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Summary

Just after midnight on July 30, 1945, days after delivering the components of the atomic bomb from California to the Pacific Islands in the most highly classified naval mission of the war, USS Indianapolis is sailing alone in the center of the Philippine Sea when she is struck by two Japanese torpedoes. The ship is instantly transformed into a fiery cauldron and sinks within minutes. Some 300 men go down with the ship. Nearly 900 make it into the water alive. For the next five nights and four days, almost 300 miles from the nearest land, the men battle injuries, sharks, dehydration, insanity, and eventually each other. Only 316 will survive.

For the better part of a century, the story of USS Indianapolis has been understood as a sinking tale. The reality, however, is far more complicated - and compelling. Now, for the first time, thanks to a decade of original research and interviews with 107 survivors and eyewitnesses, Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic tell the complete story of the ship, her crew, and their final mission to save one of their own.

It begins in 1932, when Indianapolis is christened and launched as a ship of state for President Franklin Roosevelt. After Pearl Harbor, Indianapolis leads the charge to the Pacific Islands, notching an unbroken string of victories in an uncharted theater of war. Then, under orders from President Harry Truman, the ship takes aboard a superspy and embarks on her final world-changing mission: delivering the core of the atomic bomb to the Pacific for the strike on Hiroshima. Vincent and Vladic provide a visceral, moment-by-moment account of the disaster that unfolds days later after the Japanese torpedo attack, from the chaos on board the sinking ship to the first moments of shock as the crew plunge into the remote waters of the Philippine Sea, to the long days and nights during which terror and hunger morph into delusion and desperation, and the men must band together to survive.

Then, for the first time, the authors go beyond the men’s rescue to chronicle Indianapolis’s extraordinary final mission: the survivors’ 50-year fight for justice on behalf of their skipper, Captain Charles McVay III, who is wrongly court-martialed for the sinking. What follows is a captivating courtroom drama that weaves through generations of American presidents, from Harry Truman to George W. Bush, and forever entwines the lives of three captains - McVay, whose life and career are never the same after the scandal; Mochitsura Hashimoto, the Japanese sub commander who sinks Indianapolis but later joins the battle to exonerate McVay; and William Toti, the captain of the modern-day submarine Indianapolis, who helps the survivors fight to vindicate their captain.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2018 Lynn Vincent (P)2018 Simon & Schuster Audio UK

What listeners say about Indianapolis

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WOW

An absolutely brilliant listen. From start to finish this book delivers. Recommended to all listeners.

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Great story and intro to US Japan conflict

This is a story about a cover up but it's so much more than just a cover up. It's a story about people who lived and those who died. It's an intro to US Japan naval war. It's the back story to Enola Gay. Great read on all levels.

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Excellent

Cliche at this stage but this book does read like a thriller and then you realise that it really happened.
You can see the painstaking lengths the authors went to in their research and presentation of the details in this story. The only thing for me is that we can never be certain about what really happened in the water for the survivors but there's enough horrifying detail here and no reason not to believe it, you can imagine it for yourself. Plenty of detail surround the trail of the captain and his exoneration decades later. At all times the utmost of respect is given to those involved and you are free to come to your own conclusions. The story is a human one a one of tragedy and one of perseverence. We can all make mistakes, sometimes terrible ones but coming away from this book you really can't help but feel for Capt Mcvay and the way he was used as a scapegoat. I think the inclusion of testimony and correspondence from commander Hashimoto the commander of the submarine really was fantastic. In the end I didn't want this story to end and perhaps it never really will. A superb book written and presented very well. I'd recommend it to anyone not just history buffs.

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NO BETTER AUDIOBOOK

This is a remarkable and poignant story so well-written and well-narrated. And it’s a testament to the old adage that ‘truth will out’ eventually, no matter how long it takes.
The story covers the Pacific theatre of war; the ship’s delivery of the atomic bomb; the torpedo strike; the days adrift at sea with the horror of shark attacks and the murderous and suicidal delusions brought on by thirst and despair; the court martial proceedings and the anger-inducing cover-up by the navy hierarchy pinning blame on the captain; and the enduring loyalty and determination of the survivors to see justice done and honour redeemed.
Particularly liked the inclusion of the Japanese submarine captain's perspective - as well as the story of the writing of the story at the end.

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Heartbreaking, uplifting,amazing , incredible courageous book.

I am so glad I have read this book. It will stay with me for ever.
Beautifully written from the first word to the last word.
Amazing research .
The story draws you in to the time and the places of USS Indianapolis and her crew and holds you there by your heart. Takes you by the hand and walks you alongside the men , to experience what they all endured . From the 1940s to date. Heartbreaking.
So much courage and heroism and sacrifice and pain.
Wonderful,wonderful book.

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THE most amazing book/read/listen ever!

as the title says... I laughed, I cried, I drew breath... absolutely amazing book, I wish I could give 10 stars! What a story, what heroes, this book has it all... the narrator certainly makes the listen even better. I've never read or listened to a book twice but I'm definitely going to listen again. Just buy it, book or audible.... its fantastic!

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Excellence

An incredible story of the sailor's determination to first fight the enemy without and then spend 60 years fighting the enemy within. Excellently researched and narrated.

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For a job well done.

I returned another audio-book to get this one, and I'm so glad that I did.

I would recommend this to anyone, of any age. It is more than just the story of the loss of a good ship and her fine crew and the rescue of survivors under constant attack by sharks and falling victims to the effects of their injuries and extreme fatigue.
It is also the wonderful and heart breaking story of the battle to redeem the integrity of her Captain; previously tared by unfair charges of negligence.

I consider the trials and traumas of the Captain, his family, and his ever loyal crew members, to be similar in several ways to to those of the many young soldiers who where 'Shot At Dawn', despite evidence (or lack of) which proved them to be innocent for various reasons. Of the battles by their families and others to set the records straight.

So I think that this Audio-book of the story of the 'Indianapolis', also serves as a sort of Memorial, to those remarkable times at the end of World War II. It "...adds balm to old scars". It closes the last pages of a long battle for justice, and provides a valuable aid to researchers and any else, in remembering those events.

Perhaps the best 18 hours and 39 minutes I ever spent. listening . It cost others their lives.
Thank you.

Jack D. Harrison.

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A harrowing experience

Today's snowflake generation should be made read/listen to this to help put perspective on what is seen as hardship these days. Excellent story of some horrible situations people ended up in during the war.

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Heartbreaking

It's difficult to know how anyone could face such horrors and remain sane. However, it also shows great humanity and courage against such awful odds.
This book touched me deeply I prayed for their rescue and cried when at last they were spotted and rescued.
How awful that so many senior officers colluded to blame an innocent and decent man for the faults that were ultimately theirs, driving him to his death. Shame on you.