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In Harm's Way [Gekürzte Ausgabe, Audiobook] [Englisch] [Hörkassette]

Doug Stanton , Boyd Gaines

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Kurzbeschreibung

10. April 2001

July 30, 1945. After completing a top secret mission to the island of Tinian to deliver parts of the atom bomb that would be dropped on Hiroshima, the battle cruiser USS Indianapolis was torpedoed in the South Pacific by a Japanese submarine. An estimated 300 men were killed on impact; close to 900 were cast into the sea. After five days, when the Navy accidentally realized the ship was missing, only 321 men were still alive, having battled hypothermia, sharks, and hallucinatory dementia. Four more would die in military hospitals shortly thereafter.

The highly unusual court-martial of the Indianapolis's captain, Charles Butler McVay, opened up the tragedy to scrutiny: How did the Navy fail to realize the ship was missing? Why was it traveling unescorted in enemy waters? And, perhaps most amazingly of all, how did these 317 men manage to survive?

In Harm's Way casts the tragedy of the USS Indianapolis not as a history of war, but as a portrait of men battling the sea. Interweaving the stories of three survivors--Captain McVay; the ship's doctor; and a young marine private--this astonishing human drama is brought to life in a narrative that is at once immediate and timeless.


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On July 26, 1945, the heavy cruiser Indianapolis steamed into port at the Pacific island of Tinian, carrying a cargo that would end World War II: the uranium that would be dropped on Hiroshima just three weeks later. Having delivered its load without incident, Indianapolis moved on toward the Philippines to join the great armada moving in on Japan. Though intelligence reports assured Captain Charles McVay that the route from Guam to Leyte was safe, there were Japanese submarines active in the area. On the night of July 29, having detected with sonar the clinking of dishes aboard the Indianapolis from a distance of more than a dozen miles, the submarine I-58 sank the American ship, killing nearly 900 sailors in the explosion and its terrible aftermath.

Captain McVay was quickly court-martialed for having failed to follow evasive maneuvers, "the first captain in the history of the U.S. Navy," Doug Stanton observes, "to be court-martialed subsequent to losing his ship in an act of war." Although the sailors under his command would insist that McVay had been scapegoated, and although I-58's commander testified before the court that "he would have sunk the Indianapolis no matter what course she was on," McVay was never able to clear his name. He committed suicide in 1968.

Stanton captures the drama of these events in his vigorous narrative, which augments and updates Richard Newcomb's Abandon Ship!. Stanton observes that although McVay was exonerated by an act of Congress in 2000, the conviction still stands in Navy records. Stanton's book makes a powerful case for why that conviction should be overturned, and why the captain and crew of the Indianapolis deserve honor. --Gregory McNamee -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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This is "one of the untold stories of the Second World War": the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, in fact the last ship sunk during the conflict. Torpedoed by a Jap sub, it went down in a matter of minutes. Of the 1,200 men who went into the water, only 321 were to survive. What happened to them over the next five days makes up the subject of this book. The physical and mental hardship of those who remained, left floating without supplies and at the mercies of sharks make gripping reading. The book is also the story of one man in particular, Captain Butler McVay, who was held responsible for the loss of his ship and court-martialled - the only naval captain to be so disciplined. Years after the events, tormented by guilt, he took his own life. Stanton's book is part historical account, part survival story, and part reappraisal of McVay's culpability, leading to a revisionist view of events. It utilises recently released government documents and can be recommended. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .

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Amazon.com: 4.7 von 5 Sternen  250 Rezensionen
90 von 92 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen My dad stepped off her 4. Mai 2001
Von Jeffrey M. Ferguson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
My father, Albert Ferguson, stepped off the fantail of the USS Indianapolis the night she was torpedoed. He had served aboard her the entire war, a a Chief Machinist Mate in her engine room. He survived the sinking and lived to share the tale with his children. This book propels the reader through a 3-D experience of serving aboard the Indy, her sinking, and the too familiar attempts to lay the blame on those who were targeted by the command staff. My father testified on behalf of McVay at his courts martial, and I have a carbon of the original transcript. IN HARM'S WAY is a riveting tale of honor, sacrifice, and ultimate betrayal of the American fighting man. So what else is new?
116 von 124 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen of ever honored memory 11. April 2001
Von Orrin C. Judd - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Like, I'm sure, most of you, I first heard of the USS Indianapolis and the horrific events surrounding its sinking in the movie Jaws. You'll recall the Robert Shaw character telling about being adrift in the waters of the Pacific as sharks circled and attacked the helpless men. This story has such a compelling fascination that it has spawned a series of books, documentaries and even a TV movie. Doug Stanton's new account can take its place with the very best of them. Drawing heavily on interviews with survivors and on Captain Charles Butler McVay's account of the sinking and the ensuing ordeal, Stanton presents the story with an immediacy and intimacy that makes it all the more terrible.
The men of the Indianapolis were the victims of an entire series of oversights and foul ups, few of their own making. First, the ship had just delivered components of the Little Boy atomic bomb (which was dropped on Hiroshima), and so had been traveling in great secrecy. Then when they set out from Guam to join up with Task Force 95 at Okinawa, they sailed alone and were not warned about known Japanese submarine activity, for security reasons. Thus, when the submarine I-58, commanded by Mochitsura Hashimoto, torpedoed them, they didn't even realize what had happened at first.
From there, unfortunate coincidence turns to bitter irony and real tragedy. Damage to the radio rooms was so great and the ship sank so fast, that they did not get a chance to radio for help. Meanwhile, again for security reasons, port authorities had been ordered not to relay messages every time a ship arrived and had interpreted the order to mean that they shouldn't report non-arrivals either. Of the 1196 men on board, 300 probably died immediately, but while the other 900 struggled in the water, no one yet knew of their dilemma.
Eventually sharks, salt water, hypothermia, injuries sustained in the sinking, fights among the men, and a host of other maladies, left just 321 men alive to be rescued, four of whom died almost immediately. Stanton renders the crew's five day holocaust in heart breaking detail, with much of the narrative supplied by ship's doctor Lewis Haynes and Private Giles McCoy. Finally, as even these stalwart souls were preparing to give up, they were discovered by Lieutenant Commander George Atteberry in a Ventura bomber, which could do little more than drop some supplies and radio for help. He was followed by Lieutenant Adrian Marks in a PBY-5A Catalina, which Marks heroically set down in the water. Marks and a few succeeding planes were able to start picking up the survivors while they waited for rescue ships to reach the scene.
One would think that the awful story had run its course at that point, but the Navy added insult to tragedy by court-martialing Captain McVay, the only captain to that point in US Naval history to be court-martialed for losing being sunk. The Navy, pretty clearly trying to avoid admitting its own mistakes, failed to share much information which would have been helpful to his defense and took the extraordinary step of summoning Commander Hashimoto to testify about the incident. The prosecution's theory of the case was that McVay's failure to zig-zag had been responsible for the sinking, and, despite contrary testimony from both Hashimoto and the prosecution's own expert witness on this issue, he was convicted.
In the succeeding years crew members gathered for reunions (organized by McCoy) and worked to clear McVay's name. These efforts went for naught until a High School student in Florida, working on a class project, got involved. On October 12, 2000, Congress passed an amendment exonerating McVay and recommending citations for the crew. It was too late for McVay though, he had killed himself in 1968.
This is a terrific book, filled with all the drama you could ever ask for, remarkable moments of human endurance and despair, stupidity and loyalty, heroism and despair. I'm not big on all of the current Greatest Generation stuff, but there is something to the idea that the shared experience of war (and Depression) that this generation shared somehow gives them a common identity and a sense of accomplishment that their successors have lacked. The men of the USS Indianapolis and particularly their captain, Charles McVay, are deserving of our respect and their story should never be forgotten. Doug Stanton's book makes it a painful pleasure to remember the sacrifices they made.
GRADE : A
70 von 76 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen In Indianapolis' wake 19. Mai 2001
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
In contrast to the strip of glassy smooth water that is a ship's wake, the sinking of the Indianapolis has left nothing behind but roiling emotions. Still easily brought to the surface after all these years - anger at the navy being the most common expression, and as IN HARM'S WAY shows - it is most appropriate. The 1,196 men who went into the water on the morning of July 30, 1945 were abandoned to their fate by the navy. They were left adrift for 5 days, eventually being spotted and rescued by chance; by this time only 321 were left alive, four of whom died shortly thereafter. The navy then rubbed salt into this open wound by blaming one of the survivors - Captain Charles McVay - for "hazarding" his ship.
This book is much more a story of men battling the sea and finding the courage to survive than it is a history of the war. As such it is less about the Indianapolis and its mission but more to do with personal drama of the men. It succeeds by drawing on the stories of three survivors - Captain McVay, ship's doctor Lewis Haynes, and Private Giles McCoy. The facts of the tragedy only put the achievement of survival into its proper perspective.
> The ship was sunk by a torpedo from Japanese submarine I-58; the explosion killing about 300 of the crew instantly; the wounded as well as the uninjured jumped into the sea. Escaping a fiery death only brought on other dangers "from dozens of probing bacteria and organisms which, as the men drifted, began gnawing at their flesh. The salt water itself was a caustic brew...not unlike immersion in a mild acid bath."
> Perhaps as many as 200 men were eaten alive by sharks. Morning and evening were the sharks feeding times; twice a day for five days the men were preyed on.
> Many faced hypothermia and mental and physical exhaustion; for others suffering was in the form of hallucinations and delirium which caused them to swim away to an imaginary rescue or giving up, they drank down sea water which only guaranteed an agonizing death.
The author puts it best when he says what this tragedy means to the survivors; "the disaster of the Indy is their My Lai massacre or Watergate, a touchstone moment of historic disappointment: the navy put them in harm's way, hundreds of men died violently, and then the government refused to acknowledge its culpability." Perhaps the only good that this tragedy has produced is that it has spurred young writers like Doug Stanton to preserve these stories of human courage before all the remaining survivors slip under the waves of time. The author at 39 is a little younger than I am, but by writing and by reading these books, we, as a generation can honor the men who fought, died, and survived WWII.
The only glory in war is surviving.
"All the glory of the world would be buried in oblivion, unless God had provided mortals with the remedy of books." (Bishop Richard De Bury)
25 von 26 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Wow. I could not put it down. 4. August 2001
Von Martina - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
I got so engrossed in this great book, I literally read through the night, and realized at 6:00 a.m. it was getting light out. The writing is so immediate, I got a clear mental picture of the horror that was going on as these brave men endured the unimaginable. I had heard of the Indianapolis tragedy, but many have not.
When this ship failed to arrive at its destination on time, after being sunk by the Japanese, it is through a series of inexcusable snafus that no one realizes they are missing, and they have to float helplessly in rafts, while one after another, they are eaten by sharks. The author did a fantasitic job researching the entire story so many years later. He spoke at length to some heroic survivors, and their families.
This book should be must reading in school history classes. I can't recommend it enough. Just don't start reading it if you have somewhere you have to be soon. :-)
37 von 42 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Terrifying History of an Avoidable Loss 8. Juni 2001
Von R. Hardy - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Perhaps you remember the harrowing story told by Captain Quint in the movie _Jaws_, explaining to his fellow shark hunters about how after his ship, the _USS Indianapolis_ was torpedoed, the men drifted for days and were picked off by sharks. Quint's tale is accurate, but it is only part of the terror within the _Indy_'s story. The whole is laid out in _In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors_ (Henry Holt) by Doug Stanton, as spellbinding and frightening a book about the horrors of war as you are likely to read.
_Indy_ had had the imposing job of bringing the bomb "Little Boy" from San Francisco to Tinaian Island, near Guam, from where it could be sent to Hiroshima. After leaving the bomb in Tinaian, the ship was routed to Leyte in the Philippines, ready to take part in any mopping up action; but on 30 July it was torpedoed by the Japanese submarine I-58, and sank in twelve minutes. Astonishingly, for four days the Navy had no idea the ship was lost. _In Harm's Way_ details a surprising number of administrative errors and missed chances that would have saved most of the crew, but when the _Indy_ went down, no one but the survivors knew what had happened, and no one on land knew to worry about them.
1,196 men were on the ship when it was struck, and about 300 of them died immediately from the two torpedoes. Of the remaining 900, only 317 were eventually rescued. Sharks had, indeed, taken some of the rest, maybe about 200 during the four days the men floated in the Pacific. The fuel oil blinded and poisoned some, and some just went mad with blood chemistry imbalances and killed themselves and each other. The surviving doctor tried to minister to the sailors, but all he could really do was collect the dog tags of the dead, and when those proved so heavy that his exhaustion wouldn't let him carry them any more, he let them sink.
A patrol plane on another mission finally saw some of the survivors, and the belated, but heroic rescue took place. Captain McVay became the first captain in US history to be court-martialed for losing his ship as an act of war. It is clear that there was nothing McVay could have done to save his ship, but he was found guilty. The survivors, however, rallied behind McVay, a truly tragic figure, who was worried when he attended the first survivor's reunion in 1960; it was clear that he was respected and even loved by those who had served under him. Some members of families of dead sailors remembered differently, however, and McVay got hate mail from them. This was surely one of the reasons he shot himself in 1965. His crew has since tried to get his court-martial erased. Though his story is the backbone of this engrossing and terrifying book, _In Harm's Way_ contains satisfying doses of history and of heroics under unimaginable stress. It is a fine addition to the current flow of volumes on World War II.
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