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Junio Valerio Borghese file photo [20080]

Junio Valerio Borghese

Given NameJunio Valerio
Born6 Jun 1906
Died26 Aug 1974


ww2dbasePrince Junio Valerio Scipione Borghese was born into the noble House of Borghese in Artena, Province of Rome, Italy in 1906. He was educated in London, England, United Kingdom until 1923, and then he attended the Royal Italian Navy Academy in Livorno, Italy. He entered the Italian Navy in 1929. In the role of a submarine commander, he participated in the Italian invasion of Ethiopia and the Spanish Civil War. At the start of WW2, he played a leading role in the formation of the Italian Navy special forces "frogmen". He was given command of the submarine Sciré, which was modified to carry such frogmen, and conducted several such operations against Gibraltar and Alexandria, Egypt. In May 1943, at the rank of commander, he was given command of 10th MAS Flotilla at Muggiano, Italy, which oversaw the special forces. After the Italian armistice in Sep 1943, Borghese remained loyal to Benito Mussolini, thus serving with the navy of the Italian Social Republic in the same role, with headquarters in La Spezia. In the final days of the European War, the about 18,000 naval infantrymen and special forces troops under his command guarded the northeastern border against the attacking Yugoslavian Communist troops, incurring heavy losses. After the war, he was found guilty of being a German collaborator and was sentenced to a 12-year imprisonment term. He was released in 1949 for his role in the defense of the Italian homeland against the Yugoslavians in 1945. In 1954, he published his memoirs under the title of Sea Devils. Borghese later entered politics under a pro-fascist and anti-communist banner, gaining the nickname "The Black Prince". In 1970, he fled the country for his involvement in a planned coup d'état that was never executed. He passed away in Spain in 1974. He was buried in Cappella Borghese inside Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome.

Author: Piero Crociani, Italian Navy & Air Force Elite Units & Special Forces 1940-45

Last Major Revision: Jan 2014

Junio Valerio Borghese Interactive Map


Junio Valerio Borghese and Rodolfo Graziani, circa 1940s

Junio Valerio Borghese Timeline

6 Jun 1906 Junio Valerio Borghese was born in Artena, Rome, Italy.
1 May 1943 Commander Junio Valerio Borghese took over command of 10th MAS Flotilla at Muggiano, Italy, which was in actuality a special forces unit for the Italian Navy.
8 Sep 1943 Italian Navy Xa Flottiglia MAS based at La Spezia, Italy under Commander Junio Valerio Borghese reported the strength of 400 men.
12 Sep 1943 Junio Valerio Borghese successfully negotiated with local German authority to avoid arrest; his Italian 10th MAS Flotilla was to be attached to the German Navy. Half of the flotilla, about 200 men, dissented and were sent on leave.
27 Oct 1943 Italian Navy formed the "NP" battalion under Commander Junio Valerio Borghese for saboteur work.
4 Nov 1943 Commander Junio Valerio Borghese was named the Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff of the Italian Navy, in charge of operations.
13 Jan 1944 Commander Junio Valerio Borghese was arrested in connection with the recent mutiny of the "Maestrale" naval infantry battalion of the Italian Navy.
24 Jan 1944 Junio Valerio Borghese was released from imprisonment in Italy.
26 Mar 1945 Junio Valerio Borghese was made the Chief of the Naval Staff.
26 Aug 1974 Junio Valerio Borghese passed away in Cádiz, Spain.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
2 Jun 2020 06:59:47 PM

A relative. Remained a fascist till the end. He was even involved in a plot to overthrow the Italian gov't around 1970 or so. Not a good man imho.

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More on Junio Valerio Borghese
Event(s) Participated:
» Invasion of Ethiopia
» The Spanish Civil War
» Underwater Raid of Alexandria

Ship(s) Served:
» Iride
» Scirè

Related Books:
» Italian Navy & Air Force Elite Units & Special Forces 1940-45

Junio Valerio Borghese Photo Gallery
Junio Valerio Borghese and Rodolfo Graziani, circa 1940s

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