REVIEW ä Miracle at Midway

SUMMARY Miracle at Midway

REVIEW ä Miracle at Midway ½ Here is the definitive history of the battle of Midway an American victory that marked the turning point of the war in the Pacific during World War II Told with the same stylistic flair and attention to detail as the bestselling At Dawn We Slept Miracle at Midway brings together eyewitness accounts from the men who commanded Rring even suspenseful narrative The clearest and most complete account so far Newsday Something special among war histories No other gives both sides of the battle in as detailed and telling a manner Chicago Sun Times A gripping and convincing account The Philadelphia Inuire. This book was very informative and well written I love it that it told how the battle of Midway went from both the American and Japanese prospective as I believe to get the best understanding of history it's important to know how all sides of a battle felt and what they went throughUntil I read this I'd never read a book about the Battle of Midway I learned a lot from this book I would totally recommend it to history lovers of this era


Her eyewitness accounts from the men who commanded and fought on both sides The sweeping narrative takes readers into the thick of the action and shows exactly how American strategies and decisions led to the triumphant victory that paved the way for the defeat of Japan A sti. This book was read during flights to and from locations that I work in the United States The good thing about flights sometimes is that books can be read in large heaps during these direct flights This book had parts that were a struggle slow and prior to the battle the detail could have left out certain things and as a result was likely 75 100 pages than it had to be; the tone of the book sometimes skipped with flash backs and forwards in the early pages The ending sounded read looked and provided a glimpse of the 1960’s with the visit of George Prange to the homes of Admiral Nimitz Spruance and Fletcher – corny and I felt I was out of place It is however an important work one now that is surpassed by technological advances – some of which make the maps and photo’s points that do not stand the test of time since its publication in 1981 following the death of the lead Author Mr Gordon Prange likely had the ability to visit all three Admirals due to his own civilian assignment to Tokyo on General MacArthur’ staff as a civilian working G2 Historical Documentation of the Post Second World War era – oddly enough he also studied at the University of Berlin in 193536 and had witnessed firsthand live speeches by Corporal Hitler His colleagues Dr Goldstein and Ms Dillon published the unfinished work of Mr Prange following his death in 1980I give this work 3 stars for the effort and complexities of Naval Warfare that is by all accounts difficult to write historically than related ground war The section of the book that was most interesting to me was when the battle began and the accounting that Dr Goldstein and Ms Dillon take in pursuit of the work left behind by Mr Prange In true Naval form the word “the” never precedes the name of any ship whether American or Japanese It was only over time and the loss of the Imperial Forces of the Dai Nippon that it was realized by American and Japanese Forces that the Second World War in the Pacific had two major battles that would lead to the demise of the “Asian Co Prosperity Sphere” of influence and ultimate end of the war in the Pacific The one is the Battle of Midway 4 7 June 1942; and the Guadalcanal Campaign 7 August 1942 – 9 February 1943 With Midway cleared of Combatant Belligerents this would lead to a clear supply route for Guadalcanal later – though not without its troublesThe one part I truly did not care for in this book was the transition from pre battle history to battle The authors didn’t seem to place as much care into this one simple section as they did in all the other historical accounts of the pre and post battle accounting The battle itself was by far the best section of this book in my humble opinion; the transition into the battle needed a bit of literary work Otherwise a good book and one that has likely been read by many in the past

Gordon W. Prange Ê 1 REVIEW

Miracle at MidwayHere is the definitive history of the battle of Midway an American victory that marked the turning point of the war in the Pacific during World War II Told with the same stylistic flair and attention to detail as the bestselling At Dawn We Slept Miracle at Midway brings toget. I remember being at church one Sunday when I was maybe ten years old The service ended and my family joined the other parishioners in the banuet hall for donuts While others contentedly chewed their jelly glazes I kept fidgeting and asking when we could leave I almost made a scene; in fact I might have made a scene The reason I wanted to get home to watch the movie Midway on TBS This was in the days when TBS showed an odd mishmash of Atlanta Braves games and John Wayne movies; this was also in the days before DVR And while we had a VCR there was never a day when we could figure out how to set the timer to record If you've never seen Midway there's no reason to now It's a curiosity piece The cast is like a who's who of 70s Hollywood Henry Fonda Charlton Heston Robert Mitchum James Coburn Glenn Ford Hal Holbrook Cliff Robertson Robert Wagner Dabney Coleman Tom Selleck and Erick Estrada And yes since you asked that is a pre Karate Kid Pat Morita as Admiral Ryunosuke Kusaka I don't know for certain but apparently this all star cast ate up much of the budget because the battle scenes are a choppily edited pastiche of crappy model work documentary film footage from John Ford newsreel footage of other naval battles and clips from other better movies such as Tora Tora Tora and Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo Back then though I loved it That's what it means to be a kid to love things that have no artistic merit That's why I have no respect for children Their aesthetic development is patheticIt's taken all these long years for me to get around to actually reading a book dedicated to the Battle of Midway Fought on June 4 1942 six months after Pearl Harbor Midway is now considered to be the turning point in the Pacific War The Japanese navy after years of running untrammeled got pummeled by the Americans and lost four aircraft carriers Things didn't get any easier of course since Guadalcanal Saipan Pelelieu Iwo Jima and Okinawa still lay ahead but the Japanese never seriously threatened American interests again Miracle at Midway is the seuel to Gordon Prange's classic telling of Pearl Harbor At Dawn We Slept I say seuel because Prange was dead long before this book came out and for that matter before At Dawn We Slept was published I'm okay with the latter work because it seems to have been formed from a nearly finished manuscript and was probably close in form and substance to what Prange himself would have produced had he lived That is not the case with Miracle at Midway Everything about it seems truncated unfinished half assed and semi complete Whereas At Dawn We Slept spent a great deal of time fleshing out all the participants Miracle at Midway doesn't even try We get one sentence introductions for most of the personages There is a dramatis personae in the front which was sorely missing in At Dawn We Slept but that only tells you the rank of each person not why they're important As a result unfamiliar Japanese names tend to meld You also have to stay sharp lest you confuse your Yamamoto with your Yamaguchi or your Nagano with your Nagumo At Dawn We Slept spent hundreds of pages detailing the gestational process of the Pearl Harbor attack plans Miracle at Midway dispenses with these formalities in just a handful of pages Partially this is a historical reality Having achieved unprecedented success the Japanese weren't really sure what to do next They kind of pulled Midway out of theirWell they didn't think it through However Prange kind of glosses over the rift between Yamamoto's Combined Fleet and the Naval General Staff Conseuently Yamamoto comes off far better than he deserves when in reality he was the driving force behind attacking the Americans at Pearl Harbor and then used that cachet to force the Midway operation instead of following Admiral Kusaka's advice to create a defense cordon The treatment of the American side is just as rushed Only a couple pages are utilized to discuss America's code breaking abilities in general and Col Joseph Rochefort's AF hunch in particular In short America cracked about one word in five; Rochefort noticed that the Japanese kept making mention of an objective AF Believing AF to be Midway Rochefort directed Midway to send a message in the clear that its fresh water condenser was broken The Americans then caught and broke a Japanese message that said AF was running low on fresh water Very clever This is a relatively slim volume and before you know it the battle is at hand Now Midway is uite complex For instance it's opening stages were decided by scout planes and what they did and did not see That means you read a lot about certain planes flying certain vectors and whatnot Now unless you have committed the latitudes and longitudes of the north Pacific to memory this is a little hard to visualize That's where maps come in Maps that lay out search parameters Maps that show the relative positions of the fleets Maps that show the flights of each of carrier groups Unfortunately maps are few and far between and the ones that exist are not very clear or helpful Once the battle itself gets started you learn one thing very uickly Prange and his collaborators is not Walter Lord His use of anecdotes and oral history doesn't rise to a dramatic pitch because we've never been introduced to these people They're just names in a book This is not to say that there is a dearth of drama just that it never reaches out of the page grabs you by the collar and commands you to keep reading On the plus side Prange's treatment of the Japanese is especially fascinating often morbidly so; it was uite interesting to read stories of Japanese junior officers trying to prevent their commanding officers from committing suicide when the outcome of battle was made clear One of my chief criticisms in the confused presentation of the battle As noted above this was a complex fight spread across thousands of suare miles A certain amount of confusion is to be expected and perhaps adds to the verisimilitude I mean you got American land based bombers attacking the Japanese fleet; Japanese bombers attacking Midway; American land based fighters defending Midway; American carrier bombers and torpedo planes attacking the Japanese carriers; and Japanese carrier based bombers and torpedo planes attacking American carriers There's a ton of overlap with simultaneous action in three or locations If you overlaid all the flight plans on a map I suspect you would have a latticework that blots out the ocean Prange though doesn't do a great job of clarifying things He avoids the simplest solution which would be datelined chapter headings a chronology is produced in the appendix Things are made murkier because Prange is constantly relating fallacious Japanese and American reports about the damage they caused However he never takes the time to clarify what actually happened Thus you are left to find out on your own that the various high level horizontal bombers B 26s and B 17s did exactly no damage whatsoever to any ships even though the respective airmen claimed to have sunk everything but Hirohito's private yacht Miracle at Midway's worth comes from its scholarship Prange certainly did his homework reviewed the proper files and interviewed all the important living participants He gives a very objective account of the battle and avoids the simple mythologizing that mark so many accounts of this battle For example Prange doesn't fall victim to the legend of USS Hornet's famed Torpedo Suadron 8 The Torpedo 8 of legend dove on the Japanese carriers without fighter cover and were completely wiped out; however their sacrifice was not in vain because it pulled the Japanese fighter cover down to sea level allowing American dive bombers to come in uncontested The reality as Prange writes it is also the miracle of the title is that three dive bombing groups coincidentally converged on the Japanese carriers at the same time and in a matter of moments had knocked three of them out of the battle The book ends with two helpful sections analyzing the battle from both the Japanese and American perspectives These short sections actually clarified a lot that had confused me earlier I found that being retroactively un confused actually added to my enjoyment So go figure Midway is one of the most important battles ever fought Sure we would've eventually won World War II even had we lost but it would've been a much darker story for all sides If you want to learn about it there are a couple places to do so First is with Gordon Prange's Miracle at Midway which despite its faults is the benchmark English language study The other place you can go is the movie Midway in which Erick Estrada plays a cocky torpedo bomber and Charlton Heston single handedly sinks the Japanese carrier Hiru Take your pick