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WernherVonTrapp
06-15-2011, 10:59 AM
I've just begun reading a new (old) book that I purchased over a year ago, Shattered Sword: The Untold History of the Battle of Midway. Some of you may have already read it so this will come as no surprise. I've only read the "Preface" and the "Forward" thus far, but already the book looks like it will overturn everything I thought I knew (and previously read) about that battle.

On the cover of this rather large (7" X 10")paperback (over 600 pages) is a quote that reads:
"Shattered Sword...will be the
standard work on the Battle of Midway for years to come."
-Air Power History

Just from reading some preliminaries in the Preface/Forward, I already suspect this quote will be fulfilled. I was highly surprised to read/learn about some serious misconceptions I had about this epic battle. These misconceptions are founded as far back as my High School days when I first began learning about the Battle of Midway, as taught by the standards of the day. I have read a number of books (not so recently) on Midway that only reinforced these misconceptions.

To give you an understanding of how serious the flawed history of this battle is, I'm posting an excerpt that struck me with awe, being the History student that I once thought I was.
After the Preface and Forward, there is a section called "Introduction".

This excerpt is from pages xxi and xxii of the Introduction:

This has certainly been true of Midway, whose defining moment will always be the devastating and seemingly last-minute attack of American dive-bombers against the Japanese carrier task force at 1020 on the morning of 4 June. The image of American Dauntlesses hurtling down from the heavens to drop their bombs on the helpless Japanese carriers, their decks packed with aircraft just moments away from taking off, has been emblazoned on the American consciousness since the day the battle was fought. Yet, this precise version of the events surrounding the decisive attack--a rendition that would be accepted in any contemporary history book--is but one, and perhaps not the greatest, of the misconceptions surrounding Midway. In fact, the 1020 attack did not happen in this way, in that it did not catch the Japanese in any way ready to launch their own attack. Other myths of the battle include:

<UL TYPE=SQUARE>
<LI>The Americans triumphed against overwhelming odds at the Battle of Midway.

<LI>The Aleutians Operation was conceived by Admiral Yamamoto, the commander in chief of Combined Fleet, as a diversion designed to lure the American fleet out of Pearl Harbor.

<LI>During the transit to Midway, Admiral Yamamoto withheld important intelligence information from Admiral Nagumo, the operational commander of the carrier striking force. As a result, Nagumo was in the dark concerning the nature of the threat facing him.

<LI>Had the Japanese implemented a two-phase reconnaissance search on the morning of 4 June, they would have succeeded in locating the American fleet in time to win the battle.

<LI>The late launch of cruiser Tone's No.4 scout plane doomed Admiral Nagumo to defeat in the battle.

<LI>Had Admiral Nagumo not decided to rearm his aircraft with land-attack weapons, he would have been in a position to attack the Americans as soon as they were discovered.

<LI>The sacrifice of USS Hornet's Torpedo Squadron Eight was not in vain, since it pulled the Japanese combat air patrol fighters down to sea level, thereby allowing the American dive-bombers to attack at 1020.

<LI>Japan's elite carrier aviators were all but wiped out during the battle.
[/list]

All of these are fallacious. All are either untrue, or at least require careful clarification. Some of these ideas have been implanted in the Western accounts as a result of misunderstandings of the records of the battle. Some have resulted from a faulty understanding of the basic mechanics of how the battle was fought. Some are misrepresentations of the truth that were deliberately introduced by participants in the battle. And each has caused the distortions in Western perceptions of the reasons for victory. Correcting these distortions is the overriding goal of this book.


To say that, the research put into this book is comprehensive and exhaustive, would be an understatement. According to the "Forward" section, much of what was written about the Battle of Midway even from Japanese records, had been overturned or completely revised in Japan itself. This owing to interviews with newly located survivors, task force pilot's records/journals and a better interpretation/understanding of how the earlier records are translated (to name but a few).

I also read that the Imperial Japanese forces did, in fact, have designs on invading/capturing the Hawaiian Islands and the Aleutians.

For those interested, I'll try to keep a periodic update on my slow advance through this (seemingly compelling) book. For some reason, my "reading comprehension" is not what it used to be .

tambor198
06-15-2011, 11:31 AM
Now you've gone and done it, Werhner. You've made this book sound so interesting I've got to go out and find a copy of it also. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

I've been looking for something new to read, this looks a really good one. I'll always like looking at books that write about the battles of the Pacific from the Japanese perspective.

Foehammer-1
06-15-2011, 11:53 AM
Agreed! Will look for it too.

I know that a lot of the Eastern Front events were very exaggerated and twisted by both sides, depending on who was victorious.

I was only guessing that similar things happened in the Pacific

pnwdom
06-15-2011, 12:06 PM
Shattered Sword: The Untold History of the Battle of Midway
http://www.amazon.com/Shattere...Midway/dp/1574889249 (http://www.amazon.com/Shattered-Sword-Untold-Battle-Midway/dp/1574889249)

WernherVonTrapp
06-15-2011, 02:19 PM
Although it is no easy task, as anyone who has tried will know, I've endeavored to make scanned copies of all the illustrations in this book. The first of which is posted below. The fact that it is so early in the book made negotiating the book-fold an easy task. No doubt, this will become increasingly difficult.

Hashirajima Anchorage:
http://i1045.photobucket.com/albums/b456/archangel501/0500bfa4.jpg

@Tambor:
I don't think you'll be the least bit disappointed in the book, my friend. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

@Foehammer-1:
Funny you should mention about those who are victorious. In the "Forward" section, there is a quote of irony that says, "History is written by the victors."

@pnwdom:
Bingo! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/metal.gif

donna577
06-15-2011, 11:43 PM
I'll have to pick that up......when I can.
Right now I am reading two books...
One called "Hitlers panzers" by Dennis Showalter
The other is "Carriers at war" by Chester Hearn.

Can you believe I actually dated boys boy asks "who won the war?"

Gathrun
06-16-2011, 07:34 AM
That exerpt is pretty interesting. Generally, that's pretty much the way the battle has always been presented and what Hollywood has basically picked up. I'd heard most of what they identify as myths to some degree or another before. I'm probably interested enough to see the detail of the counterpoints to see if I can find the book. Seems my library has a couple copies.

WernherVonTrapp
06-16-2011, 10:24 AM
I'm just into the first chapter, of Part 1. The book is set up in 3 Parts, all containing chapters relevent to these sections.
For example, I'm reading
Part 1, "Preliminaries" and I'm on
Chapter 1 "Departure".
The book is laying early foundations, and that of a detailed nature. I'm on a section involving carrier design, capability and command. This is merely one small excerpt to serve as an example:
Kaga, too, had initially been designed with triple flight decks, but she lacked Akagi's speed--her twenty-five knots was barely sufficient to hold station with her faster division mate. By 1934 it was clear that she was the least serviceable of the pair, and she went into the yards for a refit. In the process, Yokosuka's yard workers ripped the guts out of her propulsion plant and completely re-engined her. She emerged in 1935 with better hangar facilities but still far from speedy, although new engines and a slight lengthening of her hull had raised its speed another three knots. Her flight deck, though, was generously sized, towering above the water much like Akagi, and making for a wide, dry platform for takeoffs and landings. All in all, Kaga had an appealing, homey dumpiness about her. She was, by all accounts, a happy ship to serve on board.
Kaga's commander, Captain Okada Jisaku, was forty-eight years old, the same age as the skippers of both Soryu and Hiryu. A severe, comely man, he had been associated with aviation for much of his career. Starting as a squadron commander, he later rose to command seaplane carrier Notoro and later the light carrier Ryujo. Following a posting as a commander in the Navy Technical Department (kansei honbu), he came on board Kaga in September 1941.
Okada had just inherited a new "hikocho", Commander Amagai Takahisa, who had been carrier Hiryu's "hikocho" since the outbreak of hostilities. Amagai was apparently something of a bumpkin. One fighter pilot who knew him described him as both artless and rather sloppy in appearance. For all that, though, his simplicity of character made him approachable, and he was always happy to talk with anyone and everyone.

Though I find this information to be detailed and indispensable, I don't know how easy it will be to recall this later on, given the book size and depth of information that seems to be forthcoming. I am, however, quite pleased with the direction this book has already taken me.
BTW, a "hikocho" is the Flight Operations Commander.
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif


Originally posted by donna577:
Can you believe I actually dated boys boy asks "who won the war?" Maybe it's time to draw up a prerequisite "WWII Pacific" exam with no less than 200 questions. That'll weed out all the non-hackers.http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-char029.gif http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

tambor198
06-16-2011, 07:12 PM
Dang, I don't know why I should run out and find this book, all we have to do is wait for Werhner to copy it here for us. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif


Just kidding, my friend. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif


I found that one of the local libraries had a copy of Shattered Sword on hand and after work last night I went to the library and tried to check it out, only to find that my library card had expired. Things are just never easy for me. So anyway, after getting my card renewed, I finally have Shattered Sword in hand. I'm looking forward to starting it tonight. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

tambor198
06-17-2011, 06:08 PM
It is necessary now to turn to an examination of Yamamoto's operational plan as it emerged in it's final form, a task for which the reader would be well advised to pour a rather tall glass of spirits beforehand.


Boy, Jonathan Parshall ain't kiddin. Yamamoto's operational plan is one convoluted piece of planning. No wonder the Japanese didn't get it right at Midway.

Oh, BTW. I had scotch. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

WernherVonTrapp
06-17-2011, 06:38 PM
What bothers me, is that I started reading the book first but, you'll probably finish it long before I will. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif
I read at a very slow, leisurely pace. This due to choice, and necessity. The more one reads it though, the more ground-breaking it appears. Wouldn't you say Tambor? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

tambor198
06-17-2011, 07:38 PM
Originally posted by WernherVonTrapp:
What bothers me, is that I started reading the book first but, you'll probably finish it long before I will. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif
I read at a very slow, leisurely pace. This due to choice, and necessity. The more one reads it though, the more ground-breaking it appears. Wouldn't you say Tambor? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif


Absolutely, Werhner. I think that the Aleutians written up in western history describes it as a diversion, but to the Japanese it was a completely separate plan called Operation AL. Almost every ship in the Imperial Navy was involved in these two operations and some of the forces were in positions were they could be of no help at all when needed. Whew!!! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

WernherVonTrapp
06-18-2011, 06:27 AM
Originally posted by tambor198:
Absolutely, Werhner. I think that the Aleutians written up in western history describes it as a diversion, but to the Japanese it was a completely separate plan called Operation AL. Almost every ship in the Imperial Navy was involved in these two operations and some of the forces were in positions were they could be of no help at all when needed. Whew!!! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif
I'm only a few pages into Chapter-2 "Genesis of a Battle" but it would seem that already, some of the western views of this history are being challenged. I love the illustrations in this book, many of which have never been seen/published before. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

nohunt1
06-18-2011, 04:17 PM
I'll be sure to pick up a copy of this book. Sounds like a good read....
I'm currently reading "Masters of the Air", a history of the 8th. Air Force in the European theater. What is most striking is the level of losses, both in hardware and men, that the command was disposed to accept as the cost for beating the Germans into submission.
I strongly recommend it for anyone with interest in the war on the other side of the world.

WernherVonTrapp
06-18-2011, 05:12 PM
I'm shocked to discover that Yamamoto was the driving force behind the push to attack the U.S. at Pearl Harbor. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif
Western historical accounts portray him as an acquiescing figure conceding to the powers that be, while he quietly pondered the foolishness of Japan's expansionist endeavors. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif
The majority of the Japanese military leaders were against attacking or dragging the U.S. into war.

Admiral Nagano Osami was quite right in his argument against Yamamoto in pointing out that the American people would not get involved in an all out war because British & Dutch interests were being attacked in the SW Pacific. He noted that Britain was already at war with Germany w/o America being drawn directly into conflict. Nevertheless, Yamamoto convinced the General Staff (agaisnt the threat of his own resignation) to agree with his plan to attack the U.S..

The beginning chapters of this book suggest that the Japanese Army was the rational branch of service while the IJN was preoccupied with dreams of fantasy. Only two chapters into the book and already, everything I thought I knew is being challenged.
Wowhttp://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif, did we ever get it wrong.


Originally posted by nohunt1:
I'll be sure to pick up a copy of this book. Sounds like a good read....
I'm currently reading "Masters of the Air", a history of the 8th. Air Force in the European theater. What is most striking is the level of losses, both in hardware and men, that the command was disposed to accept as the cost for beating the Germans into submission.
I strongly recommend it for anyone with interest in the war on the other side of the world. I did read a couple of books on the Allied Strategic Bombing Initiative. It was well over 30 years ago so I can't recall the titles offhand. I do remember reading The Battle of Britain (I think the one by John W.R. Taylor and Kenneth Munson) though.
Allied bomber losses were appalling and their crews were viewed, from some perspectives, as expendable. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

nohunt1
06-18-2011, 10:33 PM
Quite apart from the huge losses of life & planes, what was amazing as well was the amazing output machines on both sides - to the tune of hundreds of planes DAILY. So, in a sense, they were expendable.
What was also obvious to all involved, on both sides, that this war of attrition was going to be won by the one with the greatest resources. This was known throughout the German general staff, and yet they didn't dare approach Hitler with their opinion. So they fought till they weren't able to carry on.

tambor198
06-19-2011, 11:16 AM
Interesting fact I just came across about Kido Butai between the time of Pearl Harbor and Midway. At the time of Pearl Harbor counting the 6 carriers that participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor the total number of planes that was available was 412 planes.

Now heading towards Midway minus two carriers, Kido Butai had only four carriers and a total of 248 planes. The wear and tear of six months of constant combat operations had already taken a toll on the Kido Butai that they had been unable to replace, which would be a problem through the war for the Japanese Imperial Navy.

WernherVonTrapp
06-19-2011, 11:49 AM
Originally posted by tambor198:
Interesting fact I just came across about Kido Butai between the time of Pearl Harbor and Midway. At the time of Pearl Harbor counting the 6 carriers that participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor the total number of planes that was available was 412 planes.

Now heading towards Midway minus two carriers, Kido Butai had only four carriers and a total of 248 planes. The wear and tear of six months of constant combat operations had already taken a toll on the Kido Butai that they had been unable to replace, which would be a problem through the war for the Japanese Imperial Navy. Yes indeed. Up until the United States involvement/mobilization, the Japanese had enjoyed an unimpeded string of victories, albeit against unprepared, under trained, unmotivated and inexperienced adversaries, who sometimes were (for all intents and purposes) in absentia.
After the battle of the Coral Sea (May 7-8, 1942), Shokaku (badly damaged) and Zuikaku (loss of planes/pilots), left the Midway TF in a less than advantageous position.
I can't believe Yamamoto's obsession with/aspirations on Hawaii. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

WernherVonTrapp
06-22-2011, 05:21 AM
Originally posted by tambor198:
Boy, Jonathan Parshall ain't kiddin. Yamamoto's operational plan is one convoluted piece of planning. No wonder the Japanese didn't get it right at Midway.

Oh, BTW. I had scotch. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif Wow, now I have a better understanding of what you're talking about here (yeah, it took me that long to reach his battle plan http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blush.gif). Which leads me to the next, inevitable question: Am I the only one who is completely confused here as to which group is supposed to do what? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif
There's more shuffling going on here than a warehouse full of con-men at a 3 Card Monte convention on April Fools Day in Vegas! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

I sure hope I don't need to recall these various battle/support groups later on in the book. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif
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tambor198
06-22-2011, 10:50 AM
I sure hope I don't need to recall these various battle/support groups later on in the book


There will be a test latter, so be prepared. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

MWolfe1963
06-22-2011, 01:29 PM
Can't wait to get my hands on this book, but seems I've heard many of these accounts before argued by different historians, so hopefully some new info or is it the same debate.

No doubt parts were wrong. One of the last books I read on Midway explained some of the myths.

Wern, what do you mean by Yamamoto being the driving force to attack Pearl, hasn't that always been the fact? He was at first against attacking the US, but when it was decided to go to war, it was his push and plans against Pearl.
Seems I read he also had another detailed plan to take Hawaii after they took Midway.

I see one big mistake in Midway, leaving the BB TF with the Yamato behind, should've led the way
with the CV TF close behind.

I've never heard the facts or myths tested that you listed such as us catching the planes on deck; JP CAP being driven down, etc..., always thought those were true, so can't wait.

Don't know if I want more details or wait for the read, so just fudge what you can... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

tambor198
06-22-2011, 01:34 PM
I've never heard the facts or myths tested that you listed such as us catching the planes on deck; JP CAP being driven down, etc..., always thought those were true, so can't wait.


That particular myth has been totally blown away by this book. All aircraft were in the hanger bays except for those aircraft involved in CAP over Kido Butai.

The other piece of information I found very interesting is about the attacks that was made by the USS Nautilus on the Kaga. The Nautilus actually tried more than once earlier in the day to fire torpedoes at one or more ships of Kido Butai with little or no results before firing at the Kaga. This was something I had not known before. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

WernherVonTrapp
06-22-2011, 01:45 PM
Originally posted by MWolfe1963:
Don't know if I want more details or wait for the read, so just fudge what you can... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif Good point. I'll try not to post any spoilers. With that in mind, I won't post an answer to the "Y" question. Like Tambor says, this book is blowing me away. It's the "Myth Busters" of Midway edition. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

tambor198
06-23-2011, 04:02 PM
I have reached the third section of Shattered Sword where Parshall gives his explanations as to why the Japanese lost the Battle of Midway. One statement has really blown my mind. I'll try and find the exact quote after I get home tonight from work, but Parshall says that it wouldn't have mattered if someone other than Yamamoto had devised the master plan for Midway the Japanese would still have lost the battle. The reasoning behind this statement includes many factors which I won't go into here as I don't want to spoil the rest of the book for the rest of you.

Totally awesome book, thanks for bringing it to our attention, Werhner. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

WernherVonTrapp
06-24-2011, 05:18 AM
I'm only up to Chapter 4 ("Ill Omens") of Part-1. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blush.gif
Still, I'm amazed at the "no holds barred" criticisms toward Yamamoto in this book. Talk about the gloves coming off, here's an excerpt from Chapter 3 (Plans) of Part-1:
A commander's job is to orchestrate and direct three major dimensions of combat--space, time, and force. From the preceding remarks, it can be seen that Yamamoto's plan failed to address the concept of space in a flexible manner. In his attempt to be "divinely mysterious," he had rendered much of his fleet purposeless through dispersion. Many of his forces were positioned in such a way that they could accomplish nothing more meaningful than parading about in the Pacific in lieu of fighting.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif "Divinely mysterious," ouch! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif

WernherVonTrapp
06-27-2011, 05:26 AM
@Tambor:
BTW, and not to overload your schedule with more books but, a lot of what I'm reading in this book is commensurate with, or reinforced by, information that I've read in another WWII Pacific contemporary piece of literature called, "The Eagle and the Rising Sun". Not so much about the Midway Battle as with other aspects of the Japanese lifestyle/psyche, mores, and perspectives toward the U.S.. I must say too, that the book is quite critical of MacArthur from a seemingly objective and impartial viewpoint.
Dare I say that, since you're enjoying this book so much, you most likely will enjoy Eagle and the Rising Sun? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blush.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif
Like I said, I'm not trying to overload your schedule. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

tambor198
06-27-2011, 04:48 PM
Thanks for the tip, Werhner. I have read the "The Eagle And The Sun", but it was many years ago. Might just go get it again for a reread. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

WernherVonTrapp
07-05-2011, 09:19 PM
Dare I say that I'm only up to Chapter 7: "Morning Attack 0430-0600"?http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-ashamed005.gif Anyway, I'm continually astonished by the information coming out of this book. Despite my snail-like approach to it's contents, I couldn't help but jump ahead to Appendix 8: "Japanese Radar at Midway".

It would seem that the author (too) was suspicious of, or had little faith in those post-war interrogations of Japanese Navy officers. He proves one example to be completely erroneous while (at least) speculating whether the information was intentionally misleading or a product of bad memory. Either way, having the keen interest that I do on solid information regarding IJN radar capabilities (especially since it's so hard to find), I was compelled to peek ahead. Ground-breaking stuff in this book, including aircraft tactics.
Considering how high the planes in SHIV fly on a recon return, the book indicates that submarines are difficult to detect (visually) at altitudes higher than 1000 to 1500 feet. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

MWolfe1963
07-06-2011, 09:41 AM
OK Wern, my copy came yesterday, so I'll start reading it today. If it's good, I should be done this evening.

Can't wait...

WernherVonTrapp
07-06-2011, 02:29 PM
Originally posted by MWolfe1963:
OK Wern, my copy came yesterday, so I'll start reading it today. If it's good, I should be done this evening.

Can't wait... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif I think if the entire forum membership were to purchase a copy and read it, they'd all finish before I do. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

MWolfe1963
07-06-2011, 02:45 PM
I've read quite a lot, amazing subject material.
Maybe one of the most enlightening books I've ever read.

Gathrun
07-06-2011, 03:41 PM
Does the book get into why the other version is so widely regarded as fact, and what in fact makes this version the more realistic and true?

Call me skeptical, but one alternate version of fact claiming the truth is just a bit um..... not sure.... suspicious? I guess I mean, why 65 years later, is this just coming out now? Are these facts? Opinions? Interpretations?

No, I haven't gotten to the library yet. Maybe I just need to get it and find out myself, lol. I have the day off Friday. Might be a good thing to run out and do.

tambor198
07-06-2011, 09:15 PM
Originally posted by Gathrun:
Does the book get into why the other version is so widely regarded as fact, and what in fact makes this version the more realistic and true?

Call me skeptical, but one alternate version of fact claiming the truth is just a bit um..... not sure.... suspicious? I guess I mean, why 65 years later, is this just coming out now? Are these facts? Opinions? Interpretations?

No, I haven't gotten to the library yet. Maybe I just need to get it and find out myself, lol. I have the day off Friday. Might be a good thing to run out and do.


Good idea, Gathrun. Decide for yourself after you read the book and see if it changes some of the historical views set forth over the years and see what you think. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

WernherVonTrapp
07-07-2011, 07:39 AM
Originally posted by Gathrun:
Does the book get into why the other version is so widely regarded as fact, and what in fact makes this version the more realistic and true?

It not only explains why, but goes into rather great detail about it too. This is an exhaustively researched and painstakingly referenced book. The author certainly did not take the subject lightly.

Any printed media will make efforts to plug it's product so, references to critiques are nothing new but, in this case (this book), it's the source of those critiques that lend credence to the praises given. These sources, listed on the front and rear covers of the particular book I happen to have, include praises from the likes of:

-Air Power History

-Walter J. Boyne (Former director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum and Author of Beyond the Wild Blue: A History of the United States Air Force 1947-1997)

-Naval History

-Naval Institute Proceedings

-Peter B. Mersky in Naval Aviation News

Douglas V. Smith, professor of strategy and policy, U.S. Naval War College, in Air & Space

-Nautical Research Journal

-WWII History

-Journal for Maritime Research

Still, like Tambor says, pick up a copy and read it for yourself. As a WWII History buff myself, I'll be amazed if you're not blown away by it's contents and it's astonishing list of thoroughly researched references. Rarely have I read a book with so many references cited. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

MWolfe1963
07-07-2011, 11:48 AM
I was a skeptic when Wern dealt out some details, but not anymore. It's not that historians got it all wrong, they just placed too much on too little and seems in some cases they hid the truth.

I'm not a skeptic anymore, amazing research and read, they need to make a doc. on it.

tambor198
07-07-2011, 07:07 PM
Originally posted by MWolfe1963:
I was a skeptic when Wern dealt out some details, but not anymore. It's not that historians got it all wrong, they just placed too much on too little and seems in some cases they hid the truth.

I'm not a skeptic anymore, amazing research and read, they need to make a doc. on it.


Yes, the book was very well researched and written. What I find most fascinating is at the end of the book where Parshall states that even if the Japanese had won at Midway it would only have delayed the inevitable with the US overpowering the Japanese with evergrowing naval strength and industrial potential. The Japanese simply didn't have the potential to keep up with the US industrial might and they still would have lost the war.

WernherVonTrapp
07-07-2011, 07:14 PM
Originally posted by tambor198:
Yes, the book was very well researched and written. What I find most fascinating is at the end of the book where Parshall states that even if the Japanese had won at Midway it would only have delayed the inevitable with the US overpowering the Japanese with evergrowing naval strength and industrial potential. The Japanese simply didn't have the potential to keep up with the US industrial might and they still would have lost the war. Yes, doesn't the book say that Yamamoto knew, just prior to Midway, that the U.S. had 12 aircraft carriers currently under construction?
See, already I've forgotten if I read that in this book or heard it somewhere else. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/bigtears.gif

MWolfe1963
07-07-2011, 10:29 PM
Originally posted by tambor198:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by MWolfe1963:
I was a skeptic when Wern dealt out some details, but not anymore. It's not that historians got it all wrong, they just placed too much on too little and seems in some cases they hid the truth.

I'm not a skeptic anymore, amazing research and read, they need to make a doc. on it.


Yes, the book was very well researched and written. What I find most fascinating is at the end of the book where Parshall states that even if the Japanese had won at Midway it would only have delayed the inevitable with the US overpowering the Japanese with evergrowing naval strength and industrial potential. The Japanese simply didn't have the potential to keep up with the US industrial might and they still would have lost the war. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

NO doubt time would've caught up, but think if they won Midway in a large way, no doubt they would've moved on Hawaii rather quickly. Course invading Hawaii would've been a consuming task, but they could've really done some damage by air and navel guns.

WernherVonTrapp
07-15-2011, 01:46 AM
Very intriguing indeed. It all seems to boil down to a number of tactical practices and credos, not the least of which was an IJN carrier practice known as "Deckload Spotting". Amazing how detailed and referenced the book is, not to mentions all the descriptive diagrams and illustrations. It was amazing to learn that the Japanese Zero carried only 60 rounds each for the two of it's 20mm cannons. Just a few short bursts and they were out of ammo. They had 7.7mm too but it was the 20mm that really did the damage.

WernherVonTrapp
08-07-2011, 05:03 PM
I know that everybody and their brothers are already long finished reading this book. I'm about of the way through this book and completely astonished. Granted, this is the first account I've read about Midway in well over 20 years. I've read other books either about Midway itself or books that contained abridged accounts that referenced the battle.

Still, by all accounts I've read, the submarine Nautilus was always accredited with finishing the carrier Kaga off with a spread of torpedoes. Now, to learn that 4 torps were fired but all missed due to malfunctions, what an eyebrow raiser.http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

On top of that, Jonathan Parshall offers compelling, if not conclusive, evidence that none of the carriers sank as a result of the American attack, but instead were all scuttled by the IJN. Sheeesh, what'll he refute next?
This has been an astounding read. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

MWolfe1963
08-07-2011, 06:05 PM
I can't recall, I thought some were outright sunk and others scuttled after severe damage and no way to save them...that's as good as sunk.

I read that and wondered, he seems correct, but they were goners regardless. To stay with them would've put other ships in danger, so scuttle and move out was the only choice.

WernherVonTrapp
08-07-2011, 10:11 PM
Nope, ALL of them were scuttled. Not one of them had their hull integrity compromised by the internal bomb blasts. Don't forget, Akagi was hit by only one bomb, not two as history once tried to convince us. The second bomb (once alleged to have struck the flight deck) was in fact a near miss near the carrier's fantail, jamming her rudder and sending her into a constant circular pattern.

Yeah, they were all burning hulks that were doomed, (possibly) due more to a lack of adequate damage control than anything else. I do believe under all of the defined circumstances of this battle, all of them were goners anyway. Still, it's interesting to see what was once believed because of a combination of errors, misinterpretations of fact and/or downright exaggerations.

ki6mf
08-15-2011, 12:49 PM
I thought the book interesting and that it offered new factual evidence, both from surviving eye witnesses from Japan and from records from the Japanese air groups, that has not been presented before. The unfolding of the line of battle on the day the time 3 carriers were hit at 10:20 AM is particularly interesting. Once you read it you do realize that the story that came down from the American side is not entirely accurate! Well worth reading and I found a copy at my local Library. It corresponded to several notes my dad wrote in the margins of the book The Big E (he was a radio operator on the Enterprise at Midway). Well worth reading.

tambor198
08-15-2011, 03:54 PM
Just some food for thought on the ironies of war and the effect of US Submarines on the outcome of the Battle of Midway.

Consider this. In the USS Nautilus's first attack on Kido Butai (she attacked the Kirishima, if memory serves) they change course to the north and the Japanese DDs stay behind to keep her down while the carriers move north out of range. The last DD to leave is the DD Arashi which heads north at high speed. Cdr Wade McClusky (not sure what squadron he was from or what American carrier) spots the the wake of the Arashi heading back to join the carriers and follows and arrives over the carriers at a critical time when the the Japanese CAP was down on the deck shooting down the American torpedo bombers. I'm sure we all know what happened when the US dive bombers arrived over the Japanese carriers. If the Nautilus had not been at the right place and time to make that first attack who knows what the outcome of the Battle of Midway might have been (just pure speculation on my part, guys). Talk about the fortunes of war. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

MWolfe1963
08-15-2011, 11:30 PM
Consider they would've probably missed it and fuel was an issue, that one thing may have changed the entire battle.

I still think it was a bad idea to keep the larger BB group behind, I would've had in front

WernherVonTrapp
08-17-2011, 01:30 PM
Well gents, I'm finally on the final chapter "Assessing The Battle's Importance" before delving into the various appendices. I must admit, this has been one of the best books I have ever read on the PTO. Almost every page elicited an eyebrow raise, or two.
Jonathan Parshall couldn't have summed it up better when he said,

"Overall, it seems clear that much of the wild speculation regarding the possible negative effects of an American loss at Midway is unwarranted."

Not to mention (Cheif of Naval Operations) Adm. Harold R. Stark's prophetic statement to (Japanese special ambassador to the United States) Adm. Nomura Kichisaburo immediately prior to the outbreak of war:

"If you attack us we will break your empire before we are through with you. While you may have initial success...the time will come when you too will have your losses, but there will be this great difference. You will not only be unable to make up your losses, but will grow weaker as time goes on: while on the other hand we will not only make up our losses but will grow stronger as time goes on. It is inevitable that we shall crush you before we are through with you."

An outstanding and remarkable book that has utterly shattered the myths, and reestablished the facts about the battle of Midway.
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GratedLeeman
08-24-2011, 08:57 AM
I am sorely tempted to buy this book after reading this thread, and at only ~15 on Amazon, how can I resist?

WernherVonTrapp
08-25-2011, 09:30 AM
Originally posted by GratedLeeman:
I am sorely tempted to buy this book after reading this thread, and at only ~15 on Amazon, how can I resist? You won't be disappointed. It has been the most groundbreaking, myth shattering, comprehensively researched and referenced book I have ever read. The sheer number of accompanying illustrations are not only unusual but are also used very effectively in clarifying some rather complicated verbal descriptions. It's no wonder this book has been hailed as " *the standard work on the Battle of Midway for years to come."
*-Air Power History
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