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mike robson | profile | all galleries >> Why is this location so famous? (Clue - Cold War/Russian Navy/British diver shot). tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Why is this location so famous? (Clue - Cold War/Russian Navy/British diver shot).

October 1955 - Portsmouth Naval Dockyard,England.

A visiting Russian naval ship - the "Ordzhonikidze" - carrying Krushchev & Bulganin - was in the UK for the forthcoming Naval Review in the Solent.

British Navy frogman Buster Crabb was to search for special anti-sonar gear or mine-laying hatches beneath the Russian ship whilst it was docked alongside the Kings Stairs Jetty building.However,Crabb failed to surface from his dive and then all hell broke loose!

The Admiralty, under pressure, finally stated that "Commander Crabb was missing, presumed drowned, having failed to surface after a dive when experimenting with secret equipment".
In 1987, "The Times" reported that the Buster Crabb mystery would not be completely unravelled for another 70 years because of a Government decision to keep closed that part of the 1956 Cabinet Papers - despite the rule which usually made such documents public after 30 years. The world would have to wait until the year 2057.

To cut a very long story short,a Russian spymaster later told an Israeli journalist the true story;

"Crabb was discovered when he was swimming on the water next to the ship by a watchman, who was at a height of 20 metres. An order was given to inspect the water and two people on the deck were equipped with sniper guns - small calibre. One of them was an ordinary seaman, and the other an officer, the equivalent of a lieutenant, who was in charge of an artillery unit on the boat, and an exceptional shot.

"Crabb dived next to the boat and came up and swam - perhaps because of air poisoning. The lieutenant shot him in the head and killed him. He sank. All the stories about him being caught by us or that he was a Russian spy are not true."
Kings Stairs Jetty
Kings Stairs Jetty
HMS Warrior - 1860
HMS Warrior - 1860
Ensign flying from HMS Warrior
Ensign flying from HMS Warrior
Detail of rigging on HMS Warrior
Detail of rigging on HMS Warrior
Pennants on HMS Warrior
Pennants on HMS Warrior
Clock Tower with HMS Victory in background
Clock Tower with HMS Victory in background
Detail of HMS Warrior
Detail of HMS Warrior
HMS Warrior
HMS Warrior
Rigging on HMS Warrior
Rigging on HMS Warrior
Portsmouth Naval Dockyard
Portsmouth Naval Dockyard
Control Tower,Naval Dockyard
Control Tower,Naval Dockyard
Close up of gun
Close up of gun
British Navy
British Navy
B&W detail
B&W detail
Compare the gun with the man for size
Compare the gun with the man for size
No rigging as on the HMS Warrior - electronics everywhere!
No rigging as on the HMS Warrior - electronics everywhere!
British Navy
British Navy
British Navy
British Navy
British Navy
British Navy
HMS Endurance
HMS Endurance
Union Jack
Union Jack
Bitish Navy
Bitish Navy
British Naval vessels for sale - seriously!
British Naval vessels for sale - seriously!
Former America's Cup racing Yacht
Former "America's Cup" racing Yacht
Portsmouth - Isle of Wight ferry chugs out in to the Solent
Portsmouth - Isle of Wight ferry chugs out in to the Solent
The last remaining passenger Hovercraft service in the world
The last remaining passenger Hovercraft service in the world
The Spice Island Inn,Portsmouth
The Spice Island Inn,Portsmouth
The Spinnaker Tower,Portsmouth
The Spinnaker Tower,Portsmouth
The Spinnaker Tower,Portsmouth
The Spinnaker Tower,Portsmouth
The Spinnaker Tower,Portsmouth
The Spinnaker Tower,Portsmouth
The Spinnaker Tower,Portsmouth
The Spinnaker Tower,Portsmouth