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The Final Dive: The Life and Death of Buster Crabb [Hardcover]

Don Hale
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

21 Nov 2007
The true story of Crabb's colourful life and his mysterious disappearance in 1945.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Sutton Publishing (NPI Media Group); First edition edition (21 Nov 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0750945745
  • ISBN-13: 978-0750945745
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 201,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Don Hale is an author and journalist who has written several books about varied subjects. As a former professional footballer he has written - Down Wembley Way - a commemorative book that traced Matlock Town's route to Wembey when they won the FA Trophy in 1975 defeating Scarborough 4-0 under the guidance of the controversial player manager Peter Swan. He also wrote - Running for Fun - about his involvement in the London Marathon, local races and the expansion of the extraordinary running boom. It also included a review of his life as a professional footballer with Bury, Blackburn Rovers, Shrewsbury Town and York City, plus his early days as a radio commentator.
TOWN WITHOUT PITY - Don's book about his extensive campaign to overturn the conviction of Stephen Downing became a best seller, and was used as the core for the BBC TV drama 'In Denial of Murder' starring Stephen Tompkinson as Don Hale. He has also written another best seller in - MALLARD, how the blue streak broke the world steam record. This book was also used as the authority for the Discovery Channel, and National Geographic for Trains, fast, faster etc. Don was also interviewed extensively with this TV documentary. Another top seller has been his pop and rock books, The Joe Cocker Story; Sounds of the Sixties, and Club 60 & the Esquire. A more recent book which has again proved popular is the fascinating story of Buster Crabb, the naval spy who disappeared in bizarre circumstances in 1956, and was the inspiration for Ian Fleming's James Bond. This book entitled - THE FINAL DIVE - has been produced in both hardback and paperback and could eventually make a film. WEBSITE: www.donhale.co.uk

Product Description

About the Author

Don Hale is an author and journalist who has written several books about varied subjects. As a fomer professional footballer he has written Down Wembley Way, a commemorative book that traced Matlock Town's route to Wembley when they won the FA Trophy in 1975 defeating Scarborough 4-0 under the guidance of the controversial player manager Peter Swan. He also wrote Running for Fun about his involvement in the London Marathon, local races and the expansion of the extraordinary running boom. It also included a review of his life as a professional footballer with Bury, Blackburn Rovers, Shrewsbury Town and York City, plus his early days as a radio commentator. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The final dive - the final story. 1 Dec 2007
Format:Hardcover
Nothing to do with early black and white films of Flash Gordon, this excellent book is the story of Commander Lionel Crabb O.B.E. The British diver and bomb disposal expert of the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserves as immortalised in the film "Silent Enemy" starring Laurence Harvey. This book details his life, and his mysterious disappearance and death on his final dive in 1956 whilst carrying out a top secret mission involving Russian ships in Portsmouth harbour. Something that the authorities tried to cover up at the time, and are still covering up today, keeping important documents and records under raps until the year 2057.

The book tells of Crabb's life from a small boy at the time of World War one, through his varied and colourful life in many occupations and countries around the world, to his dedication and bravery in mine clearing during the second World War. He received the George Medal for the many thousands of tons of allied shipping he saved in Gibraltar, and the lives of the servicemen who would surely have perished if it had not been for Crabb and his team who used the most basic of diving equipment. How strange it is then, that he should meet with such an unexplained death shrouded in mystery as deep as the very waters he fathomed. Operation "Claret" is still unexplained, and supporting documentation is still the subject of the official secrets act. A badly mutilated body was eventually discovered, but doubts remain that the body in Crabb's grave is even him at all.

Award winning investigative author Don Hale has documented Crabb's final dive in great detail. He has also gained access to important documents now available under the freedom of information act which are detailed in the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific 4 Jan 2013
By Ames
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A terrific book, I bought this as a present for someone and found myself wanting to read it just from the back!
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5.0 out of 5 stars good read 12 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
my husband only reads non fiction, He does not like fiction. Naval, War anything historic and autobiographys..He
reads the Sunday Mail book reviews then we look them up
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 6 Aug 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent service,Great read.
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Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Biography But Nothing Beyond That 17 Nov 2013
By chris partlow - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A fascinating Cold War espionage operation and a good tribute to a very gallant man. Unfortunately till the absurd classification ruling expires, the book tells us nothing new about his death.
3.0 out of 5 stars THE FINAL DIVE 29 Sep 2009
By Joseph R. Calamia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"The Final Dive: The Life and Death of "Buster" Crabb" by Don Hale is an updated in-depth investigation into the mysterious death of England's "diver extraordinaire"...Cdr. Lionel "Buster' Crabb.

Cdr. Crabb made his final dive on April 19, 1956 under several Soviet War ships that were visiting England at the time along with then...President Nikita Khrushchev on a "good-will tour." Cdr. Crabb was trying to get additional intelligence on the bottom of the ships specifically, the Soviet cruiser, Ordzhonikidze.

Cdr. Crabb was working in conjunction with MI-6, the CIA, and British Naval authorities including, Lord Mountbatten (in charge of the Admiralty). Cdr. Crabb takes his newly developed underwater camera and then initiates his dive. It is then that something goes terribly wrong, and England's most famous "frogman" never returns. Some 14 months later a headless and handless body in a Navy diving suit is located bobbing on the waves by two fishermen (who "ironically" had known Cdr. Crabb). In addition, claims of one or two additional floating corpses also surface hinting perhaps...just perhaps...that Cdr. Crabb was not the only "fish in the barrel."

The author also reflects that the British government is keeping most of their records on this subject matter closed to the public until 2057! That alone tells the reader and anyone else that there is still "more to the story."

It seems that Cdr.Crabb's work brought him into contact with such family friends as, Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt, Kim Philby, and the rest of the Cambridge five group. With friends like that..."who needs enemies?" None the less, the author gives a good ending premise on a great many possible scenarios that are if, not exactly correct, then at least very close to the truth of the matter. Personally, I wonder now if, Lord Mountbatten (killed by IRA bombing in 1979), wasn't himself someway "more affiliated" with the Anthony Blunt group than most would want to admit, and perhaps... used poor Cdr. Crabb (and possibly others), to enhance that affiliation.

Like most books of this nature they leave the reader going away with more questions than answers, but at least leaves... one with something of real substance to think about.

The writing format itself is at times rather sterile and yes...even boring (at least in my opinion). None the less, this is a topic that has clouded the waters for a great many years, and I salute Mr. Hale's research and additional light "under the hull" of this disastrous intelligence coup.
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