Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2018. 592 pp. Illus. Maps. Index. $28.
Reviewed by Thomas B. Allen
An epic battle can inspire an epic book. Often, though, the book is little more than a battle report: The reader gets a litany of what is known about the fight from official records and perhaps some interpretations by the author. Indianapolis is an epic book dedicated not only to the story of the cruiser’s sinking and the rescue of her belatedly discovered survivors but also the Navy’s search for blame. They spent a decade tracking down 107 survivors and eyewitnesses. Then, aided by survivors seeking justice for their skipper, the authors plunged into an analysis of the court-martial of her commanding officer, Captain Charles McVay III. The Navy’s star witness: the commander of the Japanese submarine whose torpedoes sank the Indianapolis (CA-35).