Shattered Sword by Jonathan Parshall

Shattered Sword

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 bestselling 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 M...

Details Shattered Sword

TitleShattered Sword
Release DateNov 1st, 2005
PublisherPotomac Books
GenreHistory, Military, Military History, War, World War II, Nonfiction, Military Fiction

Reviews Shattered Sword

  • Matt
    “The conditions in [the Japanese aircraft carrier] Kaga’s hangars immediately after the bombing were horrific beyond description. Bodies and pieces of bodies of Kaga’s armorers and mechanics lay strewn everywhere among the wreckage of her aircraft. In the open air, a 1,000-pound general purpose bomb has a 50 percent chance of killing anyone standing within a thirty-foot radius of the blast center. Inside the confines of the hangar deck, the...
  • Sweetwilliam
    I always thought that a stroke of good fortune was the reason for the United States Navy’s victory over at Midway. Others may say it was divine providence. The authors of Shattered Sword do not see it this way. They break down the Japanese Naval war machine step by step, and weigh each factor that contributed to their demise; chief of which was the IJN’s belief that quality was more important than quantity. The result was that Yamamoto divide...
  • Bou
    Parshall and Tully deal with some of the fallacious ideas around the Battle of Midway. These are either untrue, or at least require careful clarification. Some of these ideas have been implanted in the Western accounts as a result of misunderstandings of the records of the battle. Some have resulted from a faulty understanding of the basic mechanics of how the battle was fought. Some are misrepresentations of the truth that were deliberately intr...
  • Sumit
    A full five star, Often we hear that History being written by Victor and get shrouded in myths. However Battle at Midway was one of rare event where both victor and loser painted a image which served there purposes in specific circumstances well. America was able to portray it's Navy as real life example of David vs Goliath while Japan was trying to scrape up some shreds of respect by trying to hide its own follies under the guise of tough luck.S...
  • Matt
    Shattered Sword is a fine naval history book. It is a well researched book that has a multitude of facts on every page. This is a book that will be an often quoted source for many years about the Battle of Midway. The authors claim to change the way the battle will be viewed, in that the book focuses on the Kido Butai or the Japanese carrier fleet this claim can be accepted as true. The author meticulously researched the minutiae of where the Jap...
  • Chad Sayban
    More reviews at The Story Within The StoryWhen most people hear the term ‘history book,’ they typically think of those watered-down texts we all read in high school where large swaths of time are melted down into paragraph-sized blubs to be memorized for a test and quickly forgotten. Even so, many of us – myself included – have become infatuated with history and long after leaving the public education system behind seek out books that pro...
  • Matt
    You think you know something, and then you discover that in fact most of what you know is wrong. I love reading.This is masterful treatment of probably one of the most analyzed battles of all time, which by examining closely the Japanese sources of the battle revises much of what we think we know about the battle. In particular, the author's patient explanation of the exact operational details of Japanese carrier operations is endlessly fascinati...
  • Jimmy
    Want to read one of the best book on the Battle of Midway? I remember as a young kid reading about this battle and how it turned the tide of the war in Pacific in favor of the United States in which Japan suffered serious loss in this battle. This work simply exceeded my expectation and I was thoroughly hooked from page to page, which might sound almost unbelievable concerning a military operational book but the two authors did a good job telling...
  • Steven Peterson
    This book is functionally written and provides considerable detail on the Battle of Midway, with much new information being used. One useful feature of the book is that we see a lot more of the battle and the runup to it from the eyes of the Japanese. We leartn of how Japanese and American carrier doctrine, operational ideas, even use space differed between the two carrier forces. As such, we get a different perspective than is common. The author...
  • Phrodrick
    You do not know the Battle of Midway if you have not read Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully’s Shattered Sword, the Untold Story of the Battle of Midway. While it can be a tough read for the casual reader of history, scholars, history buffs and anyone who enjoyed the otherwise uneven Movie called Midway have cause to celebrate Shattered Sword. Highly recommended. My copy was the paperback so I missed the problems shared by the Kindle readers.C...
  • Andy
    Recently read the new Battle of Midway (Pivotal Moments in American History) by Craig L. Symonds. A nice summary, which brought up a few points I'd either forgotten or never learned. It did extensively reference Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway and hinted at a the Imperial Japanese Navy point of view. I had to track down this book. Shattered Sword goes back to air operations logs and is the first English publication that...
  • Yong Lee
    I started and stopped reading this book five times. The fact I tried it the sixth time is due to its reputation among military historians. This is not an academic history but a book by passionate amateurs. Their love for the subject matter is clear and their expertise is clear. This book will teach you more about the battle of midway than you would ever like to know. I'm glad I finally finished it.
  • Chad
    While it is not written with the classical prose of a Walter Lord or a Bruce Catton, the authors have produced the greatest battle analysis I have ever read. This book instantly became one of my all time favorites!
  • Sonny
    Numerous books have been written about the battle of Midway. And why not? Midway was a pivotal naval battle that took place only six months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The United States Navy under Admirals Nimitz, Fletcher, and Spruance decisively defeated an attacking fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy. The Battle of Midway has often been called "the turning point of the Pacific". It was the Allies' first major naval victory against the ...
  • David Runyon
    Excellent, detailed, and balanced history of the critical Battle of Midway.
  • Rodney Harvill
    So, why does the subtitle claim to be the untold story of the battle of Midway? It is written from the Japanese perspective and includes some of the most extensive details I have ever seen in a World War II naval history. While earlier books on Midway incorporate the account of Commander Fuchida Mitsuo, the authors note that it was long ago debunked in Japan and use other Japanese sources, including official records, that tell a quite different s...
  • Roger Burk
    This is indeed the untold story: it is entirely from the Japanese point of view. The authors have made a new and thorough analysis of the Japanese sources, rejecting some that were translated early and set American understanding of the battle. Americans interested in the Battle of Midway will find many new details and insights here, and it is well enough written to be pleasurable to read.However, the authors claim too much. They think they have c...
  • Andy Lawless
    Excellent book from the Japanese side
  • Jared
    Fantastic book, worth every bit of five stars. The authors cover the Battle of Midway nearly exhaustively from the Japanese perspective. They consider and analyze previous works on the subject and explain common misconceptions about the Battle, giving a full view to those who may have little to no experience with the history of the Battle of Midway. The Japanese made many huge mistakes in the Pacific War. Their first big mistake was starting the ...
  • Matt Caris
    A phenomenal revisionist work that adds what has always been missing to the stories of Midway - a detailed account of how the IJN and especially the Kido Butai operated, right down to the deckplate level. Armed with this information, Parshall and Tully rip many of the famous Midway myths to shreds, to show how the battle truly unfolded. The authors are able to show that so many of the Midway "what-if" moments - a more extensive search plane opera...
  • C. Patrick
    This was an impressive work by the two authors. It is revisionist history, and arguably needed to clarify the conventional wisdom that has long surrounded this battle. While American historians have long had thorough access to US source material, the reach of US scholarship into the Japanese source documentation has probably been inhibited by numerous factors, not only language barriers, but more than anything a tacit acceptance of accounts from ...
  • Bob
    An extremely detailed look at the inner workings of the Japanese military strategic thinking processes during WW-II. Interesting that many of their problems came from mutual distrust between the Japanese army and navy, also that the highest reaches of the military hierarchy had an ineffective checks and balances procedure. I was surprised to learn that Pearl Harbor was Yamamoto's idea, and he had enough clout to get it through despite the urgent ...
  • Josh Liller
    The authors set out to bust myths about the Battle of Midway while providing a very in-depth account of the Japanese side of the battle, which hasn't been properly done before. They provide a huge amount of information but deliver it with style and a very amusing snarky attitude. This is military history at its finest.
  • Lee
    On my third time through, to see what I can pick up.The level of detail is amazing.
  • Dave
    Shattered Sword tells the story of the Battle of Midway from the perspective of the Imperial Japanese Navy, and the acknowledgements indicate that the authors had support from some of the best available sources on the subjects they touch on, lending weight to their arguments and authority to their work. The authors are well-read on the subject and most of the relevant background, and it goes into a good level of detail not only on the battle but ...
  • Bruce Cline
    Shattered Sword, The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway, by Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully (audio book, 24+ hours). This book purports to bring significant new facts to, and a major reinterpretation of, the Battle of Midway. The authors bring to bear a somewhat old (20 years) reconsideration of the most respected Japanese authority on the battle as well as a much better understanding of Japanese carrier operations, naval doctrine, and othe...
  • Mac McCormick III
    A few years ago, I read Craig L. Symond's The Battle of Midway (Pivotal Moments in American History) and saw Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway: The Japanese Story of the Battle of Midway by Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully referenced in it. I took a look at the book on Amazon and it had a plain simple cover, giving it the feeling of an academic work, so I added it to my reading list but didn't put it very high on the li...
  • M.
    Having just finished War and Remembrance and discovered that there's a new movie about the Battle of Midway scheduled for U.S. release in 2019, I figured I'd have a look at a nonfiction book on the subject. Shattered Sword is highly regarded and is in many respects excellent, but it was my first book on Midway, and I cannot recommend it as a first book on Midway. There are so many asides intended to correct the historical record that the story ne...
  • Frederick
    This is by far the best account of a battle I have ever read. The author uses minute, detailed information to piece together what actually happened. He compares conflicting accounts. He studied Japanese Navy doctrine. He examined the technology closely. How long an elevator took to raise an airplane to a Japanese carrier flight deck and how long it took to change from carrying a torpedo to carrying a bomb even with the type of fasteners used is p...
  • Rolf Kirby
    I had a great deal of trouble putting this book down. The authors masterfully weave together an account of the Battle of Midway that draws extensively from primary Japanese sources. In debunking a lot of the myths that have grown up around the battle, they in no way subtract from the gripping story and rather leave the reader with a much deeper knowledge of it all. A lot of human stories are included, from the Zero pilots who destroy the uncoordi...