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Publisher's Summary

Lynn Vincent, the number-one New York Times best-selling writer of Heaven Is for Real, reveals the thrilling true story of the greatest naval disaster in United States history: the sinking of the USS Indianapolis during World War II - and the 60-year fight to exonerate the captain from a wrongful court-martial.  

The USS Indianapolis was the key ship in the largest and most powerful fleet to ever sail the face of the earth - or that will ever sail again. Her crew led the fleet from Pearl Harbor to the islands of Japan, notching an unbroken string of victories in an uncharted theater of war. When the time came for President Harry S. Truman to deal Japan the decisive blow, Indianapolis answered the call, and a super-spy named Major Robert S. Furman climbed aboard with the components of the world’s first atomic bomb.  

Four days after Indianapolis delivered her ominous cargo, two Japanese torpedoes sent her to the bottom of the sea. Her story then became not only an epic tale of survival but also the tale of three captains whose lives would be forever entwined: Charles B. McVay III, who was wrongly court-martialed for the ship’s sinking; Mochitsura Hashimoto, the Japanese sub commander who originally testified against McVay and then years later joined the fight to exonerate him; and William Toti, captain of Indianapolis’ submarine, who helped the survivors win their 60-year fight to vindicate their captain.  

For 70 years, the story of this fated ship wove its way through generations of American presidents, from Roosevelt and Truman in 1945 to Clinton and George W. Bush in the present day, culminating in backroom deals in the halls of Congress. Now Lynn Vincent tells the full truth about the men who lived the story and fought for justice. In this very personal account - unfolding against the larger war and the historic actions of titans of the era - the USS Indianapolis comes to full, vivid, unforgettable life.

©2018 Lynn Vincent, Sara Vladic (P)2018 Simon & Schuster

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As good as In Harm's Way but different

Doug Stanton's history of the USS Indianapolis, In Harm's Way, is one of my favorite Audible reads.

So I was wondering if I should buy Sara Vladic and Lynn Vincent's Indianapolis. What else could there be to tell? And who could tell it better than Stanton?

This book is just as good as Stanton's but different. Whereas Stanton's has a tight focus on the sinking of the Indianapolis and the ordeal the surviving men suffered at the mercy of the ocean, the sun, thirst, injuries, sharks and each other, this new book takes a longer view of the ship's history, from Iwo Jima, Okinawa, the Top Secret mission and disaster to the 2005 Senate hearing to exonerate Captain McVay and the 2017 discovery of the wreckage by Paul Allen.

Because this new book covers so much territory and so many players, including the Japanese sub commander who gave the order to sink the cruiser, the story moves more slowly than Stanton's. But it's an absorbing experience. It almost felt like three books wrapped into one.

There's the story of the USS Indianapolis as Germany fails and the Pacific War heats up. The ship played roles at Iwo and Okinawa, where it suffered damage.

Then there's the Top Secret mission to deliver a mysterious crate to Tinian. It's after this delivery that the cruiser is torpedoed and the men are flung into a midnight ocean thick with expelled ship oil. They get separated into far-flung groups that are for the most part unaware of each other because of the ten-foot waves that wall off their view. Then they linger in the ocean for four days without water and little to no food--and sharks.

The last story is a court drama as a victorious Navy, riding high after the fall of Japan, tries to cover up the greatest disaster in its history by laying the full blame on Captain McVay. The story picks up again decades later as the survivors try to clear their captain's name with the help of an adolescent boy.

I really loved the appendix where author Sara Vladic talks about how she got interested in the ship and then spent 17 years getting to know the survivors and interviewing them and writing their story.

The narrator John Bedford Lloyd does a fine job but I increased the playback speed to 1.5 and occasionally to 2 because he spoke too slowly for me.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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More stars!

5 stars just ain’t enough!
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
My thanks to the writers of this powerful story!

David Sherman
Proud Great Nephew
Jack Rosebery S1
USS Indianapolis CA 35
Still On Patrol

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant

This is a great account of the story on the USS Indianapolis from beginning to end and even covers the discovery of the wreck site. Having previously read “In Harms Way” this volume was just as great but felt like a different book. It’s definitely worth reading both books. The Narration was very well done and kept me entertained.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Phenomenal !!!

I've known many of the survivors. Thankful to hear their story printed with accurate details.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Amazing!

Amazing book. God bless these men , and the ones how have told their story.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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The Story of Finding Truth

I found this story fascinating and very honest. I was appalled at the Navy for trying to cover up the mistakes that occurred with this disaster. To lay the blame on one Captain seemed crazy to me and the higher ups were attempting to protect themselves from the errors that were committed under their watch. Shame on them!!
This was a great book to listen to and hear the stories of the survivors of such a tragedy. I hope that something was learned from this book that all men and women are accountable no matter what their rank.
To the authors - thanks for your research and persevering to the end. I hope this becomes a movie.

BCF

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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So much more!

The contents, story and story telling far surpass anything I could expect! I even watched the old movie again, and want to demand a remake. This story needs to be told again with these facts!

Buy, you will not be disappointed!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Bravo Zulu

As a sailor, this story touched me deeply. A tragedy on multiple levels. Must read.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Inside Indianapolis

This book may be of interest to listeners of the Inside Jaws podcast. It is a comprehensive yet very accessible history of the last voyage and sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the aftermath of that event.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic

If I could give more stars for this book, I would. What a fantastic historical account of a Naval tragedy. Very fine use of primary sources and details that have yet to be shared before this publication.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful