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MIDWAY: The Battle That Doomed Japan. The Japanese Navy's Story of Midway, by Mitsuo Fuchida and Masatake Okumiya. Learn what went on aboard the Japanese warships during the epic battle.

Click to EnlargeMIDWAY: The Battle That Doomed Japan. The Japanese Navy's Story of Midway, by Mitsuo Fuchida and Masatake Okumiya, with a Foreword by ADM Raymond A. Spruance, USN (Ret). US Naval Institute Blue Jacket softcover edition.

It is only by knowing what went on aboard the Japanese warships that some of the mysteries of the battle can be explained. Students of naval history who seek to understand everything about the Battle of Midway must read this book to complete their studies. Originally published in 1955, this is Midway as recounted by Mitsuo Fuchida (Air Group Commander on Admiral Nagumo's flagship) and Masatake Okumiya (an active historian who was a naval officer during the war and after the war rose to the rank of Major General in the Japanese Self Defense Air Force). This is a detailed, event by event history of the Battle of Midway from the Japanese perspective. Fuchida's summary is incisive: the battle was started by men [politicians and Army leaders] who did not understand the sea and it was fought by men [the Japanese battleship admirals] who did not understand the air.

352 pages, many maps, b/w photos, and the complete Japanese Order of Battle at Midway.

Widely acknowledged for its valuable Japanese insights into the battle that turned that tide of war in the Pacific, the book has made a great impact on American readers over the years. Two Japanese naval aviators who participated in the operation provide an unsparing analysis of what caused Japan?s staggering defeat.

Mitsuo Fuchida, who led the first air strike on Pearl Harbor, commanded the Akagi carrier air group and later made a study of the battle at the Japanese Naval War College. Masatake Okumiya, one of Japan?s first dive-bomber pilots, was aboard the light carrier Ryujo and later served as a staff officer in a carrier division. Armed with knowledge of top-secret documents destroyed by the Japanese and access to private papers, they show the operation to be ill-conceived and poorly planned and executed, and fault their flag officers for lacking initiative, leadership, and clear thinking. With an introduction by an author known for his study of the battle from the American perspective, the work continues to make a significant contribution to World War II literature.

Mitsuo Fuchida became a Lutheran bishop after the war and continued writing until his death in 1974. Masatake Okumiya became a member of Japan?s air self-defense force after the war and was active as a historian until his death.

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