Bordeaux – BETASOM

Like all Italian military bases, the one in Bordeaux, France needed a telegraphic address. At the time, telegraphs (and teletype) were the primary means of communication. The name chosen was a simple one: B for Bordeaux and SOM as an abbreviation for “Sommergibile,” submarine in Italian. In the Italian military world, the letter B was called “Beta”, just like our “Bravo” in the NATO alphabet; the combination of the two created the name BETASOM. This name would enter the history books to signify a lesser known, but very important page of submarine warfare.