There's a degree of truth to the frogmen’s amphibious nom de guerre, as the unit became famous for undertaking dangerous operations both on land and at sea.
The Royal Navy had dismissed the idea of manned torpedoes as impractical and dangerous, but during the Second World War Italian frogmen the Siluro a Lenta Corsa (Slow Running Torpedoes) successfully attacked British naval bases in Malta, Gibraltar and Alexandria. This led to a change of policy and the formation of the Experimental Submarine Flotilla in 1942.
The training was rigorous and intense. The torpedo boats, called Chariots, were unwieldy to use and took time to master. Meanwhile oxygen poisoning, burst eardrums and sinus problems all contributed to the difficulty. Even so, none of these challenges would prepare the unit for combat.
The frogmen faced high odds of being either captured or killed in action. It was as dangerous an occupation as you could find in the war, but then the unit wasn’t without success either. The frogmen undertook raids against Italian and German boats, winning several tactical battles, whilst the unit also played a role in the D-Day landings. Demonstrating their amphibious prowess, the frogmen surveyed the sea floor before D-Day and demolished beach obstacles during the landing itself.
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