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Explosion Aboard the Iowa

Schwoebel, Richard L.

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ISBN 10: 1557508100 / ISBN 13: 9781557508102
Published by Naval Institute Press, 1999
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From Hook's Book Nook (Pottstown, PA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Signed by Author(s) 1557508100 Very good in very good dust jacket. Signed by author. Sewn binding. Paper over boards. 368 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. Bookseller Inventory # 0004873

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Explosion Aboard the Iowa

Publisher: Naval Institute Press

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First edition. Illustrated..

About this title


The explosion aboard the battleship Iowa in 1989 that killed forty-seven crewmen during a routine gunnery exercise was a tragedy not only for the family and friends of those who died but for the U.S. Navy, whose awkward attempts to determine a cause failed miserably. When navy investigators concluded that the explosion (in one of the warship's huge 16-inch guns) was not an accident but a deliberate act by a member of the crew who died in the blast, there was a public outcry. Congressional committees held hearings on the navy's findings and called for further investigation after serious flaws in the report were uncovered.

Head of a technical team of independent investigators hired by the Senate Armed Services Committee, the author writes with an insider's perspective. Richard Schwoebel tells how investigators could find no conclusive evidence to support the navy's claim that a chemical ignition device improvised by a crewman had set off the explosion. But what his team did find were critical safety deficiencies in the Iowa's gun systems, and he clearly defines them in layman's terms. As only a participant could, he fully describes the investigation his organization conducted, and how that investigation demonstrated that the explosion was in all probability an accident. He also is quick to credit the heroism of the crew for saving the ship from further devastation following the explosion.

The book's close examination of the key factors related to the explosion will fascinate even those readers not familiar with the controversy and provides a case against self-assessments in any branch of the military. Schwoebel's concerns about the indiscriminate release of unsubstantiated information from unidentified sources and about the need for changes in military law that relate to due process for deceased service personnel accused of serious crimes are useful words of warning for the future.

From the Back Cover:

Capt. Larry Seaquist, USN (Ret.), former commanding officer, USS Iowa

"Explosion Aboard the Iowa is an important story because it places on the public record some exceptionally significant facts about the Iowa explosion and key parts of the subsequent investigations. Not only does Schwoebel demonstrate the flaws in the navy's investigation, but he presents wi"th all but mathematical certainty the cause of the explosion.

Col. W. Hays Parks, USMC (Ret.)

"Dr. Schwoebel was a major participant in the events he describes, and he has recorded them in a highly readable fashion. This book will be of interest to the general public and naval historians. The questions he raises about manning and crew training and the problems of self-investigation can be put to good use in teaching."

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