Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Book Review: In Harm's Way
While we were at a friend’s house I noticed a book on his TV stand. It turned out to be In Harm’s Way and stated that it was the history behind the sinking of the USS Indianapolis in World War II. I had heard of the story of the Indianapolis (as has anybody who paid attention during the movie Jaws) but this book went into great detail about what happened to the ship as well as the mission it fulfilled just before its sinking: the delivery of the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.
The quick version of what happened is that the Indianapolis was sailing alone to its next destination when it was sunk by a Japanese submarine. The book then goes into detail about the experiences of the survivors of the sinking and how they tried to survive the merciless ocean while awaiting rescue. However, the rescue would take far too long to be initiated due to bureaucratic mistakes elsewhere, which cost lives. Only about half of those who survived the sinking itself would eventually be rescued.
I don’t think I’d recommend it as a book club reading; it’s not that kind of book. It is also somewhat graphic due to its description of what happened to the sailors. However, anybody interested in historical books and/or World War II would find it a compelling read.