by John Bevan
The exploits of the Italian frogmen in the Mediterranean during World War 2 are well documented; the Royal Navy's counter-sabotage operations are not.
What is known of the wartime diving operations of the Royal Navy in Gibraltar is often based on the 1958 film, 'Silent Enemy' which dramatised the events putting Commander Lionel 'Buster' Crabb at the heart of the operations. Buster Crabb had disappeared in mysterious circumstances under a Russian cruiser just 2 years before the film was released and the subsequent media furore was a marketing opportunity the film producers could not afford to miss.
Crabb was indeed part of the diving team in Gibraltar at the time and did take part in the heroic underwater operations of the RN diving team. But he was not in charge.
The real 'silent hero' of the operations was Lieutenant William 'Bill' Bailey.
Operation Tadpole chronicles the actual events of the Royal Navy's underwater operations in Gibraltar and reinstates Lieutenant Bailey's true place in history.
First published Nov 2017
Black and white photographs.
18.5cm x 24.2cm
(7.25 x 9.5 inches)
ISBN 978 1 9998221 0 1
UK - £13.99
Europe - £16.99
Elsewhere - £19.99
Includes post and packaging.