From: Winnipeg, MB
ORIGINAL: Randy Stead
I watched "USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage" yesterday on Netflix. Nicolas Cage stars as Charles McVay III, commander of the ill fated cruiser. Not a rubbish movie [your mileage, as your opinion, may vary] but overall it was alright; I did not expect great things of it. However, I was amused at some of the errors that inevitably creep in when Hollywood depicts history. My wife keeps telling me, "It's just a movie" but I can't help it.
A few goofs that I noticed. Feel free to chime in with your own:
When Indy showed up at Tinian to deliver the innards for the Bomb, there were some B-29s in the background. Indy delivered the components, what, about six days before the Hiroshima drop? Yet there on the apron is a plane with the nose art of "Enola Gay." Anybody care to take a guess why that was wrong?...... The name "Enola Gay' was only put on the plane a few hours before takeoff. Also in the Tinian scene there is an MP or SP carrying an M-14 on sentry duty. That rifle was developed in the 1950s and issued in 1959. "Let's do the time warp again!"
In the sinking scene, the lights of the ship remain on almost until the final plunge. Perhaps possible but not likely. What baffled me was seeing screws turning right until the stern went under. I thought at first how did the engines suck in air but then realize perhaps there may have been enough steam to keep them going? I am not a ship guy; I presume Indy used some form of steam turbines to turn the prop shafts, or did she burn oil? Were oil burning ships in service in that era? Then I think of Bismarck. Were her engines directly driven by combustion of oil, or did she also burn oil to produce steam? My knowledge of ship propulsion is not as good it could be.
One last thing. The IJN sub that sank Indy, I-58, in the film is always making sonar pinging sounds in every scene. I thought subs were supposed to be in the "silent" service.
Ships of that era burned oil to make the steam in boilers, in a space called the "Boiler Room" for some reason. The steam line went to the engines (turbine or piston) in a space called an "Engine Room". These rooms were isolated from each other by watertight hatches and fittings, but on the night of her demise the Captain was so confident that no subs were present that hatches were open to let the heat of day out and bring in cool night air. I don't know if that applied to the hatches between engine and boiler rooms. I think there were 3 torpedo hits? That would cause a huge amount of flooding and probably kept some hatches from being closed to contain it.
Also, hot boilers full of steam tend to explode when they come in contact with lots of cold water. That is why damaged ships sometimes vent their steam out a pipe on the funnel to prevent the explosion. I doubt Indianapolis crew had time to do this so the steam in the boilers could have kept going to the turbines.
No matter how bad a situation is, you can always make it worse. - Chris Hadfield : An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth