This is a vivid, minute-by-minute account of one of the worst shipwrecks in naval history. Edward Beach's father commanded the Memphis, one of the largest battle cruisers built by the U.S. Navy up to that time—bigger and faster than a battleship. The Memphis (originally Tennessee) was demolished by monstrous tsunami waves in Santo Domingo Harbor in August 1916, killing forty-three sailors, and Beach Jr. literally grew up with the tragedy and its effects, which are as profound today as they were eighty years ago.
Based on his father's reminiscences and private papers, official documents, and interviews with survivors, Beach's reexamination of the disaster and his father's court-martial ranks among the finest analyses of the responsibilities and demands placed on the commanding officer of a U.S. Navy ship. A record-setting submarine skipper himself and the acclaimed author of Run Silent, Run Deep, Beach brought personal knowledge to a story that has become a classic in the years since its original publication in 1966. His prose was never more incisive and vigorous. In an introductory essay written for this new edition, Beach discusses the design of the Memphis, her role in the fleet that fought in World War I, and object lessons that have influenced U.S. naval history since the disaster.