The italian Frogmen

Target, Port of Alexandria

The two commanders came together in spirit and in action in their plan for Alexandria. Forza trained the teams of human torpedoes, and Borghese transported them to the perimeter of the entrance to the Port of Alexandria where he released them. With de la Penne in charge of the detail, the three sets of frogmen mounted their torpedoes to begin the attack. Once inside the Port, they promptly recognized the routes to their targets. Favored by the weather, by the deep and dark water which made them practically invisible, and by a lack of active surveillance on the part of the English, the six frogmen suc.ssfully approached their assigned targets. After a few minor mishaps, they attached the limpet mines on the specific sides of the ships. Having set the warheads' time fuses, each frogman swam ashore to safety, except that tle la Penne and Bianchi were quickly captured

Captain Ohm,. E. Morgan, Commander of the Valiant, had de la Penne and Bianchi interrogated to no avail. In the tradition set by his World War I predecessor, about 10 minutes of the detonation, de la Penne told Captain Morgan he should evacuate the ship. While Morgan kept the Mo Italian frogmen in the ship's brig, he ordered the evacuation of the ship. A few minutes later, the ship blew. While the English had evacuated without injury to its personnel, de le Penne was severely banged up by the explosion but survived together with Bianchi.

Wartime Drawings of an Italian submarine