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Midway: The Battle That Doomed Japan, the Japanese Navy's Story (Bluejacket Books) Paperback – 2001

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Midway: The Battle That Doomed Japan, the Japanese Navy's Story (Bluejacket Books) + The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945 (Modern Library War) + Eagle Against the Sun: The American War With Japan
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"...by knowing what went on aboard the Japanese warships, some of the mysteries of the battle can be explained." -- Baltimore Sun

"An enlightening account of the Japanese naval leaders of the time..." --Military Review

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Japanese --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Bluejacket Books
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557504288
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557504289
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #683,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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69 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Roger J. Buffington TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 14, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a splendid analysis of the Battle of Midway as seen from the Japanese side. The authors had firsthand knowledge of the plans, actions, mistakes, strengths, and weaknesses of the Imperial Japanese Navy in connection with the Battle of Midway, and they pull no punches telling us about the battle. The Battle of Midway turned the tide of the Pacific War for all time against Japan, as an outnumbered and outmatched, but plucky, U.S. Navy inflicted a devastating defeat on the greatest carrier force ever assembled up to that time. This book goes far in explaining how this miracle took place. The authors tell us about the dithering of the Japanese commander as to whether to strike Midway again, or to strike the American fleet, or do a hasty strike against the American fleet before all his planes were recovered--and how this indecision helped lose a battle that almost could not be lost. So too did the sloppiness of the deck crews, who stacked bombs and torpedos carelessly on the decks of the carriers as the Admiral kept changing his mind--this ordinance of course exploded when the American dive bombers attacked, ensuring that three Japanese carriers went to the bottom, rather than having a chance of surviving through damage control. The book is filled with excellent details like this.
The authors also do a fine job explaining the motivations and outlooks of the Japanese leaders, including the great famed Admiral Yamamoto--who evidently reacted to the Doolittle Raid by pushing for the attack on Midway. This key decision signed Japan's death warrant as regards the Pacific war.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Philip A. True on February 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Many accounts of the battle of Midway have been written from the American point of view and of the reasons for our success--code breaking and trickery to reveal the target, the amazing repair job done on the Yorktown, and American adaptation to battle conditions plus a little bit of luck. Little is known, however, of the Japanese view of the battle.
A few years after Midway two Japanese Naval aviators, Mitsuo Fuchida and Masatake Okumiya, wrote a scathing critique of the battle, exposing Japanese overconfidence, the rigidity of Japanese decision-making, and tarnishing in so doing the reputations of Admiral Yamamoto and others. Fushica's views are particularly valuable in that he was aboard the Japanese carrier Akagi during the battle, though grounded because of a recent operation. His record of the terrifying few minutes when the Dauntless dive bombers came out of the clouds to destroy the heart of the Japanese carrier fleet are invaluable, including his rescue and eventual return to Japan. Okumiya was attached to the northern force, part of the Midway operation, that attacked the fog-bound Aleutians, but who gathered much information about the battle afterwards from survivors.
The authors are harsh on the fecklessness of the Japanese naval forays into the Indian ocean which accomplished little of strategic value, the high-level conflicts in the Japanese decision-making process, and the over-confidence generated by their success at Pearl Harbor and elsewhere.
Tactics are also criticized, such as the perfunctory search plane missions to detect and locate enemy forces because the Japanese high command could not imagine that US forces might be within striking distance.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Tom Munro on December 23, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is quite a short book that was written by two Japanese one who was a flyer from the Akagi. Although a book of a little over 200 pages the book describes the attack on Pearly Harbour, the cruise of the Japanese carrier fleet in the Indian Ocean and the attack on Sri Lanka, the bombing of Darwin, the battle of the Coral Sea and Midway.
The facts around these battles have been explained in a range of other books so that there are no real surprises. What is of interest is the insight that the book gives into the process of Japanese decision making during the war.
The authors show that following the victory at Pearl Harbour the Japanese didn't know what to do. The cruise to the Indian Ocean achieved little and used a large amount of their oil reserves. The overall command simply was not able to formulate a plan. Some groups thought of invading Darwin a plan which was shelved. In the end the attack on Midway was decided on. Such a plan put the Japanese miles from home at a considerable disadvantage.
The authors go on to show how the arrogance and self-confidence in that attack doomed the Japanese fleet. The failure to properly use sighting planes, the leaving of large numbers of aircraft on deck prior to the American attack.
The book is one of the most coherent attacks on the reputation of Yamamoto that I have read. For some reason Yamamoto has had a high reputation with American writers. The record shows that although Pearl Harbor went to plan it was all down hill after that.
The book is readable and evokes the frustration of felt by Japanese fighting men at the shortcomings of their leaders.
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Midway: The Battle That Doomed Japan, the Japanese Navy's Story (Bluejacket Books)
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