In Harm's Way

In Harm's Way

by Doug Stanton (Author)


Returning to America after delivering the fatal bomb for Gnola Gay, The USS Indianapolis was out of radio contact when it was torpedoed. Consequently its sinking remained undetected by the Navy for nearly five days as the 900 survivors of the impact were lost into the Pacific Ocean to face savage seas, hypothermia and sharks. Of the 1196 men on board, only 316 survived. Interweaving the stories of three survivors - the Captain, the ship's doctor and a young marine - this is an account of a little-known chapter in World War II history.


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More Information

Format: Paperback
Pages: 352
Publisher: Bantam Press
Published: 01 May 2001

ISBN 10: 0593047400
ISBN 13: 9780593047408
Prizes: Shortlisted for WH Smith Book Awards (General Knowledge) 2002.

Media Reviews
This is one of the untold stories of the Second World War : the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, in fact the last ship sunk during the conflict. Torpedoed by a Jap sub, it went down in a matter of minutes. Of the 1,200 men who went into the water, only 321 were to survive. What happened to them over the next five days makes up the subject of this book. The physical and mental hardship of those who remained, left floating without supplies and at the mercies of sharks make gripping reading. The book is also the story of one man in particular, Captain Butler McVay, who was held responsible for the loss of his ship and court-martialled - the only naval captain to be so disciplined. Years after the events, tormented by guilt, he took his own life. Stanton's book is part historical account, part survival story, and part reappraisal of McVay's culpability, leading to a revisionist view of events. It utilises recently released government documents and can be recommended.