Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway Paperback – 30 Nov 2007
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-At last, the Japanese side of the Battle of Midway has been limned in English with accuracy, lucidity, authority, and objectivity. The authors' specialized knowledge of the tactics and technologies of Japanese naval air power, their careful reading of surviving Japanese air unit records, and their appreciation of the larger meaning of the battle combine to give us a combat narrative and analysis that superbly balance expert detail and grand historical import. I suspect it of being a classic.---Mark R. Peattie, author of Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941 and Sunburst: The Rise of Japanese Naval Air Power, 1909-1941 --Mark R. Peattie
-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.---Eric Bergerud, professor of military and American history at Lincoln University and author of Touched with Fire: The Land War in the South Pacific --Eric Bergerud
About the Author
Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully are widely published on military history in journals and magazines and on Parshall's award-winning website on the Imperial Navy, www.combinedfleet.com. Parshall lives in Minneapolis and Tully in Dallas.
Top customer reviews
It examins, the carriers of the US and Japan, their performance, and of
course the differing fighting techniques used by both fleets.
Reading this, shows just how vital was the ten centimetre Radar on the
US ships. The Japanese discovered the early magnetron, the yagi antennae
the British improved on them, and passed them to the US.
An excellent book on Carriers and their aircraft, together with operating proceedure
The evidence that the authors present is compelling and provide a richer understanding of the battle. The thesis does not change the basic facts of the battle, but trims the sails of some of the more dramatic elements, such as the fact that the Japanese carriers did not have deck loads of planes ready to take-off just before the fateful dive-bomb attack. The planes were fuelled and armed, but in hangers below the deck, so their decisisve role in the fate of the ships remains the same - once the bombs hit they posed a massive hazard, but they didn't have the Hollywood quality of being about to be launched.
The general story of how the battle came about, the Japanese navy and the culture which formed it were extremely interesting. Some of the attitudes and choices which seem almost imcomprehensible - such as senior officers insisting that they go down with their ships rather than seek to fight another day or the sheer overblown complexity of the battleplans - are given a proper context and explanation. It is this element of the book that provides the greatest insight and interest.
Generally speaking the book has a flowing, accessible written style and considering the book's emphasis on some of the more technical aspects of the battle including naval doctrine it's extremely readable.
I did wish that the authors didn't feel that they had to repeat quite so often that they were about to share another stunning insight misssed by Western scholarship since 1942, but this is a minor quibble with a book that does have something new to say about an extensively written about battle and real insight into the nature of the Imperial Navy.
A recommended read for anyone interested in the naval history or who is intrigued by a glimpse into a very alien organisational culture.
This book is not only a superb re-assessment of the Japanese efforts to invade Midway and draw American carriers into a battle but is written mainly from the IJN view point. It debunks a number of common myths and is a great read. Tells much of IJN doctrine and carrier methods,
If you own any number of books on Midway and Japanese carrier tactics you'll still need to add this to your library.
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