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. Had Japan instead turned west and attacked Russia, this could have changed the entire complexion of the war, as Germany might have prevailed against Russia, forcing the US to divert even more resources in its "Germany First" policy. The authors reveal how close Japan may have been to adopting this strategy.
This book impresses the reader not just with the mistakes the Japanese made, but also of the tenacity, skill, and competence of the former Japanese foe. The book was written in the early 1950s and the authors' viewpoints are somewhat overly colored by the aftermath of defeat--Japan had not yet shaken off the trauma of defeat and this pessimism about Japan's prospects is readily apparent. I trust the authors lived to see that in reality the Japanese people won, not lost, the war by becoming a prosperous and democratic economic powerhouse.
Incidentally, it appeared clear to me that the movie "Battle of Midway" with Henry Fonda was essentially based on this book.
This is a fine analysis of the most important battle of the Pacific War and constitutes essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand the Battle of Midway and the reasons that Japan was defeated in both the battle and the war.