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Talk:USS Indianapolis (CA-35)

Another (small) primary data inputEdit

My dad was the CO of the landing craft (really a small amphib ship, that actually went island to island, and operated independantly at times) that transhipped the bomb from the cruiser to the island. They had a large crate and Marines with literal shoot to kill orders if anyone touched it. The big ships had to anchor off shore from islands and then amphibs were basically used to ferry stuff to shore (because of the draft). If you read the beginning of Abandon Ship, they mention how that was done (more briefly than I have). TCO (talk) 06:37, 30 November 2010 (UTC)


FYI. postdlf (talk) 02:23, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Enriched uraniumEdit

An IP just added a "citation needed" tag after this: "After major repairs and an overhaul, Indianapolis received orders to proceed to Tinian island, carrying parts and the enriched uranium..." This seems supported by the source to me. On page 662 it says "A manifest describes the truck's expensive cargo: a. 1 bx., wt about 300 lbs, containing projectile assembly of active material for the gun type bomb." Earlier passages make it clear they are talking about enriched uranium. What is the specific objection here? Kendall-K1 (talk) 13:39, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

FYI- If such a tag is placed, and there is evidence, by "known" facts or by reference that such tag is not warranted, it can be reverted or edited out, of course pointing out the reasoning on the talk page or at least the edit summary. If the reversion or editing is contested it can be discussed per WP:BRD. Otr500 (talk) 18:41, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
A book source:
    • East Tennessee in World War II states that after the successful "Trinity" test "necessary parts for two different types of bombs, one with enriched uranium and one with plutonium, were carried to Tinian Island by the USS Indianapolis". This reference does not advance that any form of uranium or plutonium was carried on the ship just parts for the two bombs. Otr500 (talk) 07:01, 3 April 2017 (UTC)

Article assessmentEdit

With five projects covering this article, all presenting the same assessment, but there are issues needing attention. The article has content that is contested by virtue of "citation needed" tags. I reviewed one reference, and to me it provided source, but there are others. According to WikiProject assessment, specifically the criteria (expanded) for "B-class" that states:
  • 1)- "The article is suitably referenced, with inline citations. It has reliable sources, and any important or controversial material which is likely to be challenged is cited.", with the noted "...material which is likely to be challenged is cited.", and a "challenge" would certainly be evidenced by a citation needed tag, so the article needs to be edited to correct this or down-graded to "C-class", until such time as the actual criteria for B-class is reached.
The project assessment criteria for B-class:
  • Projects providing assessment:
    • WikiProject Ships --------------------------- Referencing and citation:  Y criterion met (It is suitably referenced, and all major points have appropriate inline citations.)
Articles assessed at B-class, which are above the class for individual review, may be submitted for assessment as a good article, through the good article nomination process. A requirement, among others, before any serious consideration, will be referencing and appropriate inline citations, so hopefully someone will look at the current assessment, the issues, and make appropriate improvements, so the article will deserve the current assessment and might be considered for advancement.
  •  Y Done: Projects above will be notified. Otr500 (talk) 02:25, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
Agree with downgrading to C class if there is any unreferenced material. Mjroots (talk) 18:22, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
If it were only a question of a few missing refs there wouldn't be an issue. However, too much material is unreferenced in this article. I'll adjust the assessment accordingly. Brad (talk) 22:23, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

Thank you. In my opinion the possibility concerning the "question of a few missing refs", only becomes an issue if such questions of "unreferenced material" are formally made known through tags or talk page comments. If there was only one then I would attempt to fix it which I did, but calling attention to the fact is notice and sufficient. I think the process and procedures are satisfied when the community takes note and takes appropriate action such as in this case. Otr500 (talk) 14:55, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

Wreckage Found Date ConflictEdit

The article lists August 18th (lower in the article) and 19th (higher in the article) as the date when the wreckage was found. I'm assuming this might be due to the International dateline. What should the date be? American Military History (talk) 01:44, 20 August 2017 (UTC)

Copyright issueEdit

Adding copyright template for potentially infringing text in Rescue section. Text is largely duplicated from, which dates back to (at least) 1999. Roboticon (talk) 18:34, 20 August 2017 (UTC)

Thank you, Roboticon – please see below. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 21:36, 2 September 2017 (UTC)

Copyright problem removedEdit

  Prior content in this article duplicated one or more previously published sources. The material was copied from: Copied or closely paraphrased material has been rewritten or removed and must not be restored, unless it is duly released under a compatible license. (For more information, please see "using copyrighted works from others" if you are not the copyright holder of this material, or "donating copyrighted materials" if you are.)

For legal reasons, we cannot accept copyrighted text or images borrowed from other web sites or published material; such additions will be deleted. Contributors may use copyrighted publications as a source of information, and, if allowed under fair use, may copy sentences and phrases, provided they are included in quotation marks and referenced properly. The material may also be rewritten, providing it does not infringe on the copyright of the original or plagiarize from that source. Therefore, such paraphrased portions must provide their source. Please see our guideline on non-free text for how to properly implement limited quotations of copyrighted text. Wikipedia takes copyright violations very seriously, and persistent violators will be blocked from editing. While we appreciate contributions, we must require all contributors to understand and comply with these policies. Thank you. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 21:36, 2 September 2017 (UTC)

200mm and 130mm gunsEdit

Looks like somebody is using a rounded conversion from 5 inches to mm to input the diameter of the gun. 8 inch is 203mm, wile 5 inch is 127mm respectively. Just notifying. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:26, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

Popular Culture Entry Repeatedly RemovedEdit

I am rather curious as to the reasoning why popular culture reference in regards to the ship's wreckage being a significant plot point in Meg: Hell's Aquarium is being routinely deleted, when the entry contain more information than several other "Pop Culture" entries, and has been further cleaned up to coincide with the wiki rules for adding pop culture references. The fictional location of the wreckage (as the book was written prior to actual discovery) serves, again, as a major plot point for the book. I don't know what other "proof" or references would be needed when the book itself is enough. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:13, 21 November 2017 (UTC)

Not sure exactly why it keeps getting deleted, I'm sure the other editors have reasons. I trimmed the entry down and fixed the reference, but this doesn't mean that it may not still get removed. Also, please make sure you sign your talk entries with ~~~~, this will automatically add your signature.Pennsy22 (talk) 04:34, 22 November 2017 (UTC)
I haven't seen a source provided that satisfies WP:IPCV. With regards to pop culture entries, the source must indicate not only that the pop culture occurrence is verifiable, but also that it is considered significant in some manner. A third-party source typically works best for this. Or, as I like to put it, we need not only proof that the tree fell in the woods, but that someone heard it fall. DonIago (talk) 16:37, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
That seems a sensible way to keep track of which trees need mentioning. But, also worth a mention, that is only a WP:ESSAY. MPS1992 (talk) 22:50, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
The section I linked to is part of an essay, yes, but there is a footnote linking back to an RfC on the matter. DonIago (talk) 20:25, 28 November 2017 (UTC)

How many?Edit

I haven't read every word but I've looked in all the obvious places without finding: how many men were rescued? All I see is that "some" (of those who did not go down with the ship itself) suffered from this or that. —Tamfang (talk) 01:20, 29 April 2018 (UTC)


The sinking of the Indianapolis is missing a critical component. There is no addressing the background and complexity of a Submarine attack on a high speed warship (well in excess of any convoy speed at 17 knots)

The attack itself was not subject to any analysis other than the opinion of Hashimoto (see latter) that zig zag would not have made any difference (this is totally incredulous and is totally refuted by the War Facts of it was, even for slow convoys it hugely complicated a submarine firing solution and many times a sub had to abandon a convoy attack (at night) and if not surfaced already, surface, run outside and around the convoy to re-posting again and that assumed no base course change to cause issues again)

Due to warship high speed this never worked on a warship as at best a surface run was 20 knots and even at the Indianapolis 17 knots you would never get around to the front of a ship and make another attempt. Say you surfaced a bare mile behind the warship, it would take you an hour to get up to speed and come even. You then needed to get several miles ahead (assuming no radar) to reposition. So you would take at least 2 more hours (as soon as your same course speed stopped, the warship would be closing at a fast speed). Even if you still had a valid base course, you still have the zig zag issue to deal with that could again ruin a firing solution.

If your adversary was dong 20 knots it would be impossible. 20+ knots and you are left behind further and further.

The core defense of McVay was that it was a war time decision and there fore there can be no questioning his not ordering zig zag. There is a sub logic bust in that this was "not a war zone" then the combat/wartime defense then becomes squishy at best.

Zig zag was standard for any time there was good visibility and the night the Indianapolis sunk was indeed very goo visibility.

While high speed transit is a a significant factor in torpedoes defense, zig zag is the other critical component for that to be effective. Otherwise by luck of the draw a submarine could be in perfect position to sink a high speed ship.

Background wise the Queen Mary and Elizabeth carried upwards of 15,000 troops un-escorted, using high speed and zig zag and despite far more dense Atlantic submarine presence, did not suffer a single attack in WWII.

An American submarine commander and attack officer should have been called as witnesses in the trail. They could have explained the details of an attack, speed and zig zag and how that applied in this case.

Keep in mind, per Hashimoto, the range was 1500 yards. That is a very close shot, literally perfect distance. Its beyond sane logic that a zig zag course would not have changed that hugely.

The Indianapolis listed its speed at 17 knots. Hashimoto had it at 12 then 11 (murky on post attack or during).

Regardless, he had the speed off by at least 6 if not 7 knots when he was doing his firing solution.

Along with base course, the speed is one of the other critical key computations for a firing solution. Range being the last one.

Missing your speed by that amount is huge. While I am still working on it, from past, it would seem that at least 4 hits should have been registered on the Indianapolis. Possibly more as that detail is from WWII submarine encounters with US Torpedoes speed which the Japanese were faster (and per Hamshimoto, his were set at high speed not low speed.

Hashimoto stated his underwater speed (he was submerged at that point) was 8 knots. In fact he had no ability to affect his firing position if it was wrong. Ergo a zig or a zg off the Indianapolis base course would have left them both out of position and not ability to adjust due to the high speed involved.

An added study is needed to see how good his solution was (now many hits he should have achieved)

Hashimoto: His background does not indicate any experience as an attack officer. From his comments it would be an inexperienced Captain in ship attack and the factors involved. Missing is what the Japanese training would be.

Evidence says that the sub fleet was more scout, oddly to defer with the klunky ineffective Kaitans and not use of an excellent (best by far in WWII torpedoes)- even at 10 miles a spread of torpedo into a large convoy doing zig zag might get good hits. Virtually out of any destroyer sonar detection range.

Eddystone3006 (talk) 19:20, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

I guess what you're asking is whether any reliable sources address these issues, so that we could summarize what such sources say in the article? MPS1992 (talk) 19:28, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

No, in fact per the Court Martial statements were made that zig zag would not have changed the outcome. This is a direction to in fact present the other side of that zig zag was specifically intended to do exactly that.

Its an area no one has addressed and only supporting documents per normal operations in WWII in regards to the specified standards of passage be it a single ship or a convoy are not addressed put it in context. So yes zigzaggin was a command decision but zigzagging was mandatory in clear conditions.

Between that and the wartime decision clause (intended for combat) it cast a serious doubt on the acquittal and supports the families on going enmity with McVay. McVay is being portrayed as being a victim when in the details he was guilty of what the court martial found him guilty for and the subsequent exoneration was politically motivated.— Preceding unsigned comment added by ‎Eddystone3006 (talkcontribs)

OK, in that case I have to remind you that this is not a forum, neither for righting great wrongs nor for original research. If reliable sources don't cover it, we can't speculate about it on Wikipedia nor draw our own analyses. MPS1992 (talk) 21:47, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

Reliable and cited sources do cover this and in fact totally refute both the Hashimoto statement and the contention that McVay defense of not is contradicted by standards.

A case in point is the turret explosion on the USS Iowa. Two officers were experimenting with super charges. This is so out of bounds that its a court martial offense. In other words, there is judgment and pure dereliction. This is reported and supported in the Wiki article as part of the turret explosion. (talk) 01:00, 5 August 2018 (UTC)

OK, please tell us about these sources that you mention. MPS1992 (talk) 01:18, 5 August 2018 (UTC)

I am going to have to resurrect them. Thy were removed. Among them was a reference on Queen Mary and its high speed and zigzagging during WWII.

This assumes it will be listened to and a method approved that allows its insertion. If not then its time to go to arbitration as I believe a major aspect of this piece of history has been left bizarrely left out. that assessment is of more import to the history than finding the ship which is a techno wonder of sorts but adds nothing to what happened or why.

Reference was made to Hashimoto testimony and his opinion that zigzagging would not make any difference. If he can say that then its up to a rebuttal to prove that zigzagging not only did complicate fire solution, it often made a good one impossible as it cannot be anticipated.

As this should open up an avenue of inquiry that never was, if new material is not allowed, you can only cite what was standards and point out the not following those standards had known and foreseen consequences.

As a standard for instance, during Wartime, McVay could alter his entire ships watch standard and schedule (never done but he could) that would be in the Captains allowances if he thought it made his ship perform better. Having his crew inject salt water into his boiler system would not be. that would be a direct act of destroying the ships steam plant.

No one but MvVay knew why he did not zigzag, possibly he could not have told you. Clearly he never talked about it that was reported. But failure to zigzag was very close to injecting salt water into the steam plant in far as an action went and about as far from a combat decision as possible.

If, the ship had been in low visibility that precluded a submarine getting a firing solution, he could have discontinued zigzagging. Standard orders would have been to either resume it if it cleared up and or notify the Capitan and resume.

Other commanders were removed from Command during WWII though not court martialed. One was a Battleship captain who ran into another battle ship. If McVay was as derelict as it appears, why not him? Certainly the families have a right to understand it.

As for Hashimoto, its going to take some time to build a reference case as it has to be indirect per above. That is going to take some time. If all that is not allowed its not worth it.

The attack itself to the best of my knowledge and extensive research never has been analyzed (for either side). He sighted the Indianapolis at around 6 miles. He did an immediate dive (for good reason). At that point his ability to correct for a bad firing position was zero (8 knots vs 17)

He clearly had the speed wrong by a major error. He scored only two hits at 1500 yards with WWII highest speed torpedoes.

An analysis of the attack would confirm a great deal. I will rest the situation for now. I will get the various references (on another computer). Eddystone3006 (talk) 04:16, 5 August 2018 (UTC)

As I recall, the sources you had cited were a 1918 Navy manual on zigzagging and a report of how the Queen Mary used zigzagging to avoid subs. The problem is that neither one of those sources stated anything at all about USS Indianapolis. In order for you to get this information into the article, you are going to have to find a reliable source that says that the Indianapolis was sunk because it did not zigzag (or whatever conclusion you want to include in the article). If you yourself use the information from the sources you previously cited to reach a conclusion of your own devising, then you are doing original research, which is not allowed on Wikipedia. Indyguy (talk) 04:30, 5 August 2018 (UTC)
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