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Though little known to the English-speaking world, the elite World War II Italian naval unit Decima Flottiglia MAS is considered by many to be the first modern naval commando squad. Assembled by Prince Junio Valerio Borghese at the beginning of the war, these "frogmen" were trained to fight undercover and underwater with small submarines and assault boats armed with a variety of torpedoes—pioneering tactics that remain a standard for Special Forces around the world today.
The commandos' story is told by the man who trained and led them in their desperate exploits. Borghese blends his own account with details offered by his men to present valuable insights into one of the Italian's fiercest and most formidable fighting units. First published in Italy in 1954 and later translated into English, this memoir was part of the Naval Institute Press' Classics of Naval Literature series in 1995 and is now back in print as a paperback.
J. Valerio Borghese, a member of the Italian aristocracy, was known as the Black Prince. Following his legendary World War II exploits in the Italian navy, he remained active with the Fascists after the war and died in 1974.
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Naval History Symposium, U.S. Naval Academy Read More