- Paperback: 640 pages
- Publisher: Potomac Books; Reprint edition (November 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1574889249
- ISBN-13: 978-1574889246
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.5 x 9.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 517 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway Reprint Edition
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"To really know about the Battle of Midway, you must read this book."
"A lot has been written about Midway since 1945. Yet everyone who thinks that they know the last word about this momentous event must examine Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully's book on the subject. Shattered Sword, packed with new information, will certainly become the definitive volume on the most important naval battle of World War II."
"This meticulously researched and thoroughly documented study is an essential corrective. It is essential reading for anyone interested in carrier aviation, past, present, or future. Although imposing in scale, Shattered Sword is a bargain, and a highly engaging read. Every page seems to throw up a new perspective - from the pathetically low Japanese aircraft production figures, to the political infighting both within the Naval High Command and between the services. The best naval history book of 2005." --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top customer reviews
A great military history and a great spin on how to create hazard by slow learning.
Author, The High Velocity Edge
MIT, Senior Lecturer
The High-Velocity Edge: How Market Leaders Leverage Operational Excellence to Beat the Competition (Business Books)
It explains in considerable detail what the Japanese got right in their doctrine and tactics, before the USN, the errors of leaders like Yamamoto etc, and what vulnerabilities that they were blind to or missed which came due at Midway, and the American plans that were more an option than a required battle, as the Japanese thought or the early historians would have us believe.
It explains in detail with photographs how the traditional accounts of the "5 minutes that changed the course of the war" are flawed, and provides a very detailed timeline of what did happen, including Yorktown's torpedo bombers attacking during the dive bombers', not before, and why the various previous American air attacks upset the IJN's doctrinal operations schedule.
It includes a fascinating appendix [#7] on the marine defenses and why the authors think the marines would have more held their own against the SNLF and IJA attackers if the USN had been driven off, outnumbering them to start with while being far better armed, versus the SNLF and IJA, who had little more than light mortars and machine guns against many 3", 5", and 7" guns and even tanks, along with plenty of heavy machine guns and even 20mm cannon; while they had no radios to provide naval gunfire support after the initial bombardment and a reef like Tarawa's that would have kept all landing craft 200-400 yards from shore, so they would have had to wade through chest high water and carry their rifles over their heads to the heavily mined beaches which would have enabled the marines to slaughter the assault waves rather easily.
For any expert on the Pacific war, this is a must read, must have book.
Read and enjoy tremendously!
In short, three American aircraft carriers faced off against four mainline Japanese carriers. By the end of the battle, one American carrier was destroyed (after miraculous refitting from a pounding that the Lexington took during the Battle of Coral Sea) and all four main Japanese carriers were sunk. A shattering defeat. While many point out that the Americans succeeded against long odds, this book notes that--because carriers were now dominant--the battle was actually more even than many have considered. Add to that the land-based aircraft on Midway, and the odds are evened out to a large extent.
In the background, according to the authors, was a developing sense of strategy b y the Japanese that made it take chances. And, associated with this, was near contempt for the Americans, whom they had surprised at Pearl Harbor, defeated in Luzon, and so on. The authors argue that lessons should have been learned in the Coral Sea, when the American carriers stood up in pretty even terms with the Japanese fleet. In addition, Japanese leaders tended to develop overly complex and rigid plans. If events did not work out as planned, difficulties could emerge. And that they did with a vengeance at Midway. As a result the battle plan developed by the Japanese for Midway had some serious flaws. For instance, when war games suggested something like what actually happened (American carriers ambushing the Japanese fleet), results were not taken seriously.
The book also depicts the heroism of sailors and pilots on both sides. The decision-making of leaders, such as Admiral Nagumo for the Japanese, or Admirals Spruance and Fletcher on the American side, help to provide a sense of command and control, during the battle. The discussion of the top commanders of each fleet--Yamamoto and Nimitz--too, is well done. And there is even considerable discussion of the pilots and sailors who fought so hard on each side. In a sense, we get a human side to this battle.
All in all, a very fine work on the Battle of Midway. Highly recommended.