Category Russia

The story behind a story that sold 4,000 copies an hour after mid-night and 100,000 by the end of the day

It was on Wednesday 25th September 1963 that the most hotly anticipated report in British history hit the shelves.  Official reports – known as Blue Books – are usually dull affairs but this one was different – VERY DIFFERENT.  Public interest was so great, remarked ‘The Spectator’ newspaper that the Stationary Office “opened half an […]

A nurse at the Russian Front

One of the books on my shelf is ‘Nurse at the Russian Front’ – the diary of Florence Farmborough who went to Russia as a teacher of English to a surgeon’s daughters and became a nurse with the Russian army through the 1914-18 conflict. Her diary for this day – Monday 23rd August 1915 – […]

The strange case of Commander Crabb may now be closed

Back on Friday 11th May 1956 we left the British apologizing to Russia over the incident of Frogman Crabb, and three juniors of a department of British Intelligence being moved to other units.  It appeared that the case of ‘Buster’ Crabb was officially considered to be closed. But we asked ‘was it?’ and asked you […]

Britain’s apology doesn’t make everyone happy.

Two days later on Friday 11th May 1956 it was reported that the British had apologized to Russia over the incident of Frogman Crabb.  A note from the Foreign Office said that the frogman who had been discovered swimming between the Soviet destroyers was, in all probability Commander Crabb.  “As has already been publically reported”, […]

The Prime Minister responds to a previous query regarding Lionel Crabb

It was on Wednesday 9th May 1956 that the Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden made a brief statement in the House of Commons.  “It was,” he said, “not in the public interest to disclose how Commander Crabb had died”.  What was done was done without the authority or knowledge of Her Majesty’s ministers and “appropriate […]

The newspapers report the death of Lieutenant-Commander Lionel Crabb

We’ve seen our strange 20th century story begin with Messrs Khrushchev and Bulganin arrival in Britain and our ‘introduction’ to Lieutenant-Commander Lionel Crabb. Your scribe promised the next steps would arrive on Saturday 29th April 2017.  You will also have noticed that nothing appeared.  That can be blamed on a late arrival of the newspapers […]

A strange 20th century story begins

There are many, still unanswered, questions in Britain’s history. The story I am beginning today is just one of them.  I use the word ‘beginning’ because the end has yet to be confirmed! The story starts when the Russian Sverdlov class cruiser ‘Ordzhonikidze’ brought Nikita Khrushchev and Nikolai Bulganin on a diplomatic mission to Britain.  […]