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Miracle at Midway Paperback – November 17, 1983


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (November 17, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140068147
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140068146
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,012,182 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

11 1.5-hour cassettes --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

About the Author

The late Professor Gordon W Prange was born in 1910, served in the US Naval Reserve during WWII and became Professor at the University of Maryland until his death. His books include the best-selling At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor, Pearl Harbor: The Final Verdict and Target Tokyo: The Story of the Sorge Spy Ring. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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4 star
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See all 59 customer reviews
This very well written book does much more.
Metallurgist
The story is very detailed, but on the other side rather easy to follow and keeps you on, so you feel you are reading some interesting novel, rather than documentary.
R. Bordukalo
The histories from both sides gives the reader a great perspective of the battle.
kandace schatz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Barron Laycock HALL OF FAME on July 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
Just how fortunate the United States was in winning the closely contested navy engagement at Midway in the central Pacific in mid 1942 is evident to any reader of this very well documented and quite balanced account of one of the largest and most famous exchanges between the US navy and their Japanese counterparts during the course of World War Two. By using extensive inputs from both Japanese and American participants and observers of the sea battle, the authors thread together a memorable and engaging narrative of the events leading up to and involving both sides during the summer months of that fateful year. It was one for the record books, and one that demonstrated conclusively that the rules of war at sea had changed forever from one dominated by capital ships like battleships and cruisers to one dominated by aircraft carriers and attack airplanes.
In the devastating aftermath of Pearl Harbor, the American Navy was looking for an opportunity to engage the Japanese in a "mano-a-mano" confrontation, hoping to even the odds and shorten the war by using what we felt would be surprise and tactics to overcome the numerical advantage the Japanese enjoyed in numbers of both ships (especially in terms of aircraft carriers) and launchable aircraft. Even though the Japanese had blundered badly at the battle of the Coral Sea, they left the scene believing the fracas had been won, and that they had further damaged the American fleet by sinking three carriers. And though the U.S. Navy did in fact limp away having lost some of its few carriers either through sinking or damage, in actuality they had inflicted more damage than they had incurred. Furthermore, soon one of the badly damaged U. S.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
In the same tradition as At Dawn We Slept, Miracle At Midway engulfs and captivates the reader. This book describes in great detail both American and Japanese plans for battle. The apprehensions of the Japanese staff to approve the Midway mission are described, as well as Washington's uncertainty of the Japanese intentions. Many believed that Japan would try to attack Hawaii or the West Coast. Thanks to the codebreakers, Midway was found to be the true objective. Prange describes in great detail how the brave torpedo bomber pilots flew undaunted against the Japanese carriers, clearing the way for the deadly attacks by the Dauntless dive bomber pilots. Also, the Japanese blunders in rearming their aircraft after the Midway strike are described. This book is a must read for any fan of naval warfare.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
Gordon Prange, the late author of At Dawn We Slept, Miracle at Midway, Pearl Harbor, the Verdict of History and The Pearl Harbor Papers does an unmatched job of researching the beginnings of the Pacific War from the Japanese perspective, interviewing many of the participants of the Nihon Kaigun (Imperial Japanese Navy) especially the Kido Butai (First Striking Force). Midway was an extremely close call and victory for the Japanese might have meant conquest of Hawaii and therefore a war lasting some two years longer for America (my opinion). Prange excellently presents the intelligence dilemma and the precise interpretation which presented Admiral Nimitz with his opportunity to ambush Nagumo Chuichi and his four carriers. The author gives credit to the American commanders, Spruance and Fletcher for their flexibility and all the Americans for their courage and stamina. Midway was won by American naval airmen and Prange makes that clear.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Smallchief on December 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
Why is that so many good battle histories lack decent maps? The maps in this book, to use a adjective favored by my grandchildren,[are bad]. Prange's prose is dense and detailed and the absence of good maps limits the ability of the reader to understand him.
This is a good book -- maybe the best about Midway, the most important battle of the Pacific War. People these days seem to forget that in 1942, Americans were probably more worried about Japan than they were about Germany.
Prange tells the story of Midway from both the Japanese and the American side. The insights from military leaders -- now virtually all dead -- make this an irreplacable source of information on the battle. I suggest a new deluxe edition of this book -- rewritten in places to improve the comprehensibility of the prose and with detailed maps, timelines, a glossary of military terms, and more photos of the battle and the equipment in use. I would like to see, for example, photos of the many different aircraft participating in the battle.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tom Munro on June 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
The Battle of Midway was the most decisive battle in the Pacific in the Second World War. Prior to the battle the Japanese had one victory after another. They had put the majority of the American Pacific Fleet out of action at Pear Harbor, they had sunk the British Battle ships the Prince of Wales and the Repulse in a few minutes and they had won naval actions in conquering the Philippines.
The Japanese had in their carrier arm a superb weapon. The Zero fighter at that time was superior to any American aircraft. Their naval pilots had been fighting since 1936 in China and were superbly trained.
The Japanese fleet which sailed to Midway had four carriers and a huge battle fleet. The Americans had only three carriers available, one the Yorktown had only just been repaired after the battle of the Coral Sea. Logically the Japanese should have won and dominated the Pacific. Instead at the end of the battle all the Japanese carriers involved in the battle were sunk, the cream of the Japanese fliers had been killed and the Japanese started to lose their confidence. As the war developed the Americans were able to rebuild their fleet and to develop technology which meant by the 1944 the Japanese navy was totally outclassed both in numbers and qualitatively.
Unlike the European war there have been no real mysteries about the pacific campaign. The conquest of Japan meant that records of all major battles were available from both sides. Never the less this book is a clear well-written account of an important battle. It can be easily understood by anyone and is a delight to read.
In short the victories of the Japanese meant that they became careless. The did not do a proper search for the American forces and their carriers were caught with fully armed aircraft on their flight deck.
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