Feeds

Russian: I killed Buster Crabb in 1956 underwater scrap

Cut throat of MI6 frogman beneath Soviet cruiser, apparently

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

A new chapter has been added to the evergreen saga of Commander Lionel "Buster" Crabb and his disappearance underwater during the visit of a Soviet warship carrying Nikita Khrushchev to Portsmouth Harbour. A retired Russian sailor has claimed that he killed Crabb.

The Commander was already famous for his World War II underwater efforts removing limpet mines from the hulls of British warships. When the Soviet cruiser Ordzhonikidze docked at Portsmouth, bringing Khruschev for talks with the British government, Crabb vanished. The Soviet delegation protested to Britain that a frogman had been seen near their ship, and the incident caused a diplomatic crisis.

The navy said Crabb had drowned during an unrelated dive some distance from Portsmouth, but that story has always been widely discounted. The then British Prime Minister, Anthony Eden, told Parliament that:

"It would not be in the public interest to disclose the circumstances in which Commander Crabb is presumed to have met his death.

"While it is the practice for ministers to accept responsibility, I think it is necessary in the special circumstances of this case to make it clear that what was done was done without the authority or knowledge of Her Majesty's ministers. Appropriate disciplinary steps are being taken."

Sir John Alexander Sinclair, then chief of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) was subsequently forced to resign. Richard Tomlinson, the exiled former MI6 operative, has said the Crabb affair was a bungled MI6 operation, and that new officers are taught about it during training as a cautionary tale.

Several pages of a Portsmouth hotel register were found to have disappeared in the aftermath of the affair, and Tomlinson says this was because MI6 officers overseeing the operation had filled in their real names while staying there.

There appears to be no real doubt that Crabb was sent to dive on the Ordzhonikidze covertly by MI6, without political authorisation, and that he never returned.

Now a Russian named Eduard Koltsov is claiming that he was a member of the Ordzhonikidze's crew, and that he cut Crabb's throat in an underwater struggle. He apparently says Crabb was placing a limpet mine on the Soviet cruiser's hull, not just looking at it.

"I saw a silhouette of a diver in a light frogman suit who was fiddling with something at the starboard, next to the ship's ammunition stores," he told Russian documentary film-makers, according to the BBC.

"I swam closer and saw that he was fixing a mine."

Koltsov, 23 at the time and now in his seventies, displayed the knife which he says he used to kill Crabb, and a minor Soviet medal he was supposedly awarded for doing so.

UK Cabinet documents relating to the Crabb affair will be released in 2057 under the hundred year rule. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
MEN WANTED to satisfy town full of yearning BRAZILIAN HOTNESS
'Prettier, better organised, more harmonious than if men were in charge'
Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD
'Officers were unable to determine Chicken's intent'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Drunkards warned: If you can't walk in a straight line, don't shop online, you fool!
Put it away boys. Cover them up ladies. Your credit cards, we mean
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'
US court hears of cached browser image - not actual request
Chomp that sausage: Brits just LOVE scoffing a Full Monty
Sales of traditional brekkie foods soar as hungry folk get their mitts greasy
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.