Midway: Dauntless Victory, Peter C. Smith

Midway: Dauntless Victory, Peter C. Smith

Fresh Perspectives on America's Seminal Naval Victory of World War II

This is a very detailed account of the battle of Midway, supported by a vast amount of primary sources, both American and Japanese. The author has also interviewed a number of survivors of the battle, using their evidence to examine some of the unanswered questions that still remain over sixty years later.

This book does have some unusual features, most of which I approve of. The most obvious is Smith's extensive use of detailed footnotes (to the extent that some early pages are more note than text!). Amongst the notes are a large number of biographical sketches of many of the people involved in the battle, which provide some very useful information. The text is also well supported with detailed lists and tables, most notably of the pilots and aircrew involved in each of the main bombing missions of the battle. The only minor flaw in the book is that Smith's tone is sometimes a little over-confident, but I get the impression that this is the result of years of arguments on some of the issues covered, and does not prevent him from admitting when it isn't possible to find a definitive answer to a question.

This is a combination of a narrative account of the battle and an analysis of the historical debate over some of the more controversial elements of the fighting. The use of contemporary documents and first hand accounts of the battle provides us with an invaluable reference work on both the battle and the debates it has caused.

Author: Peter C. Smith
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 358
Publisher: Pen & Sword Maritime
Year: 2007


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