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PostPerez Reverte's "El Italiano" and the Human Torpedo (José Ignacio Soler, Venezuela, 09/22/21 10:04 am)
I just read that one of my favorite Spanish-speaking writers, Arturo Pérez Reverte, has just published his latest work. El Italiano is based on real, historical events of World War II, unknown by many people, which debunk the myth of the Italian forces' weakness and the unjust discrediting of the Italian soldier. This reputation has even been adopted by Italian public opinion itself, to disparage the military forces that remained faithful to Mussolini's Fascism, perhaps not so much because of Il Duce, but rather out of pure and simple patriotism.
The story tells the story of the submarine commandos, the Orsa Maggiore group, who sabotaged and destroyed more than 15 ships of the British fleet in the Mediterranean in the bravest way, by manning human torpedoes in pairs.
These torpedoes, called maiales (pigs), equipped with the most advanced technologies of the time, moved silently underwater at night, dodging explosive charges, reaching their objectives and they retreated quickly before enemy ships went to the bottom.
The story describes historical events and highlights the courage these crew members displayed again and again even at the cost of their own lives, as an act of justice to restore dignity to the Italian soldier. Around the word and in Italy itself, political correctness has kept these soldiers from receiving their proper recognition.
JE comments: Faithful WAISisti will remember Eugenio Battaglia's description of the maiale. Yes, driving one took guts. They were not supposed to be suicide weapons, but on many occasions I'm sure they ended up that way.
Pérez Reverte may be the most marketable writer in Spain today. The book will certainly appear soon in English, if it hasn't already.