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Book Review
Midway 1942
Midway 1942 Turning point in the Pacific
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Model Shipwrights

Utilizing the latest research and detailed combat maps, this book tells the dramatic story of the Japanese assault on Midway Island and the American ambush that changed the face of the Pacific war.

Midway 1942
Turning point in the Pacific
ISBN: 9781846035012


Few battles of World War Two are as well-known as the great naval battle near Midway Island in June of 1942. It is considered by many to be the turning point of the Pacific War, when the Imperial Japanese Navy was crippled beyond recovery. Midway is often presented as an all-or-nothing last-ditch desperate attempt by the crippled United States Navy to stop the unstoppable might of Japan. A battle between the great minds of the esteemed naval strategist Admiral Yamamoto, and the inexperienced Rear Admiral Fletcher. Of luck verses adroit planning.

In this 226 book of the Osprey series CAMPAIGN, Author Mark Stille, M.A., examines these perceptions of the battle in great detail. In 96 pages of text, with dozens of photographs, maps and illustrations by illustrator Howard Gerrard, the battle is brought to life. Mr. Stille re-examines much of the legendary battle, presenting provocative ideas. He demonstrates that the battle was fought by a well prepared United States Navy lead by worthy commanders, against a haphazard Japanese plan doomed by complexity. He examines the strengths and weaknesses of the ships, command and control, the aircraft, the anti-aircraft defenses, offensive weapons, intelligence, and tactics. He also exposes serious flaws in the execution of the battle of both sides.


Midway 1942 is presented to you in 96 pages divided into nine chapters:

1. Origins of the campaign
2. Chronology
3. Opposing commanders
4. Opposing fleets
5. Opposing plans
6. The battle of Midway
7. The aftermath
8. Further reading
9. Index

Mr. Stille demonstrates and relives some well-known facts of the battle, as well as unveils new information, and addresses some myths. While I have read several accounts of the battle, this work brings new information to light as well as clarifies other facts, such as:

· The US Navy’s dismal job of coordinating and assembling cohesive strike packages
· The Japanese failure to effectively use their vast submarine reconnaissance potential
· The last-second initiative of Lt. Best in preventing an entire dive bomber force from only attacking HIJMS Kaga
· The US Navy’s willingness to abandon Midway before the battle
· Yamamoto’s myopic view that the main battle against the US fleet would be executed by his battleships


The Pacific carrier battles produced some of warfare’s most thrilling and horrific photography. Most of the photographs will be familiar to you though I found some I have not seen before. Mr. Gerrard enriches the book with his dramatic illustrations. The paintings appear to be brush on canvas instead of the CGI graphics that are so popular nowadays, but this creates an energy all their own. Mapping a battle—especially an air battle--is not easy, and some of these maps are complex. That some are two-page illustrations, with the page split down the middle, is a drawback. This book also contains several maps that are shaded to give a 3-D illusion. Impressive! An order of battle completes the understanding of the battle. On the downside, there are no profiles of any of the ships or aircraft. Though this is not a modeler's book, I find artwork of the men and machines brings a text to life.


It is difficult for me to find any complaint with this work. Though some of the maps take some concentration, they relay the intention. The text is well detailed without being overly so. The book is very readable. The illustrations are good. Photographs unfamiliar to me are a bonus.

Whether you are new to the climatic battle, or a Midway enthusiast, Midway 1942 offers an element of interest for anyone. I highly recommend this book.

Please remember, when contacting vendors or sellers, to mention you saw this book here—on The KitMaker Network.

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Well researched, documented, and explained. Dynamic graphics and illustrations, with many photographs that are new to me.
Lows: Some maps have split between pages. No profiles of ships or aircraft.
Verdict: Whether you are new to the climactic battle, or a Midway enthusiast, Midway 1942 offers an element of interest for anyone.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: ISBN: 9781846035012
  Suggested Retail: $22.95
  Related Link: Midway 1942, Osprey Site
  PUBLISHED: Nov 20, 2010
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Osprey Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2020 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Historicus Forma or Silver Star Enterprises. All rights reserved.


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