In September Robert Hobson visited the famous Italian naval base at La Spezia Northern Italy whose history goes back to the first world war when swimming to enemy ships, thought to be safely at anchor in a harbour, became a target for swimmers and their explosive device.
It was these brave and the dedicated Italian men who invented the human torpedo and produced the first breathing apparatus allowing a diver to spend five to six hours submerged. This Italian naval assault unit became the forerunner to the modern frogman and the beginning of naval assault units throughout the world.
The Royal Marines Special Boat Service followed in 1942 and the US Navy Seals in 1943.
The Italian unit is known as Raggruppamento Subacquei Incursori Teseo Tesei.
The Underwater Heritage Trust is in the process of trying to get the SBS and US Seals to form an association recognising their birth and forming an association of veterans.