Decima Flottiglia MAS
A group of determined young human torpedoes and assault swimmers fought bravely for Italy in the Second World War, inspiring fear and respect from the British Navy. The actions of these few men severely reduced British naval power in the Mediterranean. Even with small numbers, and using relatively limited resources, the frogmen were a very effective force in the war against the British. By the end of the war, these men would sink or severely disable over 73,000 tons of Allied warships, and over 128,000 tons of merchant shipping. The story of the Italian frogmen is one of determination and bravery. Against overwhelming odds, they were able to inflict considerable damage on Allied shipping. Their tactics also aroused confusion and nervousness with the Allied commanders and their ship s crews. Italy s Decima Flottiglia MAS pre-dates both the U.S. Navy Underwater Demolition Teams, formed in 1943 and forerunners of the better-known U.S. Navy SEALs; and the British Royal Marines Special Boat Service formed as an offshoot of the Special Air Service in 1941. Perhaps the determination and actions of the Decima Flottiglia MAS qualify them as the best commandos of the Second World War.