The Caine Mutiny By Herman Wouk 1951

One of my favorite stories is a novel written by Herman Wouk in 1951 about a minesweeper in the Pacific in WWII.

The movie starring Van Johnson and Humphrey Bogart is equally brilliant.

The Captain, Queeg, was tyrannical, irrational and unpredictable.

The officers on the ship grew more concerned every day.

One of them, LT Maryk, kept a log of Queeg’s behavior and evern brought it to the attention of higher command.

When the ship almost foundered in a storm where three other ships were lost, the officers got together and used administrative regulations to relieve him of command.

LT Maryk earnestly believed that what he was doing was right for everyone on board the ship.

They were tried for mutiny and other offenses.

At the trial it was easy for the lawyer, Greenwald to break down the Captain on the stand and expose him as irrational. All of the officers were acquitted.

But the acquittal bothered the lawyer. At the after-party, he pointed out to the three officers that it was men like Queeg who had stood on the front line to protect the country long before any of them considered joining the Navy.

Botendaddy’s Commentary

I can’t say why, but I had to write about this before my head exploded.

Sometimes we have to do something we don’t agree with or follow a leader whom we neither like or respect, but in the military that leader is above you for a reason and there is a master plan that might not be good for you personally or for your unit, but it is for the good of the Country as a whole. The difference between a good soldier and a maverick is that a good soldier does his duty out of loyalty to the Nation and not because he thinks he knows “better”.

“The Caine Mutiny” Book, Doubleday 1952, Herman Wouk, Author

“The Caine Mutiny” Film, Columbia Pictures1954, Edward Dmytryk, Director

Very Highly Recommended


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