Crabb and the Grey Rabbit

This story about two great men combines fact and fiction.  Lionel Crabb, a Second World War hero who, through his exploits as a frogman, was awarded the OBE and the George Medal; and Maitland Pendock, an obscure ‘businessman’ with a love of the arts, who moved in the shadows and served in the wartime Ministry of Information as their link to the Secret Intelligence Service - MI6. These two very distinctive personalities, from very different backgrounds, became firm friends. From Shanghai in the 1930s to the Cold War in the 1950s, they moved in the world of espionage. Crabb’s fiancée Pat Rose worked for the security service; he himself was their target.

When Crabb disappeared in 1956 while diving under a Russian warship in Portsmouth, England, Pendock became the focus of the security service because of Crabb’s connection to the head of the Royal Navy – Lord Mountbatten. It had been a great adventure; but, in the end, they knew too much. Britain had long been a hotbed of spies, defectors and cover-ups, to such an extent that it has become very difficult to determine fact from fiction. The world of spies, defectors, traitors and the Establishment, is a murky and dirty one. However, one fact that provides the foundation for this book, is that the official record about Crabb’s last dive in Portsmouth is held under the 100-year secrecy rule. This means that the facts might be revealed in 2056.  This story, although a novel, is based on facts and information provided by witnesses to events and is the inside story.

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