In Harm's Way

The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors
Narrated by: Mark Boyett
Length: 8 hrs and 12 mins
Categories: History, Americas
5 out of 5 stars (4,570 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Earphones Award Winner (AudioFile Magazine)

Winner, 2017 APA Audie Awards - History/Biography

A harrowing, adrenaline-charged account of America's worst naval disaster - and of the heroism of the men who, against all odds, survived.

On July 30, 1945, the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed in the South Pacific by a Japanese submarine. An estimated 300 men were killed upon impact; close to 900 sailors were cast into the Pacific Ocean, where they remained undetected by the navy for nearly four days and nights. Battered by a savage sea, they struggled to stay alive, fighting off sharks, hypothermia, and dementia. By the time rescue arrived, all but 317 men had died.

The captain's subsequent court-martial left many questions unanswered: How did the navy fail to realize the Indianapolis was missing? Why was the cruiser traveling unescorted in enemy waters? And, perhaps most amazing of all, how did these 317 men manage to survive?

Interweaving the stories of three survivors - the captain, the ship's doctor, and a young marine - journalist Doug Stanton has brought this astonishing human drama to life in a narrative that is at once immediate and timeless. The definitive account of a little-known chapter in World War II history, In Harm's Way is destined to become a classic tale of war, survival, and extraordinary courage.

©2001 Reed City Productions, LLC.; "Afterword: 2001" copyright 2002 by Reed City Productions, LLC. (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"With a delivery like a seasoned storyteller, Mark Boyett makes this riveting story of the sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis even more compelling. The combination of Boyett's reading and the author's straightforward style and heavy use of declarative sentences creates a presentation that will fully engage listeners." ( AudioFile)

Featured Article: 10 Best WWII Audiobooks for Every History Buff


World War II, although well-documented through various mediums, is the basis for a wide range of little-known stories from Europe and beyond that deserve to be heard. From firsthand accounts of soldiers on the front lines to stories of brave women behind the scenes, these are impactful stories of humans coming together in this time of global conflict. We’re sure you’ll find something captivating on our list of the best WWII audiobooks.

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  • Overall
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Amazing and true naval tale!!!

This nonfiction book is about the sinking of a large navy ship in the Pacific just before the end of World War II. It is an amazing story - riveting, gut-wrenching, and inspiring. It is so well told. It is one of the best tales of survival. It covers ship life so well before the attack, and does a great job telling the tale of the survivors. Even the aftermath is engaging. I was actually in tears at times. The people and incidents come alive in his great and important book. I'll be thinking about this for a long time.

29 people found this helpful

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Captivating

my great grandfather was on the Indianapolis when it sank. This book gave an amazing account of the horrors he went through.
Ever brave and stoic, his simple and happy nature never let on to the hardships these men faced.

80 people found this helpful

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incredible book

solid reading, solid writing. very hard story to listen to due to the nature of the reality of war.

43 people found this helpful

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A haunting riveting account of survival at sea

As the daughter of the 18 year old sole survivor of a torpedoed British merchantman in the North Atlantic in August 1939, I have finally reached an understanding of what my father lived through.

In this well-written, fast-paced account, we learn of the shocking failures in the operating rules of the US naval command in the Pacific theatre while also gaining insights into the context of the times which resulted in the USS Indianapolis disaster going unreported and unnoticed for four days, during which time more than 50% of the initial 800 survivors were lost - from injuries sustained as a result of the torpedo attack or abandoning ship, from exposure, fatigue, starvation and shark attacks.

But we learn something far more important - the resilience of the human spirit and the will to survive and how some have enough to share to help others survive who almost certainly would not have done.

The narrator also did an awesome job.

This audiobook will stay with me for a very long time.

62 people found this helpful

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A Riveting account of bravery and ineptitude

It was difficult to stop listening but at times, when those men were in the water for 4 days with the Navy unaware of the sinking due to multiple layers of incompetence, it was difficult to keep listening. That McVeigh fell on his sword without a fight says much about military discipline and order. A man who dedicated his life to public service was reduced to suicide to alleviate his emotional pain.

10 people found this helpful

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Should Be Required Reading

Horrible consequences from a torpedo attack on the USS Indianapolis, many young men died, and those that survived relived that nightmare. Unfortunately those who were partly responsible never acknowledged it, or were never held accountable.
This story was new to me, and while it was most difficult to listen to what the men endured, I'm glad I now know their story. Well written and well narrated.

8 people found this helpful

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Very Engaging History

I enjoyed the narrative style of the author. The story is mostly told through the eyes of the participants from their perspective at the time. Brings the story to life. Not a lot of suspense as the events are foreshadowed throughout.

5 people found this helpful

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Failure at the Very Top

I did not think that I would be able to bear to listen to this dreadful story; however, author Doug Stanton presents the grim facts in as palatable a manner as is possible, given the nature of the awful events. It was a bearable listen, even for the faint of heart.

It is clear that Captain Charles McVay conducted himself in a heroic manner throughout the ordeal. It is likewise clear that navy brass cast all blame onto Captain McVay in an attempt to mask their own miserable failure to keep track of one of their ships. Shame on them.

Mark Boyett's narration is excellent.

5 people found this helpful

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Excellent

A great factual account that doesn't feel like a factual account when you are listening to it. Excellent narration by Mark Boyer as well.

10 people found this helpful

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Wonderful WW II story

This book reads like fiction since it is so unbelievable. It tells the little known naval tragedy that happened eleven days before the end of the war. A story of bravery and survival. Also how small errors during war can cause the deaths of so many lives . The narration is excellent as well. Overall one of the best non fiction books I have read in quite some time.

15 people found this helpful