100 books like A Dawn Like Thunder

By Robert J. Mrazek,

Here are 100 books that A Dawn Like Thunder fans have personally recommended if you like A Dawn Like Thunder. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway

Barrett Tillman Author Of When the Shooting Stopped: August 1945

From my list on WWII aircraft carrier operations in the Pacific.

Who am I?

Like all Boomers, I grew up in the shadow of “The War.” My parents, relatives, and others participated in World War II to various extents; all were affected by it. Therefore, I absorbed the Pacific Theater early on. My father trained as a naval aviator, and among my early TV memories is the 1950s series Victory at Sea. My mother coaxed me early on, and an aunt was an English teacher, so I began learning to read before kindergarten. In retrospect, that gave me extra time to start absorbing the emerging literature. Much later I helped restore and flew WW II aircraft, leading to my first book.

Barrett's book list on WWII aircraft carrier operations in the Pacific

Barrett Tillman Why did Barrett love this book?

Shattered Sword is proof that history is a journey rather than a destination. When published in 2005, Parshall and Tully set a milepost on the then-six-decade road to understanding the pivotal June 1942 battle.  

Aside from correcting “settled facts” about the battle, the authors added depth with detailed examinations of rare subjects.  Among other things, how the Imperial Navy managed its flight and hangar decks; how the combat air patrols were cycled. What some readers might consider “nuts and bolts” provide revelations to those seeking deeper knowledge, especially for relevant individuals and Japanese culture.

By Anthony Tully, Jonathan Parshall,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Shattered Sword as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

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…


Book cover of Pacific Payback: The Carrier Aviators Who Avenged Pearl Harbor at the Battle of Midway

Kevin Miller Author Of The Silver Waterfall: A Novel of the Battle of Midway

From my list on the Battle of Midway and how it changed the course of WW2.

Who am I?

I am a retired U.S. Navy carrier pilot, having flown the A-7 Corsair II and F/A-18 Hornet operationally, and formerly the Executive Vice President of the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. Over 20 years I have spoken about the battle to diverse audiences, and my historical fiction novel The Silver Waterfall was written without changing any facts of the battle and features the real men who fought it. I am also the author of the Raven One trilogy of aircraft carrier techno-thrillers.

Kevin's book list on the Battle of Midway and how it changed the course of WW2

Kevin Miller Why did Kevin love this book?

It was the carrier-based dive-bombers that carried the day at Midway, and Moore’s narrative non-fiction account of the battle through the eyes of the actual men who fought at Midway in these dive-bombers is an entertaining and gripping page turner. You learn of their fears, the uncertainty, and of their humble courage. Moore brings you with them in their SBD Dauntless cockpits. These men were what the United States had at the onset of the Pacific War, and Moore’s tribute to them is moving.

By Stephen L. Moore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pacific Payback as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Deeply researched and well written....By far the most detailed account of USS Enterprise’s dive-bombers and their decisive role at the Battle of Midway.”*

Sunday, December 7, 1941, dawned clear and bright over the Pacific....

But for the Dauntless dive-bomber crews of the USS Enterprise returning to their home base on Oahu, it was a morning from hell. Flying directly into the Japanese ambush at Pearl Harbor, they lost a third of their squadron and witnessed the heart of America’s Navy broken and smoldering on the oil-slicked waters below.

The next six months, from Pearl Harbor to the Battle of Midway—a…


Book cover of No Right To Win: A Continuing Dialogue with Veterans of the Battle of Midway

Kevin Miller Author Of The Silver Waterfall: A Novel of the Battle of Midway

From my list on the Battle of Midway and how it changed the course of WW2.

Who am I?

I am a retired U.S. Navy carrier pilot, having flown the A-7 Corsair II and F/A-18 Hornet operationally, and formerly the Executive Vice President of the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. Over 20 years I have spoken about the battle to diverse audiences, and my historical fiction novel The Silver Waterfall was written without changing any facts of the battle and features the real men who fought it. I am also the author of the Raven One trilogy of aircraft carrier techno-thrillers.

Kevin's book list on the Battle of Midway and how it changed the course of WW2

Kevin Miller Why did Kevin love this book?

Russell, moderator of the Battle of Midway Internet Round Table, goes further than Moore in that his interviews with the participants of the battle delve deeper into the Midway narrative and decision matrix. Up there alongside Parshall and Tully as the top experts on Midway, Russell through his first-hand accounts of Midway survivors – and their human perceptions - explores the controversies of Midway, such as the “Flight to Nowhere” and “eyewitness” testimony proved false by realities of geography and photographic evidence. No Right to Win is highly recommended for advanced students of the battle and is recommended for those who have a baseline knowledge of Midway lore.

By Ronald Russell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked No Right To Win as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1942, one of the most powerful naval forces in history descended upon the tiny atoll of Midway, 1100 miles northwest of Hawaii. The Japanese intent was to lure America's badly depleted Pacific Fleet into the open where it would be overwhelmed, forcing the U.S. to end the Pacific War on Japanese terms. But it didn't happen that way. Through an amazing combination of skill, courage, and especially luck, U.S. not only prevailed at Midway but delivered to the enemy a crushing defeat that instantly changed the course of the war. No Right to Win is a fresh look at…


Book cover of The Battle of Midway

Mark Ciampa Author Of Security Awareness: Applying Practical Security in Your World

From my list on how to break things (encryption, passwords, etc.).

Who am I?

I have had the opportunity to write (I have written over 30 college textbooks on technology, most of them in the area of cybersecurity), study (my PhD dissertation was on cybersecurity), teach (I have taught at colleges and universities my entire career about technology, networking, and cybersecurity), and research (I have published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles) on the topic of cybersecurity. But I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the average computer user who struggles with how to protect their technology devices. This has helped drive my passion to focus on practical cybersecurity for everyone.

Mark's book list on how to break things (encryption, passwords, etc.)

Mark Ciampa Why did Mark love this book?

Perhaps the best book on the epic World War II Battle of Midway, Craig Symonds brings together all the pieces that became the turning point in the Pacific War. Looking at the leadup to the battle from both the Japanese and American perspectives, Symonds shows how the Japanese, in their typical style, created a battle plan that was overly complicated for its objective. Symonds explains how American Joe Rochefort and his eclectic band (he even had commissioned naval musicians) worked to bend (but not entirely break) the Japanese naval code. This allowed the Allies to surmise Midway as the Japanese target and set in place their own battle plan. Symonds clearly explains how the codebreaking efforts played a huge role in this battle of battles.

By Craig L. Symonds,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Battle of Midway as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There are few moments in American 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 and their grip on the Pacific had been loosened forever.

In this riveting account of a key moment in the history of World War II, one of America's leading naval historians, Craig L. Symonds, paints an unforgettable portrait of ingenuity, courage, and sacrifice. Symonds begins with the arrival of Admiral…


Book cover of Guadalcanal: The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle

Barrett Tillman Author Of When the Shooting Stopped: August 1945

From my list on WWII aircraft carrier operations in the Pacific.

Who am I?

Like all Boomers, I grew up in the shadow of “The War.” My parents, relatives, and others participated in World War II to various extents; all were affected by it. Therefore, I absorbed the Pacific Theater early on. My father trained as a naval aviator, and among my early TV memories is the 1950s series Victory at Sea. My mother coaxed me early on, and an aunt was an English teacher, so I began learning to read before kindergarten. In retrospect, that gave me extra time to start absorbing the emerging literature. Much later I helped restore and flew WW II aircraft, leading to my first book.

Barrett's book list on WWII aircraft carrier operations in the Pacific

Barrett Tillman Why did Barrett love this book?

Today relatively few Americans have heard of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. 

Eighty years ago the odd name was front-page daily news, a six-month drama played out on land, sea, and air. From the Battle of Midway in June 1942, Guadalcanal was the only major campaign that America might have lost, ending in early 1943. In 750 literate, detailed, immaculately documented pages, Rich Frank created a history for the ages.

Serious Pacific students already know about Downfall, Frank’s 1945 study, and his current Asia-Pacific trilogy leading with the chilling title Tower of Skulls.

By Richard B. Frank,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Guadalcanal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Brilliant...an enormous work based on the most meticulous research."-LA Times Book Review

The battle at Guadalcanal-which began eight months to the day after Pearl Harbor-marked the first American offensive of World War II. It was a brutal six-month campaign that cost the lives of some 7,000 Americans and over 30,000 Japanese.

This volume, ten years in the writing, recounts the full story of the critical campaign for Guadalcanal and is based on first-time translations of official Japanese Defense Agency accounts and recently declassified U.S. radio intelligence, Guadalcanal recreates the battle-on land, at sea, and in the air-as never before: it…


Book cover of Never Call Me a Hero: A Legendary American Dive-Bomber Pilot Remembers the Battle of Midway

Robert O. Harder Author Of First Crossing: The 1919 Trans-Atlantic Flight of Alcock and Brown

From my list on aviation history from a triple-rated pilot.

Who am I?

Since I was old enough to get around under my own power, I wanted to be a pilot, a result of idol-worshiping my mother’s brother, Orvis M. Nelson, president of Transocean Airlines. His influence led to my being named a Distinguished Military Graduate in Air Force ROTC, navigator school (sadly, my eyes were slightly myopic), bombardier school (145 Vietnam War combat missions); then later a civilian private & commercial pilot with instrument and multi-engine ratings, and Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI). After settling for a business career rather than airline pilot, I now vicariously pursue my first love through writing.

Robert's book list on aviation history from a triple-rated pilot

Robert O. Harder Why did Robert love this book?

I was so taken by this book, I re-read it two weeks later. Dusty’s story (you’ll love how he got the nickname!) is ably guided by Naval historians Timothy and Laura Orr. The result is as smooth and intimate an aviator autobiography as you’re likely to read. 

Although humble and deeply religious, retired U.S. Navy Captain and Navy Cross winner Jack Kleiss was daring even as a boy, seldom turning down a dare. Which explains a lot as to his willingness to push over a SBD Dauntless dive-bomber into a terrifying vertical dive from 20,000 feet, before pulling at near wave-top level. During the 1942 Battle of Midway, Dusty scored massive hits on three enemy ships (two of them aircraft carriers), the only man to do so. Despite the title’s disclaimer, Captain Kleiss was indeed a hero.

By N. Jack "Dusty" Kleiss, Timothy Orr, Laura Orr

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Never Call Me a Hero as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hailed as "the single most effective pilot at Midway" (World War II magazine), Dusty Kleiss struck and sank three Japanese warships at the Battle of Midway, including two aircraft carriers, helping turn the tide of the Second World War. This is his extraordinary memoir.

NATIONAL BESTSELLER * "AN INSTANT CLASSIC" -Dallas Morning News

On the morning of June 4, 1942, high above the tiny Pacific atoll of Midway, Lt. (j.g.) "Dusty" Kleiss burst out of the clouds and piloted his SBD Dauntless into a near-vertical dive aimed at the heart of Japan's Imperial Navy, which six months earlier had ruthlessly…


Book cover of Joe Rochefort's War: The Odyssey of the Codebreaker Who Outwitted Yamamoto at Midway

Robbyn Swan Author Of A Matter of Honor: Pearl Harbor: Betrayal, Blame and a Family’s Quest For Justice

From my list on American code-breaking in World War II.

Who are we?

Anthony Summers and I are the authors of several books that focus on the world of intelligence, including The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama bin Laden- which was a Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. As we revealed in our most recent book, A Matter of Honor, U.S. code-breaking efforts in World War II began with a colossal failure – Pearl Harbor. According to the first official report on the disaster, the attack “had been clearly foreshadowed” in the Japanese diplomatic traffic the U.S had decoded. The story of how the Americans turned that initial failure into success came to fascinate me.

Robbyn's book list on American code-breaking in World War II

Robbyn Swan Why did Robbyn love this book?

The first biography of Captain Joseph Rochefort, who led “Station Hypo”, the Navy’s code-breaking unit in Hawaii. Tragically, those running the U.S. cryptanalysis effort in Washington had decided to focus on breaking Japan’s diplomatic code. Only after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor were Rochefort and his team permitted to throw all their efforts at breaking Japanese naval codes. Their work led to America’s resounding success at Midway, only months after the disaster at Pearl. Carlson does an admirable job of bringing to life one of the forgotten men of the war.

By Elliot Carlson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Joe Rochefort's War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Elliot Carlson's award-winning biography of Capt. Joe Rochefort is the first to be written about the officer who headed Station Hypo, the U.S. Navy's signals monitoring and cryptographic intelligence unit at Pearl Harbor, and who broke the Japanese navy's code before the Battle of Midway. His conclusions, bitterly opposed by some top Navy brass, are credited with making the U.S. victory possible and helping to change the course of the war. The author tells the story of how opponents in Washington forced Rochefort's removal from Station Hypo and denied him the Distinguished Service Medal recommended by Admiral Nimitz.


Book cover of Battle of Wits: The Complete Story of Codebreaking in World War II

Mark Ciampa Author Of Security Awareness: Applying Practical Security in Your World

From my list on how to break things (encryption, passwords, etc.).

Who am I?

I have had the opportunity to write (I have written over 30 college textbooks on technology, most of them in the area of cybersecurity), study (my PhD dissertation was on cybersecurity), teach (I have taught at colleges and universities my entire career about technology, networking, and cybersecurity), and research (I have published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles) on the topic of cybersecurity. But I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the average computer user who struggles with how to protect their technology devices. This has helped drive my passion to focus on practical cybersecurity for everyone.

Mark's book list on how to break things (encryption, passwords, etc.)

Mark Ciampa Why did Mark love this book?

It is hard to underestimate the significance of code breaking during World War II. Without the work of dedicated mathematicians, linguists, and others the great conflicts such as the Battle of Midway and the German U-boat "wolfpacks" that sank over 13 million tons of Allied supplies could have easily been up for grabs. But due to the codebreakers the balance shifted to the Allies. And what is even equally impressive is that the Axis powers never knew that their encoded messages were being read. Stephen Budiansky traces how the codebreakers pulled off this feat while at the same time often battling within their own ranks about who should decode the message, how the messages should be used, and who should get the credit.

By Stephen Budiansky,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Battle of Wits as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Drawing from newly declassified documents, the author chronicles the story of codebreaking during the last world war, from cat-and-mouse games with Nazi U-boats to the invasion of Normandy.


Book cover of Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II

Robbyn Swan Author Of A Matter of Honor: Pearl Harbor: Betrayal, Blame and a Family’s Quest For Justice

From my list on American code-breaking in World War II.

Who are we?

Anthony Summers and I are the authors of several books that focus on the world of intelligence, including The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama bin Laden- which was a Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. As we revealed in our most recent book, A Matter of Honor, U.S. code-breaking efforts in World War II began with a colossal failure – Pearl Harbor. According to the first official report on the disaster, the attack “had been clearly foreshadowed” in the Japanese diplomatic traffic the U.S had decoded. The story of how the Americans turned that initial failure into success came to fascinate me.

Robbyn's book list on American code-breaking in World War II

Robbyn Swan Why did Robbyn love this book?

Mundy’s unputdownable book tells the story of the women behind some of the most significant code-breaking triumphs of the war. The work of women like Elizabeth Friedman – who got her start unpicking the codes of Prohibition-era liquor smugglers – was one of the war’s best-kept secrets.

By Liza Mundy,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Code Girls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An expert on East European politics and economics analyzes and evaluates Western policies toward the new East European democracies as they struggle to build stable political orders and functioning market economies. He argues that the West must give higher priority to assisting the region and reorient its strategies so as to emphasize the political and administrative dimensions of economic reconstruction. He reviews the economic legacy of past Western policies and of Eastern Europe's previous dependency on the Soviet Union, and then examines in detail the changing East-West trade patterns, the prospect for Western investment and technology transfer, the questions of…


Book cover of Pacific Crucible

Joe Salem Author Of Arrow Storm: A Modern Pacific War Technothriller

From my list on how future near peer combat will look.

Who am I?

My father retired from the Navy, and I always assumed I’d go into the Navy. When my fellow geeks were playing Dungeons and Dragons, I was playing naval combat wargames. I did enlist as a nukee, but I was only 17 and my father wouldn’t sign the papers. He wanted me to get a degree first. I finally did enlist as a mechanic in the ANG to pay for school, I never did go to OCS, but I always kept my passion and interest in naval history and combat. History has now come full turn, and many of the same issues in the Pacific are coming to the fore again.

Joe's book list on how future near peer combat will look

Joe Salem Why did Joe love this book?

The first year of WWII is what I think modern combat with a peer competitor would look like.

The whole series is fantastic, but what fascinated me about this book was the details on the first three months of the war, where Japan is victorious everywhere. American pilots and commanders had to learn the basics of modern naval combat.

We have grown accustomed to air superiority, and losing one or two aircraft is front-page headlines. The American carriers in WWII lost aircraft, squadrons at a time, and though they recovered many more pilots than the Japanese did, they still saw casualties of fifty percent.

Modern combat against a peer would look similar, with air strikes destroying bases and decimating units, and air combat attriting away squadron after squadron of aircraft.

By Ian W. Toll,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Pacific Crucible as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On the first Sunday in December 1941, an armada of Japanese warplanes appeared suddenly over Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and devastated the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Six months later, in a sea fight north of the tiny atoll of Midway, four Japanese aircraft carriers were sent into the abyss. Pacific Crucible tells the epic tale of these first searing months of the Pacific war, when the U.S. Navy shook off the worst defeat in American military history and seized the strategic initiative.

Ian W. Toll's dramatic narrative encompasses both the high command and the "sailor's-eye" view from the lower deck. Relying predominantly…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Battle of Midway, the United States Navy, and Guadalcanal?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Battle of Midway, the United States Navy, and Guadalcanal.

The Battle Of Midway Explore 12 books about the Battle of Midway
The United States Navy Explore 30 books about the United States Navy
Guadalcanal Explore 7 books about Guadalcanal