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Shattered Sword cover art

Shattered Sword

Written by: Jonathan Parshall, Anthony Tully
Narrated by: Tom Perkins
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Publisher's Summary

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 best-selling 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 of the great battle.

Parshall and Tully examine the battle in detail and effortlessly place it within the context of the Imperial Navy's doctrine and technology. With a foreword by leading World War II naval historian John Lundstrom, Shattered Sword is an indispensable part of any military buff's library.

Shattered Sword is the winner of the 2005 John Lyman Book Award for the "Best Book in U.S. Naval History" and was cited by Proceedings as one of its "Notable Naval Books" for 2005.

©2005 Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully (P)2019 Tantor
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What the critics say

“This incredibly detailed book provides a whole new approach to the study and interpretation of the battle.” (Ships and Shipping)

John Lyman Book Award, Best Book in U.S. Naval History, 2005

Notable Naval Books, Proceedings, 2005.

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What listeners say about Shattered Sword

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Comprehensive in the extreme

I was inspired to read upon the Battle of Midway following my viewing of Roland Emerich's film, Midway. My impression had been that the film gave the standard Hollywood treatment to the real event, but to my surprise it did a fair job. There was drama beyond the scope and context of the battle itself, but while a serious treatment on the event can be objective, a film must be character driven. To that end, the film tells what is largely a dramatic story about certain characters. Having gotten that, I also wanted to know more about the battle itself. This book provides that exceedingly well.

Beyond the battle itself, the book provides its context within the larger Pacific War. It explains much regarding Japanese battle doctrine, the hostility between military branches, and the factional infighting within the branches themselves. There is yet more regarding Japanese carrier designs and damage control practices -- and how they contributed to their own demise. All of this and more brought about the result of the battle.

The biggest takeaway is that the battle did not determine the outcome of the war. Japan simply could not have won it. They had not the industrial capacity to replace losses, as the US did. Even if they took Midway, they could scarcely have kept it supplied -- let alone mount an invasion of Hawaii or the US west coast. The Japanese loss at Midway may have shortened the war, though. Japan's fleet was the culmination of a decade of work -- and they lost four carriers. At peak during the war, the US was launching ships every month. Losing one carrier, the Yorktown, was bad on a tactical level, but far less significant in the long run. Even had the US lost all three at the battle, more would have followed and in a war of attrition, Japan could not keep up.

If you have an interest in the real history of the battle and in details regarding WW2 naval operations, read (or listen to) this book.

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  • 2020-11-17

A solid listen

If you enjoy getting down into the minutiae of historical battles this is a good listen.
Breaking down the battle and using the logs of the ships involved, the author challenges the existing narrative in a few instances, and backs their views ably.
The performance is solid as well.

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Fresh and insightful

Great book, amazing detailed account of the battle. You wont want to stop listening, so very impressed!

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Excellent book

Answers any question you might have had about the Battle of Midway. Very well written. Narration well done

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Payback

I cannot help but think the U.S. pilots and others had payback in mind....no doubt about it, and I did not feel one bit of empathy for the Japanese, as these were the carriers at Pearl.

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