Shortly after midnight on July 30, 1945, the navy cruiser USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in the Philippine Sea. The ship had just left the island of Tinian, delivering components of the atomic bomb destined for Hiroshima. As the torpedoes hit, the Indianapolis erupted into a fiery coffin, sinking in less than 15 minutes and leaving 900 crewmen fighting for life in shark-infested waters. They expected a swift, routine rescue, unaware that the navy high command didn't even realize that the Indianapolis was missing. Help would not arrive for another five days.
Drawn from definitive interviews with key figures, Fatal Voyage recounts the horrific events endured as the number of water-treading survivors dwindled to just 316. Each gruesome day brought more madness and slow death from explosion-related injuries, dehydration, and, most terrifying of all, shark attacks. But the pain did not end when the men finally returned home: The Indianapolis's commander, Captain Charles B. McVay III, was court-martialed for causing the clearly unavoidable disaster.
With a new afterword chronicling the 55-year campaign by Indianapolis survivors and their supporters to win public vindication for Captain McVay, this classic is restored, along with memories of the Indianapolis crew.
I came to this book after watching the pretty poor Hollywood interpretation of this WW2 horrific sinking. The film focuses on the horrifying shark attacks and not on the effects of relentless sun and drinking seawater on rapidly dehydrating sailors stuck for days in the ocean as also occurred.
There was the failure to recognise the US Indianapolis was missing and the shameful Court Martial of the Captain.
A great read and production that filled in the gaps of the movie. Interesting and easy to listen to.