Thursday, May 26, 2016

Lost at Sea

Lost at Sea: The story of the USS Indianapolis by David Boyle
CreateSpace: 5/6/16
eBook review copy; 126 pages
paperback ISBN-13: 9781533131546

Lost at Sea: The story of the USS Indianapolis by David Boyle is a very highly recommended concise account of what happened the the Indianapolis.

Many people were first introduced to the story of the USS Indianapolis by the movie Jaws when Quint talks about being on the Indianapolis: "So, eleven hundred men went in the water, three hundred and sixteen men come out, the sharks took the rest, June the 29th 1945. Anyway, we delivered the bomb." In reality it was July 30, 1945, when the Indianapolis went down. It is true that the feeding frenzy on the survivors of the Indianapolis may have been the biggest shark attack of its kind in modern history.

"What makes the story of this American warship so compelling is that it was important in so many ways: it was the flagship of the fighting admiral Raymond Spruance, in 1943-44, during the crucial battles to control the central Pacific; it delivered the key components of the first atomic bomb dropped in anger, in this case on Hiroshima; it was the greatest single loss of life at sea in an American naval disaster at war; it goes down in history as the biggest attack by sharks on human beings ever recorded; and it also became a huge scandal as naval authorities tried to cover-up what had gone wrong, and why the crew had been inadvertently left to die." 

Boyle does an excellent job presenting all the information in this precise, informative guide. It is easy to read and provides the basic information and background needed to understand what happened. Boyle chooses to follow two very different men to tell the history: Captain of the USS Indianapolis Charles McVay and the man who sank the ship, Mochitsura Hashimoto. There is a bibliography if you want to read more, but Boyle's account is a good place to start for those who want the basic information. 

Survivor Harlan Twible is quoted as saying: "We returned to our loved ones, but we were never the same again. Most were markedly changed. Young boys had become mature older men, aged beyond their years. All because of those days in the sea." It is important to remember history and honor those who have fought and suffered for our country.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Endeavor Press for review purposes.

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