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Midway, the most famous naval battle in American history, has been the subject of many excellent books. However, none satisfactorily explain why the Japanese lost that battle, given their overwhelming advantage in firepower. While no book may ever silence debate on the subject, Midway Inquest answers the central mystery of the battle. Why could the Japanese not get a bomber strike launched against the American carrier force before being attacked and destroyed by American dive bombers from the Enterprise and Yorktown? Although it is well known that the Japanese were unable to launch an immediate attack because their aircraft were in the process of changing armament, why wasn't the rearming operation reversed and an attack launched before the American planes arrived? Based on extensive research in Japanese primary records, Japanese literature on the battle, and interviews with over two dozen Japanese veterans from the carrier air groups, this book solves the mystery at last.
"First issued as an Oxford University Press paperback, 2013"--Title page verso.
Many consider the Battle of Midway to have turned the tide of the Pacific War. It is without question one of the most famous battles in history. Now, for the first time since Gordon W. Prange s bestselling "Miracle at Midway," Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully offer a new interpretation of this great naval engagement. Unlike previous accounts, "Shattered Sword" makes extensive use of Japanese primary sources. It also corrects the many errors of Mitsuo Fuchida s "Midway: The Battle That Doomed Japan," an uncritical reliance upon which has tainted every previous Western account. It thus forces a major, potentially controversial reevaluation of the great battle. The authors examine the battle in detail and effortlessly place it within the context of the Imperial Navy s doctrine and technology. With a foreword by leading WWII naval historian John Lundstrom, "Shattered Sword" will become an indispensable part of any military buff s library. Winner of the 2005 John Lyman Book Award for the "Best Book in U.S. Naval History" and cited by "Proceedings" as one of its "Notable Naval Books" for 2005."
“Something special among war histories . . . No other gives both sides of the battle in as detailed and telling a manner.” —Chicago Sun-Times Six months after Pearl Harbor, the seemingly invincible Imperial Japanese Navy prepared a decisive blow against the United States. After sweeping through Asia and the South Pacific, Japan’s military targeted the tiny atoll of Midway, an ideal launching pad for the invasion of Hawaii and beyond. The US Navy would be waiting for them. Thanks to cutting-edge code-breaking technology, tactical daring, and a significant stroke of luck, the Americans under Admiral Chester W. Nimitz dealt the Japanese navy its first major defeat of the war. Three years of hard fighting remained, but it was at Midway that the tide turned. This “stirring, even suspenseful narrative” is the first book to tell the story of the epic battle from both the American and Japanese sides (Newsday). Miracle at Midway reveals how America won its first and greatest victory of the Pacific war—and how easily it could have been a defeat.
“Both a serious work of history . . . and a marvelously readable dramatic narrative.”—San Francisco Chronicle On the first Sunday in December 1941, an armada of Japanese warplanes appeared suddenly over Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and devastated the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Six months later, in a sea fight north of the tiny atoll of Midway, four Japanese aircraft carriers were sent into the abyss, a blow that destroyed the offensive power of their fleet. Pacific Crucible tells the epic tale of these first searing months of the Pacific war, when the U.S. Navy shook off the worst defeat in American military history and seized the strategic initiative. This dramatic narrative, relying predominantly on eyewitness accounts and primary sources, is laced with riveting details of heroism and sacrifice on the stricken ships and planes of both navies. At the war’s outset, Japan’s pilots and planes enjoyed a clear-cut superiority to their American counterparts, but there was a price to be paid. Japanese pilots endured a lengthy and grueling training in which they were disciplined with baseball bats, often suffering broken bones; and the production line of the Zero— Japan’s superbly maneuverable fighter plane—ended not at a highway or railhead but at a rice paddy, through which the planes were then hauled on ox carts. Combat losses, of either pilots or planes, could not be replaced in time to match the fully mobilized American war machine. Pacific Crucible also spotlights recent scholarship that revises our understanding of the conflict, including the Japanese decision to provoke a war that few in their highest circles thought they could win. Those doubters included the flamboyantly brilliant Admiral Isokoru Yamamoto, architect of the raid on Pearl and the Midway offensive. Once again, Ian W. Toll proves himself to be a simply magnificent writer. The result here is a page-turning history that does justice to the breadth and depth of a tremendous subject.
Dr Robert Ballard's challenge for this work was to discover and photograph the ships sunk in the Battle of Midway, one of the most dramatic engagements of the Pacific War. After the bombing of Pearl Harbour in 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy seemed almost unstoppable, and a final strike in Midway Island was planned by Admiral Yamamoto for June 1942. But the Americans, aware of the plan, were prepared for the attack and in a great victory sank three of the four Japanese carriers, losing only one of their own. The battle was a turning point in the Pacific War and never again would Japan take the offensive. The story of this battle is illustrated using Ballard's underwater photographs of the ships' remains, and Ken Marschall's evocative paintings.
"Few ships in American history have had as illustrious a history as the heavy cruiser USS Portland (CA-33), affectionately known by her crew as 'Sweet Pea.' With the destructionof most of the U.S. battleship fleet at Pearl Harbor, cruisers such as Sweet Pea carried the biggest guns the Navy possessed for nearly a year after the start of World War II. Sweet Pea at War describes in harrowing detail how Portland and her sisters protected the precious carriers and held the line against overwhelming Japanese naval strength. Portland was instrumental in the dramatic American victories at the Battle of the Coral Sea, the Battle of Midway, and the naval battle of Guadalcanal--conflicts that historians regard as turning points in the Pacific war. She rescued nearly three thousand sailors from sunken ships, some of them while she herself was badly damaged. Only a colossal hurricane ended her career, but she sailed home from that, too. Based on extensive research in official documents and interviews with members of the ship's crew, Sweet Pea at War recounts from launching to scrapping the history of USS Portland, demonstrating that she deserves to be remembered as one of the most important ships in U.S. naval history.
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