01 August 2001
Book Review: In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors (2001), by Doug Stanton, *****
The USS Indianapolis was the last ship sunk during the Second World War. Savaged by a salvo of torpedoes from a Japanese submarine, the warship, one of the fastest in the US Navy, sank in a matter of minutes. One thousand two hundred men went into the water, and only 321 were to survive. This is their story. On 30 July 1945 the Indianapolis was returning from the small island of Tinian, having delivered the components of the atom bomb ‘little boy’, which was to decimate Hiroshima and bring on the end of the war. As the torpedoes ripped into the side of the ship hundreds of men were killed. Those lucky enough to survive were to face extremes of physical and mental hardship in the water. Many were left to float in the ocean with little or no food or drinking water in deteriorating life jackets and, most chillingly of all, open to attacks by sharks...
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