.S.
internet surveillance activities.

Brandenburg Gate in Berlin Germany own picture taken in 2013



A visit


I visited the Brandenburg Gate in 2013. It really is a must see due
to its architecture and due to its royal history.

When we (my husband and I) visited Berlin and the Brandenburg
Gate there was a running race.

Brandenburg Gate and the running race in Berlin Germany

A small Brandenburg Gate in Kadewe Berlin


World War II Louis Mountbatten

When World War II broke out in 1940, Lord Louis Mountbatten was
an expert on the field of communication in the British Marine.

He was advisor for the allied forces and involved by military
operations in Dieppe (France), North Africa. Later he was sent to India,
Birma and Singapore.

During World War II, Lord Louis Mountbatten was a very clever and an
extreme popular general.

More about his life.








Birth

Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten was born on 25 June 1900
at Frogmore House in Windsor.

His parents were Prince Louis of Battenberg and Princess Victoria of Hesse
and by Rhine.

His maternal grandparents were Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and
Princess Alice of the United Kingdom (who was the daughter of Queen
Victoria and Prince Albert).

His paternal grandparents were Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine and
Julia of Battenberg.

His siblings were:

- Princess Alice of Battenberg (the mother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh);
- Queen Louise of Sweden;
- George Mountbatten, 2nd. Marquess of Milford.

His nickname was "Dickie".

His mother's younger sister was Empress Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia. In
his childhood, Louis Mountbatten visited Russia often.



Education

Louis Mountbatten was educated at home for 10 years. Then he was sent to
Lockers Park School and later to the Naval College in Osborne.







Career

Mountbatten was midshipman on the battlecruiser HMS Lion in July 1916.
Later he changed from ship to the HMS Queen Elizabeth. He was thus already
in action at the end of World War I.

In 1917, the British royal family stopped using their German surnames and
titles. Prince Louis of Battenberg became Louis Mountbatten. Then he was
granted the title: Marquess of Milford Heaven.

On 31 October 1918, Mountbatten was appointed executive officer of a
small warship.

After the First World War, he attended the Christ's College in Cambridge.
There he studied literature.

In March 1920, Mountbatten was posted on the HMS Renown. Later that
year he accompanied Edward, Prince of Wales on his tour to Australia. He
was promoted to lieutenant in April 1920.

In March 1921, Mountbatten accompanied the Prince of Wales again but
this time on a tour to India and Japan. Edward and Louis Mountbatten formed
a close friendship during this trip.

In 1928 he was promoted to lieutenant-commander. In 1929 he went to
Signal School as instructor.

In 1934, Mountbatten was given his first command on the HMS Daring.
Later he took the command on the HMS Wishart.

On 23 June 1936, Mountbatten was appointed as Personal Naval
Aide-de-camp of King Edward VIII.

In May 1937, Louis Mountbatten attended the coronation of King
George VI and Queen Elizabeth. He was promoted to captain in 1937.

On 22 July 1939 he had arranged the visit of King George VI and
Queen Elizabeth to Dartmouth Royal Naval College. Princess
Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret also attended this visit.

Mountbatten's nephew Cadet Prince Philip of Greece had to keep
the Princesses amused while their parents toured around the facility.
This was the first recorded meeting between them.






World War II

When war broke out in September 1939, Mountbatten became commander
of the 5th Destroyer Flotilla aboard HMS Kelly, which became famous for
its exploits.

In late 1939, he brought the Duke of Windsor back from exile in France.
In early May 1940, Mountbatten led a British convoy in through the fog to
evacuate the Allied forces participating in the Namsos Campaign during
the Norwegian Campaign.

In the night of 9 and 10 May 1940, HMS Kelly was torpedoed by a German
E-boat off the Dutch coast. Mountbatten became the commander of the
HMS Javelin.

On 29 November 1940, the Javelin was being sunk struck by two torpedoes.
Mountbatten re-joined Kelly in December 1940.

On 23 May 1941, the Kelly was sunk by German dive bombers, during the
Battle of Crete.

In August 1941, Mountbatten was appointed captain of the aircraft carrier
HMS Illustrious, which lay in Norfolk Virginia for repairs following
action at Malta.

Mountbatten paid a flying visit to Pearl Harbour, three months before the
attack from Japan. Mountbatten already appalled the base's lack of
preparedness on the US naval base there.

Mountbatten also was a favourite of Winston Churchill. On 27 October
1941, Mountbatten replaced Roger Keyes as Chief of Combined Operations
and he was promoted commodore.

Mountbatten had to construct 'Pluto' an underwater oil pipeline from
the English coast to Normandy an artificial harbour constructed of
concrete caissons and sunken ships and the development of amphibious
tank landing ships.

Mountbatten and his staff planned the highly successful Bruneval raid,
which gained important information and also captured part of a
German Würzburg radar installation and one of the machine's technicians
on 27 February 1942.  Mountbatten recognized that surprise and speed were
essential to ensure the radar was captured.

In March 1942, he was promoted to the acting rank of vice admiral
and he was given the honorary ranks of lieutenant general and air marshal
in order to have the required authority to carry out his duties in
Combined Operations.

He was in large part responsible for the planning and organisation of
The Raid at St. Nazaire in mid -1942. He also was responsible for the
planning and organisation of the Dieppe Raid of 19 August 1942.

Later Mountbatten claimed that the lessons learned from the Diepe Raid
were necessary for planning the Normandy invasion on D-Day, nearly
2 years later.

In August 1943, Churchill appointed Mountbatten the Supreme Allied
Commander South East Asia Command (SEAC) with promotion to acting
full admiral.

During the war, Mountbatten was known to be very anti-Japan out of
respect for his men killed during the war. Japan was not invited to send
diplomatic representatives to his funeral in 1979.






India

On 20 February 1947, Mountbatten was appointed by Clement Attlee as
Viceroy of India, charged with overseeing the transition of British India
to independence no later than 30 June 1948. Soon after he arrived,
Mountbatten concluded that the situation was too volatile to wait even a
year before granting independence to India.

When India and Pakistan attained independence at midnight on the night
of 14-15 August 1947, Mountbatten remained in New Delhi for 10
months, serving as India's first governor general until June 1948.

The issue of Kashmir would become a lasting thorn in his legacy, one
that is not resolved to this day.




Personal life

Louis Mountbatten was married on 18 July 1922 to Edwina Cynthia
Annette Ashley, daughter of Wilfred William Ashley, later 1st.
Baron Mount Temple. The couple would have 2 daughters:

Patricia Knatchbull, 2nd Countess  Mountbatten of Burma
Lady Pamela Hicks.







2 Princes of Wales

Mountbatten also had a strong influence in the upbringing of his
grand-nephew, Charles, Prince of Wales. He was a mentor,
a "Honorary Grandfather" of the Prince. It is already mentioned
in this blog post that Louis Mountbatten knew another Prince of
Wales very well (King Edward VIII and later Duke of Windsor).

Mountbatten encouraged Charles to enjoy the bachelor life while
he could and then to marry a young and inexperienced girl so as
to ensure a stable married life.

In 1974, Mountbatten began corresponding with Prince Charles
about a potential marriage to his granddaughter Hon. Amanda
Knatchbull but this plan, didn't work.







Death - Assassination


During the summer, Mountbatten usually holidayed at Classiebawn
Castle in Mullaghmore, a small seaside village in County sligo,
Ireland.

On 27 Augustus 1979, Mountbatten went lobster-potting and
tuna fishing in his wooden boat, Shadow V.

IRA Member Thomas McMahon had slipped onto the unguarded
boat that night and attached a radio-controlled bomb.

When Mountbatten was aboard, just a few hundred yards from the
shore, the bomb was detonated. The boat was destroyed by the force
of the blast and Mountbatten's legs were almost blown off.

Lord Mountbatten was pulled alive from the water by nearby
fishermen, but he died from his injuries before being brought to
shore.

On the boat there were other members from Mountbatten's family.
His grandsons Nicholas and Paul and his daughter's mother-in-law
Doreen, Lady Brabourne also died.

On the same day of the bombing the IRA also ambushed and
killed 18 British soldiers in Northern Ireland, in what became known
as the Warrenpoint ambush. It was the deadliest attack on the
British Army during the Troubles.



Funeral

On 5 September 1979, Mountbatten received a ceremonial funeral at
Westminster Abbey. This service was attended by the Queen, the
Royal Family and members of the European royal houses.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Donald Coggan, highlighted his
various achievements and his lifelong devotion to the royal Navy. 


Want to know more?

If you are interested in the family ties of Lord Louis Mountbatten,
check this link.



Source pictures: Wikipedia