The Battle of Midway (Pivotal Moments in American History Series)

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Overview

There are few moments in military 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 by American planes. Though the Second World War had three more years to run, the Imperial Japanese Navy would never again initiate a strategic offensive.

In this spellbinding account of a key turning ...

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The Battle of Midway

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Overview

There are few moments in military 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 by American planes. Though the Second World War had three more years to run, the Imperial Japanese Navy would never again initiate a strategic offensive.

In this spellbinding account of a key turning point, one of America’s leading naval historians, Craig L. Symonds, paints a portrait of ingenuity, courage, sacrifice, and chance. Symonds begins with the arrival of Admiral Chester A. Nimitz at Pearl Harbor after the devastating Japanese attack, and describes the events leading to the climactic battle, including both Coral Sea — the first in history involving opposing carrier forces — and Jimmy Doolittle’s daring raid of Tokyo. He focuses throughout on the people involved, offering telling portraits of Admirals Nimitz, King, Halsey, and Spruance as well as the leading Japanese figures, including the poker-enthusiast Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku and Admiral Nagumo Chuichi. Indeed, Symonds illuminates the aspects of Japanese culture — such as their single-minded devotion to combat, which led to poorly armored planes and inadequate fire-safety measures on their ships — that contributed to their defeat. Symonds’ account of the battle itself is deft and exhaustive, weaving together the many disparate threads of attack — attacks that 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 American victory at Midway was both less incredible and miraculous than it has sometimes been portrayed. It was, instead, the result of a web of contingencies and decisions than can be traced back to their origins and reconnected. As Symonds’ book brilliantly demonstrates, doing so detracts nothing from the battle’s significance and drama, nor loosens its enduring hold on our imaginations.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781480527317
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 9/1/2013
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Sales rank: 1,410,412
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 6.50 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet 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.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 30 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 15, 2012

    Recommended reading

    An excellent and informative history review. Well written, and containing some information I have not seen before - and I am well read on the subject, as a former naval aviator. Should be required reading for military history classes.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2011

    Highly recommended

    This is probably the best single book about this battle, and the author's writing style made it a highly enjoyable read.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2011

    Why a new book on Midway?

    I notice in the blurb Admiral Fletcher is not mentioned even tho he was the officer in command of the two task forces. John Lundstrom's recent book on Rear Adm Frank Jack Fletcher, "Black Shoe Carrier Admiral"; Walter Lord's "Incredible Victory"; "Fletcher,Task Force Commander" by James L. Bauer; Gordon Prange's "Miracle at Midway" all seem to cover the subject.
    I cannot buy, sight unseen, another Midway book, unless some new information, not repeated stories, is added.
    The key to the story is Commander Rochfort's code breaking, Nimitz's decision to gamble his three carriers, the bravery and inititive of the flyers and Admiral Fletcher's key role as commander on June 4th, in which Enterprise sunk 2 carriers, Yorktown, one, and most important Fletcher had the foresight to search for the 4th carrier which he relayed to Spruance even after Yorktown was sinking. Yorktown and Enterprise dive bombers both hit the 4th carrier at the same time. Without Fletcher's search, the last carrier, unknown to Spruance, might have struck Enerprise or Hornet by air or submarine knowing now there was more than one American carrier in the battle. If Spruance is shown as the victor at Midway, it would be a gross inaccuratcy. I am assigning a rating because I must, but I don't know enough about this book to do so, it might be worth more.

    2 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2011

    Outstanding!

    Exceptionally well written, the book reads like a fast paced novel.

    The author does an excellent job showing us the mindsets of the principal players, the strategy of the Japanese empire, and the inevitable chain of events that forced this battle to occur.

    The descriptions of each phase of the battle were clear and very well presented along with excellent bio's of the persons deeply involved, both the shing stars as well as those who fell short.

    As you read this book you can't help but realize what a longshot this battle was, and have a feeling for how thin and precarious the entire situation was on a minute by minute basis throughout.

    I strongly recommend this piece of work and caution that it is one you will have a hard time putting down.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2012

    Worth the read

    The book was incredibly well researched. The author included U.S. blunders that cost lives, rather than just making this a feel-good report of the battle. That Americans lost their lives due to inferior equipment(fogging windshields on planes, and flawed design on torpedoes)remains tragic and absent from most accounts of the battle. History continues to show us that mankind cannot live in peace, although we yearn to live this way. The sacrifices that those at Midway were willing to pay, both Japanese and Americans, knowing that they might not succeed is unfathomable. The book was exceptionally written and extremly fast-paced.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    highly recommended

    Gave some information about the battle that I did not know. The author is very informative and knowledgeable about the Navy sea battles. Previous book on Lincoln also highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    jb

    the aurthor does A really good job in separating the legends from the reality of the battle

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2013

    Must read for the WWII reader.

    Well written biographical account of the men, on both sides of the war in the Pacific during World War II, involved with the bombing of Pearl Harbor and subsequent battles, which includes Midway, after that. Gives a definite different perspective of what was going on at this time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2012

    A great read

    This book chronicles a pivotal point of WW II with such detail and clarity while maintaining the reader's interest. I highly recommend The Battle of Midway by Craig L Symonds.

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  • Posted December 11, 2012

    Very Highly Recommended

    I have read a great deal of military histroy and frankly some books are a struggle. However, The Battle Of Midway was presented and explained in a very clear and easy to understand style. I had no idea the number of aborted and failed attemps by American pilots as they learned on-the-job how to battle the Japanese navy in this critical confrontation. The author clearly described how the Pacific fleet was under equipped at the time and he drew a vivid picture of the deficiencies compared to the Japanese. It makes the victory all the more amazing. I am always amazed to learn that great battles are often determined by serendipity. Kudos and thanks to Mr. Symonds. I will look for more of his work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2012

    This book is one of the best written books I have ever read.  It

    This book is one of the best written books I have ever read.  It is a fascinating look at the period from Pearl Harbor to Midway.  It brings to life the partticipants as well as the facts.

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  • Posted November 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    GREAT

    we turned the tide of war at this battle.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2012

    Excellent!

    Highly recommend

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2012

    lonnie mckenzie

    Very good book well written

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2011

    AMAZING

    Must read for any ww2 historian

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  • Posted November 22, 2011

    Craig in the Best Naval History Writer.

    If you read his Linciln & His Admirals, you will love this one.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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