Synopses & Reviews
There are few moments in American history in which the course of events tipped so suddenly and so dramatically as at the Battle of Midway. At dawn of June 4, 1942, a rampaging Japanese navy ruled the Pacific. By sunset, their vaunted carrier force, the Kido Butai, had been sunk and their grip on the Pacific had been loosened forever.
In this absolutely riveting account of a key moment in the history of World War II, leading naval historian Craig L. Symonds paints an unforgettable portrait of ingenuity, courage, and sacrifice. Symonds begins with the arrival of Admiral Chester A. Nimitz at Pearl Harbor after the devastating Japanese attack, and describes the key events leading to the climactic battle, including both Coral Sea-the first battle in history against opposing carrier forces-and Jimmy Doolittle's daring raid of Tokyo. He focuses throughout on the people involved, offering telling portraits of Admirals Nimitz, Halsey, Spruance and numerous other Americans, as well as the leading Japanese figures, including the poker-loving Admiral Yamamoto.
Symonds' account of the battle itself is masterful, weaving together the many disparate threads of attack-attacks which failed in the early going-that ultimately created a five-minute window in which three of the four Japanese carriers were mortally wounded, changing the course of the Pacific war in an eye-blink.
"The Battle of Midway was the hinge on which the war in the Pacific turned. Its story deserves retelling, and Symonds' book does a wonderful job of it." --The American Spectator
"Mr. Symonds has marshaled the data of seven decades to produce an account that is clear and readable, benefiting from his easy expertise in naval matters." --The Wall Street Journal
"Important...documenting a role too often overlooked and too little understood: the essential role played by the U.S. Navy in winning the war in the Pacific." - The Dallas Morning News
"[W]holly satisfying . . . a lucid, intensely researched, mildly revisionist account of a significant moment in American military history." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Craig Symonds has delivered yet another outstanding work, a work that will set the standard for studies of the Battle of Midway for years to come. Even if one thinks one knows all there is to know about Midway, Mr. Symonds' plethora of new facts, rationales for what and why each side performed the way it did, human interest stories and more make The Battle of Midway indispensable . . . The story of the battle unfolding and being fought is absolutely outstanding, but the events before and after it are equally well told. In addition, the supporting charts, photographs, references and bibliography are awesome. For anyone at all interested in the Battle of Midway, the Pacific War or the Navy, this is a must read."
--The Washington Times
Selected as a Best Book of 2011 by Military History Quarterly
"Deeply researched, shrewdly argued, and powerfully narrated, The Battle of Midway is a superb work of the historian's craft. It easily takes its place as the best and most comprehensive account of the pivotal battle from the American perspective." -Richard B. Frank, author of Guadalcanal: The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle and Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire
"In The Battle of Midway Symonds has effectively synthesized the huge mass of information about the Midway battle into a fast-moving, highly readable account filled with nuggets of fascinating biographical material about many of the principals, both American and Japanese . . . Symonds describes the scenes of the Battle of Midway itself with the knowing eye of a fine historian . . . Craig Symonds has crafted an excellent addition to the pantheon of important literature about the transcendent American naval victory at Midway. The Battle of Midway deserves to be read and enjoyed." --Naval History
"Compulsively readable" --The Week
"Well documented through interviews, official records, and secondary sources, the book will show readers that Midway was, as Wellington would have said, "a close-run thing." General military history enthusiasts will be fascinated, and specialists will revel in the careful dissection of the action. -- Library Journal
"[A] superb narrative, clearly, vividly, and energetically written, with attention to detail that is always relevant to his interpretation . . . this book will be read appreciatively by other non-specialists. Indeed, it demonstrates why military history should not be considered 'merely' a 'niche' subject, but part of the mainstream of the national narrative." --HNN.com
"A fascinating and informative retelling of the most important naval battle of the Pacific War. Symonds once again demonstrates his superb mastery of his craft." -Jonathan Parshall, co-author of Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway
Chosen as one of Proceedings Notable Books of 2011
About the Author
Craig L. Symonds
is Professor of History Emeritus at the United States Naval Academy. He is the author of many books on American naval history, including Decision at Sea: Five Naval Battles That Shaped American History
as well as Lincoln and His Admirals
, co-winner of the Lincoln Prize in 2009.
Table of Contents
2. The Kido Butai
3. The Brownshoe Navy
4. American Counterstrike
5. Seeking the Decisive Battle
6. Pete and Jimmy
7. The Codebreakers
8. The Coral Sea
9. The Eve of Battle
10. Opening Act
11. Nagumo's Dilemma (4:00 A.M. to 8:30 A.M.)
12. The Flight to Nowhere (7:00 A.M. to 11:20 A.M.)
13. Attack of the Torpedo Squadrons (8:30 A.M. to 10:20 A.M.)
14. The Tipping Point (7:00 A.M. to 10:30 A.M.)
15. The Japanese Counterstrike (11:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.)