Genre: Film for TV – War/Period piece.
Length: 160 minutes (in 4 episodes)
Directed by: TBA
Story by: Fabio Varesi
Shooting Location: Italy, Malta and UK.
Italian Line Production by: Alberto Brusco
Synopsis: “In 1941, honor could guide men’s lives even in time of war. Six men swam at night into hostile water, past sentries, nets and mines, to sink three warships to the ocean floor. But because they warned the commanders, not one life was lost.
In 1945, the British government awarded them medals of Honor for “an extraordinary example of courage and respect.”
They were fearless. They were compassionate. They were The Enemy. They were… The Sea Devils.”
During November 1941 the British Fleet was in a critical situation: only battleships Valiant and Queen Elizabeth, based at Alexandria, were available to control the Mediterranean.
If these two battleships could be destroyed all the convoys to Libya could sail safely, which would have a resounding positive effect for Italy in the African war. †After careful planning, the mission to destroy the British battleships was assigned to the “X Flottiglia Mas.” On December 18, submarine “Scirè”, commanded by Junio Valerio Borghese, stealthily approached Alexandria harbor after a treacherous journey. They released three Slow Run Torpedoes driven underwater by Durand de La Penne and his men. Their targets were the Queen Elizabeth, the Valiant and a 16.000-ton tanker. They left on what they thought was a suicide mission, but they lived to write one of the most memorable chapters in the history of war.
“An extraordinary example of courage and geniality.” With these words Winston Churchill described an action of an enemy. Durand de La Penne and his comrades accomplished one of the most effective naval victories of WWII without killing a single man.
The 2-episode television film bounces between the lives of the Italian and the British soldiers and their daily struggle in London and Rome in this time of war.