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COMSUBIN

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COMSUBIN (Comando Raggruppamento Subacquei e Incursori Teseo Tesei) is the elite combat swimmer force and one of the Italian special forces.

Italy was the first nation to use combat swimmers and human torpedoes. The Italian Naval Assault Divisions are considered to be the precursors to modern naval special forces.

Their record can be traced back to World War I and the operation against the Austro-Hungarian Battleship Viribus Unitis in Pola Harbour in 1918. Other famous operations are Trieste, Suda Bay, Alexandria, Gibraltar, and Malta. Great Britain and Germany soon followed.

Italy's frogman group originated in 1938 as the 1a Flottiglia Mezzi d'Assalto (1st Flotilla Assault Vehicles), which was reformed in 1940 as the Decima Flottiglia MAS (10th Flotilla Assault Vehicles, X MAS).

It is a matter of pride that Italy's naval special forces pre-date both the U.S. Navy Underwater Demolition Teams, formed in 1943 and forerunners of the better-known SEALs, and the British Royal Marines Special Boat Service formed as an offshoot of the Special Air Service in 1941.