Aug 2 2006
For anyone who is interested in the Pacfic War, their reading collection cannot be complete without “Midway: The Japanese Story”.
The Battle of Midway (June 5th – 6th 1942) was a very decisive battle in the Pacific War, that after a few short minutes saw the Imperial Japanese Navy’s strength reduced drastically (with the loss of four aircraft carriers; Akagi, Kaga, Hiryu and Soryu) and opened the way for the U.S. Naval forces to begin pushing their way into Japanese occupied territory. The book was written by two Japanese naval officers who
were charged with finding out what went wrong in the Midway operation.
Mitsuo Fuchida was the aviator who led the attack on Pearl Harbour, during the Midway operation he commanded the Akagi air group. After the war he became a bishop in the Lutheran Church. He died of illness in 1974, at the age of seventy-four.
Masatake Okumiya served in various carrier division staffs during the war, including those carrying out the Midway operation. He was recommissioned to the Air Force in 1959 and rose to the rank of Major General before retiring in 1964.
The book itself is an amazing account of the thinking and policies of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) top personnel. It is a candid and at times painful retelling of exactly what went wrong during the Battle of Midway. Fuchida’s frustration with the IJN’s Commanders and their stubborn belief in “Battleship Superiority” is plain to see throughout the book.
Originally published in 1951 in Japan as the first account of what actually took place at Midway, it was first translated to English in 1955. The latest publishing being in 1992.