The italian Frogmen

Forgmen in Turkey

Turkey, which up to now continued to be a neutral country, nevertheless supplied precious raw materials to the Allies. Attacking Turkey or the ships in the Alexandretta (Skenderun) Harbor would create diplomatic problems. But Borghese thought of a way around it: use the office of the Italian Vice-Consulate to plant single frogmen as vacationers by daylight and frogmen plotters by night. The general plan was simple: each frogman acting as civilian would conduct reconnaissance of ships laden with cargo by day, draw appropriate lines of attack, and execute at night by placing fused limpets which would explode hours later when the ships were at sea.

"As you can see, Borghese explained to champion swimmer, Luigi Ferraro, cannot send in torpedo teams or E-boats or large numbers of swimmers, because the waters are neutral. If the Turks caught us intruding, there would be a terrible diplomatic uproar. We must avoid that..." (Frogmen First Battles)

Young, strong and intelligent, Luigi Ferraro represented the best of his frogmen. By his orders, Borghese pitted each frogman against tremendous odds, much greater than the Biblical fight between two disparate human beings. He pitted single human beings against whole battleships in combat mode. Although each frogman won many battles, in the end each would succumb to forces beyond the containment capabilities of his beloved 10th Light Flotilla.