100 books like Shattered Sword

By Anthony Tully, Jonathan Parshall,

Here are 100 books that Shattered Sword fans have personally recommended if you like Shattered Sword. 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 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.

Why am I passionate about this?

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.

Why am I passionate about this?

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.).

Why am I passionate about this?

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 A Dawn Like Thunder: The True Story of Torpedo Squadron Eight

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.

Why am I passionate about this?

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?

The story of the ill-fated Torpedo Squadron Eight of USS Hornet – all planes lost and only one survivor out of 30 men - is the stuff of legend.

In this essential non-fiction tome, Mrazek introduces the reader to these men and explores what made them tick. It is not always pleasant, and Mrazek pulls no punches as he delves into the human side of these flawed men, who in some cases did not like each other, which increases the empathy for the sacrifice of the squadron at Midway.

The reader can imagine him or herself in a tight-knit squadron arguing and irritating one another as humans can do at times – before having to fly into combat in planes they knew were obsolete. While the human cost and poignant stories of loss are part of all Midway books, A Dawn Like Thunder lays it out the best.

By Robert J. Mrazek,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Dawn Like Thunder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the great untold stories of World War II finally comes to light in this thrilling account of Torpedo Squadron Eight and their heroic efforts in helping an outmatched U.S. fleet win critical victories at Midway and Guadalcanal.

Thirty-five American men -- many flying outmoded aircraft -- changed the course of the war, going on to become the war's most decorated naval air squadron, while suffering the heaviest losses in U.S. naval aviation history.

Mrazek paints moving portraits of the men in the squadron, and exposes a shocking cover-up that cost many lives. Filled with thrilling scenes of battle,…


Book cover of Rising Sun, Falling Skies: The disastrous Java Sea Campaign of World War II

Walter R. Borneman Author Of The Admirals: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King--The Five-Star Admirals Who Won the War at Sea

From my list on naval battles in WW2.

Why am I passionate about this?

Walter R. Borneman is an American military and political historian. He won the Samuel Eliot Morison Prize in Naval Literature for The Admirals: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King, a national bestseller. Borneman's other titles include Brothers Down: Pearl Harbor and the Fate of the Many Brothers Aboard the USS Arizona; MacArthur at War: World War II in the Pacific; and 1812: The War That Forged a Nation.

Walter's book list on naval battles in WW2

Walter R. Borneman Why did Walter love this book?

Perceptions of the first several months of World War II in the Pacific war usually focus on Douglas MacArthur’s actions in the Philippines. Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy and its British, Dutch, and Australian allies waged a largely unsung and losing battle against the Japanese onslaught to control the natural resources of the Netherlands East Indies.

Rising Sun, Falling Skies scrutinizes the learning curve of allied command, the hopelessness of facing numerical superiority, and the grim awakening that airpower plays a decisive role no matter how powerful the fleet. Cox’s portraits of admirals Thomas Hart and Karl Doorman beg a host of intriguing “what ifs.”

By Jeffrey Cox,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rising Sun, Falling Skies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Few events have ever shaken a country in the way that the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor affected the United States. The Japanese forces then continued to overwhelm the Allies, attacking Malaya with its fortress of Singapore, and taking resource-rich islands in the Pacific in their own blitzkrieg offensive. Allied losses in these early months after America's entry into the war were great, and among the most devastating were those suffered during the Java Sea Campaign, where a small group of Americans, British, Dutch, and Australians were isolated in the Far East - directly in the path of the Japanese…


Book cover of Neptune’s Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal

Walter R. Borneman Author Of The Admirals: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King--The Five-Star Admirals Who Won the War at Sea

From my list on naval battles in WW2.

Why am I passionate about this?

Walter R. Borneman is an American military and political historian. He won the Samuel Eliot Morison Prize in Naval Literature for The Admirals: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King, a national bestseller. Borneman's other titles include Brothers Down: Pearl Harbor and the Fate of the Many Brothers Aboard the USS Arizona; MacArthur at War: World War II in the Pacific; and 1812: The War That Forged a Nation.

Walter's book list on naval battles in WW2

Walter R. Borneman Why did Walter love this book?

All of Hornfischer’s histories deserve to be on this list, but Neptune’s Inferno is my personal favorite. Guadalcanal is justifiably thought of as the heroic struggle of Marines to take and hold the island, but they could not have done so without the sacrifices of thousands of sailors in the surrounding waters.

Hornfischer’s smooth style guides one through multiple battles over a four-month campaign, including two of the darkest moments in U.S. naval history: the fiery nighttime battle of Savo Island that initially saved the beachhead and the opening round of the climatic battles of mid-November 1942 that numbered two admirals among the American dead.

By James D. Hornfischer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Neptune’s Inferno as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A masterpiece of 20th-century naval history." --Bob Shacochis, National Book Award-winning author of The Immaculate Invasion

"The star of this year's reading list is James D. Hornfischer, a military historian whose flair for narrative is rivaled only by his ability to organize the sweep of battle and assess strategy and tactics in layman's terms." --Cleveland Plain Dealer

The Battle of Guadalcanal has long been heralded as a Marine victory. Now, with his powerful portrait of the Navy's sacrifice, James D. Hornfischer tells for the first time the full story of the men who fought in destroyers, cruisers, and battleships in…


Book cover of Sea of Thunder: Four Commanders and the Last Great Naval Campaign 1941-1945

James G. Stavridis Author Of To Risk It All: Nine Conflicts and the Crucible of Decision

From my list on to help you make decisions under extreme pressure.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a retired 4-star Admiral who spent over forty years at sea, rising from Midshipman at the Naval Academy to Supreme Allied Commander at NATO. Along the way, I served in and commanded destroyers, cruisers, and aircraft carriers in combat, and I have faced many very difficult decisions under extreme pressure. In addition, I’ve been in the Pentagon for many assignments, including as Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense – which also created countless high-pressure decisions. What I learned in the Navy has helped me again and again in calculating risk and making the right decisions. 

James' book list on to help you make decisions under extreme pressure

James G. Stavridis Why did James love this book?

The US Navy at war in the Pacific is the backdrop to a series of high-pressure decisions made by various officers in command. The most striking is the heroic attack of a group of lightly armed US destroyers against the main forces of the Japanese Imperial Navy in the battle of Leyte Gulf. The so-called “Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors” and the heroism in particular of Commander Ernest Evans, a Native American who receives the Medal of Honor for his decisions in the battle. I’ve always been awestruck by Evans, who was a quiet, thoughtful man who had to make the hardest choice literally “to risk it all” to achieve his mission.

By Evan Thomas,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Sea of Thunder is a taut, fast-paced, suspenseful narrative of the Pacific War that culminates in the battle of Leyte Gulf, the greatest naval battle ever fought.

Told from both the American and Japanese sides, through the eyes of commanders and sailors of both navies, Thomas's history adds an important new dimension to our understanding of World War II.

Drawing on oral histories, diaries, correspondence, postwar testimony from both American and Japanese participants, and interviews with survivors, Thomas provides an account not only of the great sea battle and Pacific naval war, but of the contrasting cultures pitted against each…


Book cover of The Hunters 1939-1942

Walter R. Borneman Author Of The Admirals: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King--The Five-Star Admirals Who Won the War at Sea

From my list on naval battles in WW2.

Why am I passionate about this?

Walter R. Borneman is an American military and political historian. He won the Samuel Eliot Morison Prize in Naval Literature for The Admirals: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King, a national bestseller. Borneman's other titles include Brothers Down: Pearl Harbor and the Fate of the Many Brothers Aboard the USS Arizona; MacArthur at War: World War II in the Pacific; and 1812: The War That Forged a Nation.

Walter's book list on naval battles in WW2

Walter R. Borneman Why did Walter love this book?

Yes, there was a naval war in the Atlantic, too. Had not the Allies defeated Hitler’s U-boats over a multi-year battle—the longest of the war—World War II would likely have been lost no matter the heroics in the Pacific. Hitler’s U-Boat War does for the Battle of the Atlantic what Blair did with Silent Victory for submarine actions in the Pacific.

This book is exhaustive in detail—pick a boat or an engagement, and Blair has chronicled it— but taken overall, these volumes show the tenuous nature of the battle that was won in the aggregate by individual conflicts between hunter and hunted. This is a reliable desktop reference as well as a compelling read.

By Clay Blair,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Hunters 1939-1942 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"His monumental work...is the most thorough study of the U-boat campaign available."    --Library Journal

Hitler's U-boat War is an epic sea story about the most arduous and prolonged naval battle in history. For a period of nearly six years, the German U-boat force attempted to blockade and isolate the British Isles in hopes of forcing the British out of the war, thereby thwarting both the Allied strategic air assault on German cities and Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Occupied France. Fortunately for the Allies, the U-boat force failed to achieve either of these objectives, but in the attempt they…


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.

Why am I passionate about this?

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

Barrett Tillman Author Of When the Shooting Stopped: August 1945

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

Why am I passionate about this?

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?

President Franklin Roosevelt commissioned Harvard historian Samuel Eliot Morison to write the definitive history of the U.S. Navy in WW II, and Morison produced an epic 15-volume series between 1947 and 1962. 

Despite more recent research it is richly detailed, elegantly written, and remains a standard source. The Two-Ocean War, Morison’s 1963 one-volume condensation covering all theaters of operations, was among the books that piqued my interest in the subject. It is particularly valuable in describing the Pacific island campaigns as well as the war at sea.

By Samuel Eliot Morison,

Why should I read it?

2 authors 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, the navy, and aviation?

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 navy, and aviation.

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