Book Review: The Battle of Midway: The Naval Institute Guide to the U.S. Navy's Greatest Victory


by Thomas C. Hone, editor

Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2013. Pp. xx, 360. Illus., maps, appends, notes, biblio, index. $28.95. ISBN: 1612511260

A Multi-Faceted Look at Midway

Noted naval historian Hone brings together over 50 documents that help throw light on the decisive carrier battle off Midway in June of 1942. These documents include orders, after-action-reports, journal articles, reviews, and excerpts from histories, memoirs, oral testimony, and biographies, and more. They are by both American and Japanese authors, and include many items by participants in the events.

Hone groups these eight sections. The first deals with the overall background to the battle, which is followed by one on concentration of forces. Three sections directly deal with the battle, covering the actual fighting and the after-action reports. There follows a section with items about the various commanders, one on code breaking, and a final one titled “Assessments of the Battle.” 

Taken together, these constitute, not a history of the battle, but a multi-faceted look at it. The selections are from both sides and several levels of participation, often covering the same event or subject from different perspectives. The range from items composed at the time, and thus often highly inaccurate, to the most recent scholarship on the battle. This is an immensely valuable work for anyone interested in the Pacific War.


Reviewer: A.A. Nofi, Review Editor   

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