The Battle of Midway is part of an ongoing series from Oxford University Press entitled “Pivotal Moments in American History.” Author Craig Symonds states in his introduction, “there are few moments in American history in which the course of events tipped so suddenly and dramatically as it did on June 4, 1942. At ten o’clock that morning, the Axis powers were winning World War II…An hour later, the balance had shifted the other way.”
Symonds begins the story of that shift on Christmas Day in 1941 with Admiral Chester Nimitz arriving at Pearl Harbor to take command of the U.S. Pacific Fleet – a fleet that was still reeling (and in some cases, still burning) from the Japanese surprise attack just a few weeks before.
Roughly the first half of the book covers the people, background, and events that led both the American and Japanese fleets from Pearl Harbor to their fateful rendezvous north of Midway Island six months later. Symonds focuses not only on the opposing commanders, but also the many behind-the-scenes players who ultimately contributed to the battle’s outcome. The second half of the book narrates in detail the battle itself, including addressing several “controversies and legends” that have arisen and in some cases persisted in previous historical accounts.
The Battle of Midway is available on the Library’s “New Arrival Shelf” in the main lobby, or you can place a request for this title directly from the Library's catalog here. Click on the "Availability" link on the catalog record, then click on the yellow "Request" button. Log in using your 14-digit Library barcode number (located on your University ID), and your last name. You will then be able to select your pick-up location. The Library will notify you via email when your book has arrived for pick-up. If you need assistance with this process, please contact the Circulation Desk at 301-687-4395.
**Post written by Charles Courtney