The Navy: The Arnheiter Incident

From Herman Melville's Captain Vere (who hanged Billy Budd) to Herman Wouk's Captain Queeg (who rolled ball bearings during the Caine mutiny), naval literature has teemed with tales of rumbustious skippers and mutinous crewmen. Of late, the U.S. Navy has pitched and rolled to a real-life story that has all the elements of legend: a destroyer in war-torn waters, a high-handed captain called Marcus Aurelius Arnheiter, a roster of rebellious junior officers respectively named Hardy, Generous and Belmonte, and a precipitate change of command that reverberated clear to the Secretary of the...

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