Genre of book
A large cruiser called the USS Indianapolis was responsible for delivering the Hiroshima atomic bomb to the island of Tinian. Now, on a new mission in the Pacific, suddenly two explosions slam in to the ship from Japanese torpedoes. In a matter of minutes, the ship starts sinking and some big decisions need to be made.
The description of what happened in the time between the ship being hit and sinking is rather disjointed, as Helm jumps around to many different stories, re-starting at the time of the hit for each person. There's no logical break in these stories either so at times it feels rather poorly written. However, the point of this book is to tell what happened to the men on the ship during this time.
The other oddity in this case is that the captain, Charles McVay, was court martialed when he returned to the USA. Not many people seem to fully understand why this happened and to this day they are still trying to overturn the decision.
First Line: "At 2300 Navy time or eleven p.m. 29 July 1945, Commander Mochitsura Hashimoto mounted the conning tower of his submarine I-58."