The best Battle of Midway books 📚

Browse the best books on the Battle of Midway as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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

Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway

By Anthony Tully, Jonathan Parshall

Why this book?

Parshall and Tully have produced a reevaluation of the Battle of Midway which makes exhaustive and critical use of Japanese sources. To this point, the sole Japanese source was Fuchida Mitsuo’s Midway, which Shattered Sword shows was “irretrievably flawed.” In contrast to previous histories of Midway, Shattered Sword pays careful attention to the critical elements of naval warfare: ship design, training and tactics, decision-making. It also debunks eight further elements of “common knowledge” concerning Japanese planning and conduct of the battle. The result is a fundamentally new and detailed analysis of Midway.

From the list:

The best new revisionist military history books

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

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

By Stephen L. Moore

Why 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.

From the list:

The best books about the Battle of Midway (from a U.S. Navy Pilot)

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

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

By Ronald Russell

Why 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…

From the list:

The best books about the Battle of Midway (from a U.S. Navy Pilot)

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Book cover of The Battle of Midway

The Battle of Midway

By Craig L. Symonds

Why 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…

From the list:

The best books about how to break things (encryption, passwords, etc.)

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

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

By Robert J. Mrazek

Why 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…

From the list:

The best books about the Battle of Midway (from a U.S. Navy Pilot)

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

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

By Elliot Carlson

Why 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.

From the list:

The best books about American code-breaking in World War II

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