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Subject: Looking for a good book on the Battle of Midway... rss

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Jack Defevers
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... that isn't Shattered Sword.

Don't get me wrong; I love (love) Shattered Sword. In fact, I just finished rereading it. I can't praise it highly enough. But it has left me pining for what I can best describe as the exact same book -- except focusing on the American side of the battle.

Surely something close to that exists? Something that is highly detailed, but written in an extremely accessible style? Something that looks unflinchingly at what went right and wrong? Something that's not afraid to challenge conventional wisdom?

I'd love to hear your recommendations. What book(s) do you like on Midway, and why? Is there an equivalent to Shattered Sword out there?
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Dennis Shaper
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Miracle at Midway. It does focus on the whole battle though, not just the American perspective.
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Drew Ames
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Check out A Dawn Like Thunder by Robert J. Mrazek. It was published last year.

It tells the story of Torpedo Squadrom Eight -- they're the ones that got shot up so badly, but were so valuable during the Battle of Midway.
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Judd Vance
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I second Miracle at Midway. It's an excellent scholarly work.
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J.L. Robert
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Is Walter Lord's Incredible Victory no longer available? Or is it considered too passe?
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M St
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Greywing wrote:
... that isn't Shattered Sword.

Don't get me wrong; I love (love) Shattered Sword. In fact, I just finished rereading it. I can't praise it highly enough. But it has left me pining for what I can best describe as the exact same book -- except focusing on the American side of the battle.

Surely something close to that exists? Something that is highly detailed, but written in an extremely accessible style? Something that looks unflinchingly at what went right and wrong? Something that's not afraid to challenge conventional wisdom?

I'd love to hear your recommendations. What book(s) do you like on Midway, and why? Is there an equivalent to Shattered Sword out there?

There are two books that I'd recommend. Neither is exclusively about Midway although for both of them, Midway is the main subject. They're both fairly new, and so, with the exception of the major revelations that Shattered Sword took from Senshi Sosho, their analysis can still be regarded as valid.

In terms of detailed tactical analysis, I recommend Lundstrom's The First Team, which is a very detailed analysis of US carrier air operations up to Midway. (This means it includes the earlier carrier raids and the Battle of the Coral Sea.) Detailed means that Lundstrom went to both sides' sources to the degree of working out what pilot was shooting at what other pilot in what part of a given air combat during those battles.

In terms of the overall battle, Willmott's The Barrier and the Javelin which is pretty much the best book I've read on Midway overall (and that includes Shattered Sword). In fact, most of the operational evaluation bits in Shattered Sword (i.e., the bits before page 90, and the last chapter) that I agree with (and there's many bits I don't agree with), seem to be very strongly influenced by Willmott. I'll also note that Willmott's air OOB for the Japanese, though published 25 years ago, differs from that of Shattered Sword by one added plane and one reserve plane being on a different carrier... The book has just been rereleased in paperback and should be easy to find.
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Bill Eldard
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J.L.Robert wrote:
Is Walter Lord's Incredible Victory no longer available? Or is it considered too passe?


Lord's book is excellent, but I found Prange's Miracle at Midway to be better.
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Francesco
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The Battle of Midway, by Donald S. Sanford (he's also the author of the screenplay of the movie with Charlotn Heston, Henry Fonda...).
As I didn't remember the movie (I watched it when I was teen), many years later I found the book quite fascinating.
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T. Wesley
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Midway: The Battle That Doomed Japan

by Mitsuo Fuchida & Masatake Okumiya, published 1955

The foreword is by Admiral Spruance; the introduction by Admiral Kondo.

Fuchida, as you may remember, led the first wave of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The prose of this book isn't the best, but the perspective is unbeatable.
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Seth Owen
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chiba13 wrote:
Midway: The Battle That Doomed Japan

by Mitsuo Fuchida & Masatake Okumiya, published 1955

The foreword is by Admiral Spruance; the introduction by Admiral Kondo.

Fuchida, as you may remember, led the first wave of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The prose of this book isn't the best, but the perspective is unbeatable.


Although Shattered Sword was written in large part to counteract what the authors see as inaccuracies in Fuchida.s book
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Jack Defevers
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Thank you all for your input.

I bought A Dawn Like Thunder yesterday. I'm looking forward to reading it, as a matter of general interest, but it is not at all what I'm specifically after right at the moment. I picked it up because I had a Borders coupon burning a hole in my pocket, and it looked like the best thing they had in stock.

To pick up on what Seth mentioned, it's not much of a stretch to call Shattered Sword one big long takedown of Fuchida's version of the battle. Unfortunately, the two works that appear to be the seminal accounts (Incredible Victory and Miracle at Midway) apparently took Fuchida completely at face value. Therefore--and without meaning any disrespect to the authors involved or their work--I'm not terribly interested in reading any of those.

After doing a little more digging on Amazon, it looks like Dauntless Victory may be what I'm looking for. Any of you guys read it? I'll probably also pick up The Barrier and the Javelin and The First Team at some point.

Again, thanks to everyone who commented, and I'd love to hear anything else any of you have to say on the subject.
 
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John Bock
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I would recommend The Big E by Stafford.

This is an excellent history of the Enterprizes life. Obviously she was a crucial part of the battle and the perspective in this book is very, very good.

I have seen numerous passages of this books text replicated in other histories.

Very good history well told.
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mark feldman
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How They Won the War in the Pacific: Nimitz and His Admirals By Edwin Palmer Hoyt
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