With an introduction and afterword by Peter Maas.
'Abandon Ship!' was the first chronicle of the events leading up to the sinking of the USS "Indianapolis" in the Pacific on July 30, 1945, the horrific aftermath at sea, and the contested political consequences in the US.
The USS "Indianapolis", a sophisticated cruiser that carried over a thousand men and part of an A-bomb, was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine at the end of WWII, catching the ship and the Navy off-guard. While many on board survived the sinking, hundreds of men died over the four days that followed, falling prey to sharks, dehydration, and other malicious elements.
The captain of the ship, Charles McVay, survived and was courtmarshalled for, among other charges, failure to issue a timely warning to abandon ship. This courtmarshall was controversial since the beginning. Critics, some within the Navy, charged that McVay was a scapegoat for an array of larger procedural failures and intrigues on the part of the Navy.
'Abandon Ship!' was the first book to challenge the charges against McVay, and the essays by Peter Maas examine these charges further against the evidence that has resurfaced over the last decade.