RDEAL BY SEA by Thomas Helm


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The title may strike the eye as familiar but it is very applicable in this account of the sinking of the heavy cruiser U.S.S. Indianapolis, ""listed as the greatest open sea disaster in the history of the United States Navy"". This ship was sunk by a Japanese submarine in the final days of World War II, just after its delivery of a very special cargo- the atomic bomb destined to be dropped on Hiroshima. The most tragic part of the sinking was that it was not reported, and the 316 survivors (out of a crew of 1196) drifted in lifejackets without food or water for four days before they were spotted and rescued. During this time, many went mad, drank salt water, killed each other, or were pulled beneath the waves by the sharks. It is a story both of incredible endurance as well as weakness and error. Mr. Helm has researched his story meticulously and assembled it with much care and few frills but if the writing is unexceptional, the material can certainly stand alone.

Pub Date: April 8th, 1963
Publisher: Dodd, Mead