It was a long time ago when
man realized the advantages of diving under water and attacking the enemy.
Ancient warriors used leather bags, filled with air, and carried a knife
or a short sword to cut the ship’s moorings or damage its keel. What happened
with the advance of technology and equipment? The transport of military
divers to the “target” became possible allowing new methods to be used.
One of them was the attachment of explosives.
is the year which is considered the beginning of underwater military actions.
The campaign in Port Polla in February, 1918 is the start for underwater
operations. The same year the young lieutenant Paoluchi and captain Rossetti
from the Italian Naval Forces managed to attach a specially-prepared torpedo
to the bottom of the passing ship “Viribus Unitas”. Few hours later after
the explosion, the ship sank. The torpedo contained a T.N.T charge of 170
kg, magnets for its attachment to the ship, a timing mechanism and an engine,
which provided a speed of 3-4 miles/hour for a distance of 8-10 miles.
After the explosive is attached to the ship, the body and engine of the
torpedo separate from it and are used by divers to return to the mother
During the Second World War
Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT) were founded in the USA. Individuals
between 18 and 32 years old, after taking medical and psychological tests,
were educated in a period of 6-9 months in swimming and scuba diving, engineering
and work with explosives, parachute jumping, reconnaissance and coast-outlining.
Because naval operations must be noiseless, the underwater diversionists
went through thorough physical training and instruction for free-style
fighting such as snatches and techniques to take hostages.
from the UDT participated in naval campaigns in eastern Asia (1953), Taiwan
(1958), Korea (1950), Panama (1956), The Philippines (1958). They used
closed-circuit apparatuses with nitrogen-helium breathing mixtures for
work at a depth of 90-120 m, lazer devices for communication and orientation,
small submersibles and special explosives. They even used tables for decompression
and recompression during military operations at great depths.
Dolphins - in service of
the Naval Forces?
Dolphins were “hired” and
instructed by the Naval Forces to perform military operations such as guarding
regions, searching and locating sunken weapons, destroying “targets” and
helping divers with missions. There were cases in which explosives were
attached to the dolphin, which was sent to attack the enemy ship. In 1967-68,
dolphins were employed for the first time in finding the locations of mines.
They did much better and twice as faster than a group of divers performing
the same task.
Sea lions were also of help
in searching weapons and even archeological items on the sea bottom.
Sea animals may take the
place of working divers because they can bring to the bottom tools, necessary
for building of underwater devices. They can even take pictures of the
area in which there is some damage and they can deliver mail or cargo to