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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
Wow! Although the outcome of this battle is a given, I cannot remember a more thrilling, edge-of-the-seat read than this one. Truth is indeed more exciting than fiction, or at least it can be when the right author relates the tale. Mr Lord has shown us just how contingent and unpredictable history can be -- although nearly everything we threw at the japanese was shrugged off by the emperor's men, when we finally succeeded, it was a magnificent triumph that no one would believe if it had happened in a story. Lord's book is well-documented and he tells us a few new things about this battle -- for instance, although we had supposedly cracked the japanese code, it was more like a few bits of information rather than the entire plan.
I'd recommend it highly, but only if you have a good heart and a tolerance for intensity.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
The author refloated the Titanic in A Night to Remember. We were there during Pearl Harbor in Tora, Tora, Tora. Now he does it again with this book. Lord has a real gift of not only relating historical events, but also the personalities of the people involved in them. This book has become one of my favorites. It never lags and is truly inspiring.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Walter Lord presents the Battle of Midway as an epic adventure story in "Incredible Victory." His writes like a journalist rater than a history professor and this helps make the compelling story of the battle all the more readable. Lord shows the battle from the perspective of each of the participants and he emphasizes how the overwhelming American victory was the result of gritty determination combined with sheer luck. This is an excellent tribute to the brave men who fought perhaps America's most desperate major battle.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is a great example of how compelling history can be in the hands of a great writer, one who puts a human face on the history without sacrificing accuracy.

Granted, the battle of Midway was an inherently dramatic event, but other accounts of the battle don't rise to the level of Lord's writing.

This is another book I'd give a 6 if I could.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
Walter Lord covered the attack on Pearl Harbor with his "Day of Infamy". With "Incredible Victory", Mr. Lord brings the same personal perspective of many of the Battle of Midway's participants. This is no dry narrative. The drama of the near miss aspect of this climactic battle is genuinely captured. Walter Lord has written three classic books of the sea, "A Night to Remember" (Titanic), "Day of Infamy" (Pearl Harbor) and "Incredible Victory" (Battle of Midway). Only Prange's books on the last two events are superior.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
When I was in high school, one of my assignments as a junior was to write a term paper, no less than fifteen pages, for my english class. I chose to write about the battle of Midway, because I'd heard a little about the signal intelligence that helped the Navy to know where to concentrate the Pacific Fleet, and found this book as a spectacular example of a few days broken down into manageable pieces. Lord's stories describe the demise of the four Japanese carriers sent to destroy the US presence on the Midway atoll, as well as the courage of the American pilots, who lost 42 of 52 torpedo planes against the Japanese fleet before American dive bombers caught the Japanese off guard. Though long, despite all the damage I've done to my brain since high school, I still remember certain parts of this book, about the retirement of a portrait of the Emperor, or a group of airmen in the water, or the tension surrounding the doomed Lexington. Enjoy, history buffs.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Walter Lord was one of the greatest narrative historians and this is another of his fine books. It tells the story of the Battle of Midway from the viewpoint of the participants, both Japanese and Americans. It tells the story of ordinary sailors, airmen, admirals, politicians and code breakers, creating an exciting story out of the mosaic of these individual stories. The book tells the tragic story of the crews of American torpedo planes, flying in inferior planes with defective torpedoes in an unsuccessful attempt to sink Japanese Aircraft Carriers; unsuccessful in itself but ultimately very important because they allowed the dive-bombers that followed them to sink the carriers. They accomplished this because they forced the Japanese fighter planes to come down to a low altitude to attack them, so that they could not shoot down the dive-bombers and because the evasive action that the Japanese fleet took to avoid their torpedoes reduced the effectiveness of their antiaircraft fire. Lord brings the actions of Lt. Commander Wade McClusky and Ensign George Gay to the forefront, highlighting the sacrifice and heroism of US Navy Airmen. He also tells the story of sailors of sinking ships, code breakers working to the limits of sanity (and sometimes beyond), and admirals who had to make life and death decisions in split seconds. He tells the story from the from both the American and Japanese perspective and why the Battle of Midway was a turning point in WWII.

In addition to being a fine narrative history the book also gives an analysis of the overall action in great detail, complete with details of the sailing of individual ships and the reasons behind the decisions of the admirals involved. This has long been a seminal history of the battle, which has been followed by many others, few of which have the impact of Lord's story telling. I highly recommend this book to all those interested in the history of WWII and for those who just like great narrative history that places you within the action.

I have an additional remark regarding the price of this book. I have a paperback edition that sold for $0.95 in 1968, when the hardcover version was only $5.95. I seems incredible to me that this paperback version is being sold new for such a high price and that there is another paperback (issued in 2000) that is being sold for an even higher price. The book is good, but that good? My advice is to consider a used copy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
This is the account of the Battle of Midway, written by Walter Lord, best known as the author of A Night to Remember, about the sinking of the Titanic. Lord bases his account primarily on hundreds of interviews that he conducted with participants from both the American and Japanese sides of the battle. Incredible Victory was first published in 1967, so the interviewees' recollections would be fairly fresh, only two decades old. There are no footnotes in Incredible Victory, only a bibliographical discussion in the acknowledgements section in the back matter. Therefore, Lord's book would be of limited value to an historian, or any reader looking to be directed toward further study of anything specific found in the text.

What Lord accomplishes is to tell the story of Midway as a dramatic human story, despite the greater outcome of events being known beforehand. He does this with masterful pacing of the narrative, and switching among the perspectives of the participants at the most tension-filled moments. To cite only one example, we are riding with American dive bomber pilots as they spot Nagumo's carriers and then prepare to "push over" into their dives. As soon as their dives begin, perspective changes to the deck of the IJN carrier as the Japanese on the ship realize they are under attack. This technique results in what can only be described as a page-turner; the reader will find it difficult at the end of each chapter not to immediately start the next.

Although of limited value for purposes of research and documentation, Incredible Victory is immensely entertaining. It is comprehensive, fast-paced, suspenseful and respectful of the Japanese side of the battle. It should be read by anyone interested in the Pacific War, or American history in general, who likes to be entertained as well as informed.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
Vividly written with details acquired from hundreds of interviews. A true classic of World War Two. Written with compassion for the combatants of both sides.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 1998
Format: Paperback
If you read one book on WWII history or naval history, make it this definitive tale of the Battle of Midway.
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