Teseo Tesei

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Teseo Tesei
Teseo Tesei.jpg
Born3 January 1909
Elba, Italy
Died26 July 1941(1941-07-26) (aged 32)
AllegianceItaly Italy
Service/branchRegia Marina (Italian Royal Navy)
Years of service?–1941
UnitDecima Flottiglia MAS
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsGold Medal for Military Honor (posthumous)

Teseo Tesei (3 January 1909 – 26 July 1941) was an Italian naval officer, who invented the human torpedo (called Maiale, Italian for "pig") used by the Regia Marina during World War II.


Teseo Tesei was born in Marina de Campo, Elba in 1909, the son of Ulisse Tesey and Rosa Carassale. After attending the Collegio degli Scolopi in Florence, he entered the Livorno Naval Academy in 1931, where he distinguished himself for perseverance and inventiveness. He was commissioned as a lieutenant and graduated from the Naval engineering school in Naples in 1933. He subsequently had several posts on both surface ships and submarines. He was a volunteer in the Spanish Civil War with the rank of captain.

The modern Italian commando frogmen group Comando Raggruppamento Subacquei ed Incursori Teseo Tesei (COMSUBIN) is named after him.

See also[edit]


  • Historical Diving Times, pp 6–11, issue 39. ISSN 1368-0390


  • Greene, Jack The Black Prince and the Sea Devils: The Story of Valerio Borghese and the Elite Units of the Decima Mas. Da Capo Press. Cambridge/Mass., 2004 ISBN 0-306-81311-4
  • Schofield, William. Frogmen First Battles. New York, 2000 ISBN 0-8283-2088-8