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Midway InquestMidway Inquest

Why the Japanese Lost the Battle of Midway

Dallas W. Isom

Narrated by Mark Sando

Available from Audible

Book published by Indiana University Press

Midway, the most famous naval battle in American history, has been the subject of many excellent books. However, none satisfactorily explain why the Japanese lost that battle, given their overwhelming advantage in firepower. While no book may ever silence debate on the subject, Midway Inquest answers the central mystery of the battle. Why could the Japanese not get a bomber strike launched against the American carrier force before being attacked and destroyed by American dive bombers from the Enterprise and Yorktown? Although it is well known that the Japanese were unable to launch an immediate attack because their aircraft were in the process of changing armament, why wasn’t the rearming operation reversed and an attack launched before the American planes arrived? Based on extensive research in Japanese primary records, Japanese literature on the battle, and interviews with over two dozen Japanese veterans from the carrier air groups, this book solves the mystery at last.

Dallas W. Isom is a retired professor of law at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.


“Presents a carefully crafted indictment of Japanese decision making during this pivotal World War II sea battle.”


“Any student of the Pacific War will enjoy this book, even if you disagree with part of it. It is a fascinating look at decisions made in the heat of battle.”

Paper Wars

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University Press Audiobooks