July 26, 1941 - Attack on the fortress of Malta

(To Marina Militare)

During the Second World War the island of Malta was considered a war target of primary importance due to its strategic position in the center of the Mediterranean and a few miles from the Italian territory. Although the many difficulties were not underestimated, a sensational assault action against the port of Valletta was therefore planned, to be carried out by the operators of the assault vehicles of the Royal Navy.

The enterprise, started in the night between 25 July and 26 July 1941, was unsuccessful due to the careful vigilance of the enemy and, above all, involved the tragic and painful loss of some of the best assault operators, sacrificed in the attempt to overcome the strong defenses of the enemy base.

This enterprise has brought to light the highest qualities of courage of the men of the Navy, in the wake of the millenary traditions of the Armed Force; as the adversary himself recognized, for example, in the words of the British Deputy Governor of Malta: "... the Italians carried out an attack with great determination to penetrate the port using MAS and human torpedoes"

The outcome of the operation, although not favorable, turned into a success for the Regia Marina thanks to the tenacity and courage of its men; as evidence of this value are the concessions of eight gold medals to VM, of which seven in memory, thirteen silver medals, seven in bronze and a war cross.

Among the gold medals, a particular mention must be attributed to the major of the Naval Genius Teseo Tesei who, together with his wingman, sacrificed his life for the homeland by blowing himself up together with the weapon against the defenses of the port of Malta. In memory of the illustrious figure, creator of slow-running torpedoes, today the command of divers and raiders is named after him.

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