Human Torpedo

Human torpedoes or manned torpedoes are a type of rideable submarine used as secret naval weapons in World War II. The basic design is still in use today for recreational sport diving. The name is most commonly used to refer to the weapons that Italy, and later Britain, deployed in the Mediterranean and used to attack ships in enemy harbors.

The first human torpedo (the Italian Maiale) was electrically propelled, with two crewmen in diving suits riding astride. They steered the torpedo at slow speed to the enemy ship. The detachable warhead was then used as a limpet mine. They then rode the torpedo away. In operation, the Maiale torpedo was carried by another vessel (usually a normal submarine), and launched near the target. Most manned torpedo operations were at night and during the new moon to cut down the risk of being seen.

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