This human torpedo is a reproduction of a 1930s Italian Mark 1 craft or Siluro a lenta corsa (slow-speed torpedo). These torpedoes were used in one of the most daring missions ever conducted by the Italian submersible fleet during WW2.
In 1941 the Italians tried to attack a number of British naval vessels, in order to reduce the threat of the formidable Mediterranean fleet.
On the night of 20th December 1941, a small fleet of Italian SLC torpedoes entered the harbour at Alexandria, Egypt, with the intent of destroying the British ships there. The torpedoes and their crews were carried through the surrounding minefields by submarine, and deployed just outside the harbour. Finding their way through the freezing water, the pilots made their way inside the enemy harbour.
Although fraught with danger, the mission was a success, and both HMS Valiant and HMS Queen Elizabeth were sunk, disabling two of the most powerful ships in the British fleet.