| Action, Drama, War
During World War II, two Italian frogmen, who placed magnetic mines under a British warship, are captured and interrogated by British intelligence about their mission.
The events seen in this movie are based on a true story of an attack by Italian "human torpedoes", which successfully blew up the "Queen Elizabeth" and the "Valiant" on December 18, 1941. The real Bianchi was not shot, but lost his grip on the torpedo when it dove, making it impossible for his commander de la Penne on his own to attach the machine physically to the ship's hull as they had intended. (He later explained that his refusal to talk had been because the British could have saved their ship very simply if they had realized the true nature of the "mine", which was simply lying on the bottom of the harbor) The two men were imprisoned in the bottom of the warship as depicted here, and finally five minutes before the explosion was due, de la Penne sent a warning to Captain Morgan, enabling him to muster the crew safely on the top deck (although not to abandon ship). Neither of the Italians was injured in the explosion. The British did successfully conceal from Italian espionage the damage to both warships for months.
In the film, the Italians are seen to be given away by the bubbles rising from their breathing apparatus; during the war, the Italian frogmen used pure oxygen 'pendulum' breathing sets, in which exhaled gas is returned to the tank via a carbon dioxide filter, rather than the compressed-air apparatus used in peacetime - precisely in order to avoid the problem of a tell-tale string of bubbles.
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