Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway

Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway


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Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway by Jonathan Parshall, Anthony Tully

Many consider the Battle of Midway to have turned the tide of the Pacific War. It is without question one of the most famous battles in history. Now, for the first time since Gordon W. Prange’s bestselling Miracle at Midway, Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully offer a new interpretation of this great naval engagement. Unlike previous accounts, Shattered Sword makes extensive use of Japanese primary sources. It also corrects the many errors of Mitsuo Fuchida’s Midway: The Battle That Doomed Japan, an uncritical reliance upon which has tainted every previous Western account. It thus forces a major, potentially controversial reevaluation of the great battle.

Parshall and Tully examine the battle in detail and effortlessly place it within the context of the Imperial Navy’s doctrine and technology. With a foreword by leading World War II naval historian John Lundstrom, Shattered Sword is an indispensable part of any military buff’s library.

Shattered Sword is the winner of the 2005 John Lyman Book Award for the "Best Book in U.S. Naval History" and was cited by Proceedings as one of its "Notable Naval Books" for 2005.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781574889246
Publisher: Potomac Books
Publication date: 11/30/2007
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 640
Sales rank: 101,928
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

Both Jonathan Parshall and Tony Tully were members of a 1999 mission to the Midway battle site by the Nauticos Corp. and the U.S. Navy Oceanographic Office. Parshall is widely published on naval history in journals and magazines and has contributed to a number of books on the topic. He maintains an award-winning Web site on the Imperial Navy, Parshall lives in Minneapolis.

Anthony Tully has been published in such leading military journals as Warship and the U.S. Naval War College Review and is a frequent contributor to He lives in Dallas.

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Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Battle of Midway retold after Japan has finally released their historical accounts of the war. What led a Coutry (Japan) who had an undisputed most powerful Navy in the world to make so many mistakes that led to the loss at Midway and ultimately the war. A must read for any War History buff.
ken57 More than 1 year ago
This view of the Battle of Midway from the Japanese war records provides a fascinating balance to the Craig Symond's recent "The Battle of Midway". The insight into the Commanders on both sides adds a depth of understanding into the complexity fighting a major sea battle.
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Romaji More than 1 year ago
This is a very detailed book on the Battle of Midway. The author's have a real passion for their subject, but unfortunately their book is in serious need of a good editor. In its present form it is all but unreadable. Here is an example paragraph from their meticulous digression into the Aleutian Operation: "It is clear from the foregoing that the Japanese held an exaggerated opinion of the utility of the Aleutians as a possible path for launching either an invasion or strategic bombing attacks against the homeland. The weather conditions in the Aleutians (as the Japanese were shortly to discover) were routinely awful. The islands themselves- small, mountainous, and devoid of any ground cover or building materials- made the archipelago useless for staging any offensive action larger than an occasional narwhal hunt. Yet, such were the defensive goals which the Japanese went forth." Really? A narwhal hunt? Aside from the fact that the authors established that the Japanese operation in the Aleutians was directed at extending their defensive perimeter not as a base for offensive operations, Narwhal don't range within a thousand miles of the Aleutians. I could go on, but I won't. Shattered Sword IS AN IMPORTANT BOOK, with a wealth of detail and new (to Americans anyway) information, but sloppy editing means that it reads more like a first draft than a finished product.
MP-1 More than 1 year ago
This is an exhaustively researched view of the battle of Midway, seen from the Japanese perspective. The book is, by the authors' own admission, a revisionist history; and seeks to dispel some common myths surrounding the battle, especially the myth that the Americans miraculously triumphed at Midway "against overwhelming odds." The authors, Johnathan Parshall and Anthony Tully, assiduously dismantle the myth, citing multiple and authoritative sources to back their claim; even when one of the myth-makers, Walter Lord, actually at one time assisted them in their own research. Incidentally, "Shattered Sword" restores, at least somewhat, the luster of Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, who was pilloried by Japanese as well as the Americans for being timid as a result of the loss of the carriers, when, in fact, he was as aggressive as he could be; given the circumstances. I do wish that the authors acknowledged the work of John Toland, who, like Lord, fell into the "myth" that the Americans pulled off a victory in the face of overwhelming odds. While his book, "Rising Sun," is acknowledged in the bibliographical sources, An earlier work, "But Not in Shame" is not, and it's a pity that it's not. It was one of the first of the general and popular histories that addressed the first six months after Pearl Harbor when the Allies were beaten everywhere across the Pacific. Nevertheless, I highly recommend "Shattered Sword." Michael Peterson
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Franko65 More than 1 year ago
Most books I have read on the Battle of Midway, were from western authors who described the events of the battle from an American or neutral viewpoint. This book "Shattered Sword", not only describes the battle, but it gives insight on how the Japanese Navy operated. Most books do not explain Japanese Naval Doctrine, or for that matter Japanese Carrier operations. By explaining these factors, one can understand why the Japanese fought the battle the way they did. Very concise and insightful book. Highly recommended for the Pacific War enthusiast!
Dirtpound More than 1 year ago
I held off on purchasing this book, simply because the battle of Midway has been covered in so many books, documentries, articles etc. I frankly didn't see much point in another book on the subject. An honest man has got to admit his mistakes, and wow was I wrong to hesitate in buying this book. The authors uncover information that has been ignored for decades about what really happened at Midway and in particular the state of the Japanese carriers. They make extensive use of Japanese sources that have largely been ignored in the west. The results of that research paint a strikingly different picture of the battle than has normally been portrayed here in the west. Simply presenting the true picture of the Japanese side of events would have been sufficient to make this a must read for anyone interested in the War in the Pacific. But the authors and publisher didn't stop there. The book has numerous maps and illustration discribing various phases of the battle manuevers and details of the ships. The kind of detail sadly lacking from the majority of military history books these days. The authors keep their writting 'pithy' and rarely pull their punches when describing the failings of individuals or groups on either side of the battle. At the same time, they strive to bring the stories of individuals to life and give credit where its due -- again on both sides of the battle. This book is an absolute must for anyone interested in the war in the pacific, naval warfare in general, or command decisions and their outcomes.