10 books like A Dawn Like Thunder

By Robert J. Mrazek,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like A Dawn Like Thunder. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Shattered Sword

By Anthony Tully, Jonathan Parshall,

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

Shattered Sword changed the way historians think about the Battle of Midway. While the results will never change, Parshall and Tully provide insight and perspectives that have never before been explored. And in doing so, they help clear up many of the inconsistencies in both Japanese and American books on the battle. 

This is the first history of the Battle of Midway in which the authors looked at the ships operating logs and compared them to events. What you learn is that the U.S. Navy’s and the Imperial Japanese Navy’s operating doctrines were very different. The Japanese did not improve their damage control practices after the Battle of the Coral Sea, and their indecision at Midway was caused by one part culture, one part lack of intelligence, one part arrogance and one part carrier launch and recovery doctrine and failure to follow proper ordnance handling procedures. The result was a…

Shattered Sword

By Anthony Tully, Jonathan Parshall,

Why should I read it?

5 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…


Pacific Payback

By Stephen L. Moore,

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

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.

Pacific Payback

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…


No Right To Win

By Ronald Russell,

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

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.

No Right To Win

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…


The Battle of Midway

By Craig L. Symonds,

Book cover of The Battle of Midway

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.

The Battle of Midway

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…


Never Call Me a Hero

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

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

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.

Never Call Me 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…


Joe Rochefort's War

By Elliot Carlson,

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

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.

Joe Rochefort's 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.


Battle of Wits

By Stephen Budiansky,

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

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.

Battle of Wits

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.


Code Girls

By Liza Mundy,

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

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.

Code Girls

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…


Typhoon

By Captain C. Raymond Calhoun,

Book cover of Typhoon: The Other Enemy: The Third Fleet and the Pacific Storm of December 1944

My uncle, a survivor of the sinking of the USS Yorktown (CV-5) at the Battle of Midway and months of combat (including kamikazes) as CEM of the USS Hancock (CV-19), referred me to this book about another terror they encountered while in combat aboard the Hancock. Strikes were canceled due to the severe typhoon. At the height of the storm, waves broke over the carrier’s flight deck, fifty-five feet above the waterline.

As commanding officer of a ship that came close to destruction in the typhoon of December 1944, the author of this book, Captain C. Raymond Calhoun, was in an unparalleled position to document a tragic ordeal that claimed 778 men, 3 destroyers, and more than 100 aircraft. This compelling account details for the first time the events surrounding the storm, as well as the controversial aftermath.

Divided into four parts--Prelude to a Typhoon, The Struggle for Survival,…

Typhoon

By Captain C. Raymond Calhoun,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Book by C. Raymond Calhoun


The Two-Ocean War

By Samuel Eliot Morison,

Book cover of The Two-Ocean War: A Short History of the United States Navy in the Second World War

This book was published in 1963 on the heels of the fifteen-volume set by Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison. I served in the U.S. Navy, Pacific theater of war, and found this supplemental work by Morison to complement particular portions of his fifteen-volume series.

The Two-Ocean War

By Samuel Eliot Morison,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Two-Ocean War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Originally published in 1963, this classic, single-volume history draws on Morison's definitive 15-volume History of United States Naval Operations in World War II. More than a condensation, The Two-Ocean War highlights the major components of the larger work: the preparation for war, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the long war of attrition between submarines and convoys in the Atlantic, the battles of the Coral Sea and Midway, the long grind of Guadalcanal, the leapfrogging campaigns among the Pacific islands, the invasion of continental Europe, the blazes of glory at Leyte and Okinawa, and the final grudging surrender of the…


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Interested in the Battle of Midway, World War 2, and the United States Navy?

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