Were it not for the events covered in this book, the USS Indianapolis would simply be known in history as the WWII ship that delivered the pieces of the first atomic bomb to the small island of Tinian and the crews preparing the Enola Gay. Instead, the events that transpired soon after that delivery placed the Indy and her crew in one of the most famous ship disasters of the 20th century.
On July 30, 1945, while sailing alone on a routine mission, the Indy was struck by Japanese torpedoes. The ship sank quickly and carried a fourth of the crew to the bottom. Those that survived the attack (nearly 900 men) used life preservers, debris, and each other to keep afloat and stay alive. They kept their spirits up knowing that once the ship was reported missing, search crews would be out to rescue them. Unfortunately, due to an unlikely chain of events, no one noticed that the ship was missing. For four days, the crew battled salt water, merciless sunlight by day, frigid waters at night, lack of food and drinkable water, sharks, oil, hallucinations, and other dangers. Doug Stanton tells the story of the ship and her crew in a fascinating and sobering look at the dangers of war and the limits of human endurance.
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