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In Harm's Way Paperback – 1 May 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press; 1st.ed. edition (1 May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593047400
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593047408
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.2 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,048,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

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.

Book Description

The sinking of the USS Indianapolis is one of the great untold stories of the Second World War; a future classic of war writing that offers a privileged insight into the extremes of human experience. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Aug. 2003
Format: Paperback
In Harms way is a detailed and gripping account of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis On the 30th of July 1945. The ship sank after being torpedoed by a Japanse submarine and was engulfed by the merky pacific ocean within 12 minuits of being hit. Doug Stanton tells the horrific story of the brave men left to the mercy of the cold ocean after watching their ship capsising. Close to 900 men were tosed into the pacific to witness and endure gut-wrenching shark attacks and physical and mental exhaustion, before accidentally being dicovered. This heartbreaking account will grap you and pull you into the nightmare. definately a must read book!!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 July 2001
Format: Paperback
like most people i know of the USS Indianappolis from Quints speech in Jaws. I saw this book and remembered the speech and the godawful film staring john boy walton. the book looks a little hyped and glossy but it is a thrilling read and very character driven. the build up to the torpedoing is riviting, the description of the ship and life on board thoroughly engrossing. once torpedo'ed the book wains a little. the sections in the water are terrifying but they are so brief. i'm not saying i wanted gore and guts but since the main part of the story is the 4 days in the water i expected a little more. nonetheless it is a gripping story - excellently told and heartbreaking in parts. the end is a little patriotic but given the subject matter that it more then forgivable. the image that will haunt you is the pilots view downwards of the survivors with hundreds of sharks circling them below.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By T. McLaughlin on 4 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was given an Amazon voucher and decided to buy a book about the Kursk submarine disaster. A bit of finger trouble on my part and I ordered this in error. Best mistake I have ever made buying online. This is a cracking read from the turn of the first page. It is extremely well researched and the author has transfered his knowledge to paper in a way that only an expert on a subject could.
Every part of the book is in balance - from the intro to the summary. The author has spent some time, a lot of time, getting the storyline right. And the story is gripping in every part. You actually begin to feel you are in the water alongside those sailors who are in desperation, waiting to be rescued before the sharks or madness takes them to the grave. It is one of those books that you just cannot put down. Gripping stuff indeed.
I read around 12 books per year with a 50/50 split between fiction and non-fiction. This equates to 400 books over my adult life. Doug Stanton would take second place in my chart of all time favourites beaten from top spot by the masterpiece "Of Mice And Men".
Very well written and a well earned 5 star rating.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. A. Ramos on 28 Jun. 2010
Format: Hardcover
The USS Indianapolis and the horrific events surrounding its sinking are well known by most, even those who know nothing about the history that lead to this tragedy. It is made reference too in prominent in cultural events like the movie 'Jaws'. In this book the author uses first hand accounts from survivors of this tragedy whose burden was laid on the shoulder of the late Captain Charles Butler McVay. A man and commander you will learn had perform his duties well and ended up being a scape goat for the mistakes of the U.S. Military Intelligence service, erroneous assumptions by General Staff Officers and a series of unimaginable omissions by communication offices that received the ships messages and more. That these mistakes leading up to this incident could take place are unthinkable for a capital war ship.

This old cruiser was sitting in dockyard in San Francisco getting repairs after a direct hit by a kamikaze attack. The shipyard rush estimate was four months to make repairs. For not only was their a large hole in the structure but the fuel cells and water desalinization plant had been damaged. Unknown to the crew of the USS Indianapolis they were about to become infamous for not only transporting the first Atomic bomb that would be used to attack Japan but for what transpired once they had successfully completed their highly secretive mission at record speed. All this in a ship that was at that time given four days to get ready to sail instead of four months required.

The tragedy these 1,196 men stand out to other ship sinking because of all the aforementioned sequences of errors.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Brown on 3 May 2001
Format: Hardcover
The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis & the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors. In July of 1945, the cruiser USS Indianapolis set out from San Francisco with a secret & dangerous cargo, headed for Tinian, a distant South Pacific island. With a record-breaking run to Hawaii & then on to Guam for fuel & fresh supplies, she delivered her load with no notable incidents.
For this child of an island nation, who cut her teeth on plane & ship silhouettes & sang the Seaman's Hymn in school chapel; who never tasted a fresh orange or banana; who lived on reconstituted eggs & milk & learned to count with ration books. For this little sister who heard older brothers' incessantly talk of The War. For this daughter who listened to her father's memories of the War to End All Wars & who, with the entire family, heard the BBC Radio broadcasts of the battles on land, in the sea & in the air - In Harm's Way touched me as only naval sagas can.
This is an astonishing read - which starts with the end of an old tar's life & then tells the story of one venerable ship upon which President Franklin Roosevelt had sailed to South America; of her mostly young crew with a sprinkling of seasoned hands & her captain, a scion from a naval tradition & her most secret mission. Through the memories of three particular crew members & the researching of hundreds of documents, this author unearths the accidents & snafus that cast the Indy's fate as she island-hopped across the Pacific.
There were 1,196 souls aboard the USS Indianapolis, many sleeping on deck, a handful incarcerated in the brig, a few in the infirmary. The cooks & dishwashers had finished their work & were at last also off duty.
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