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Synopsis

The best way for today’s sailors to learn about a battle is from those who fought it. The Battle of Midway, commemorated annually in the U.S. Navy, warrants close attention. This Naval Institute guide includes some of the most vibrant and informed accounts by individuals who fought on both sides of the June 1942 battle. The anthology pulls together memoirs, articles, excerpts from other Naval Institute books, and relevant government documents to help readers understand what happened and explain why the battle was so significant to the naval service. The core of the book focuses on events leading up to the battle and the battle itself, with a separate section examining how others have interpreted the battle’s often desperate engagements.

When the U.S. Navy stopped the Japanese steamroller off Midway Island, it not only turned the progress of the war but set the Navy’s foundation for future counter offensives. The Navy’s comeback spread led to the Solomon Islands and on to the other key strategic areas in the Pacific. While many know that Midway was a crucial American victory, they often do not know the details of the battle. This book tells how, for example, the American PT boats contributed to the victory, how the carrier planes formed up for their attacks, and what role radar played in the battle. In addition to excerpts from books and articles, the guide includes selections from several important Naval Institute oral histories. From the enlisted man’s perspective all the way to the admiral’s, for both Americans and Japanese, readers see the U.S. Navy’s greatest victory as the participants saw it.

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