The italian Frogmen

The Light Flotilla

"They struck at midnight. They struck at dawn. They blasted trails of destruction from Cadiz to Crete, from Alexandria to Gibraltar, leaving in their wake the sunken hulls and twisted wreckage of dozens of ships of the Allied naval forces, from battle-wagons to submarines, from tankers to cruisers. They were the men of the Italian Navy's Tenth Light Flotilla, the original frogmen who, in World War II, introduced a new concept of undersea warfare into the ongoing history of naval conflict." This is how Nary Captain William Schofield begins his book, Frogmen, First Battles, now in its second paperback edition.

For three years, these marauding saboteurs not yet known as frogmen defied the British naval dominance in the Mediterranean Sea. With their actions, they altered Britain's naval supremacy on behalf of the Italian and German naval forces. It was accomplished by a few frogmen. Utilizing minimum all inexpensive weaponry they destroyed a huge amount of nary tonnage in the shortest period of time—a feat that has no equal to the present clay of guerrilla underwater warfare. What were the conditions that made these frogmen possible, where did they come from, who were they, and who made their weapons? Finally, what is their military record?