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Battle of Midway (ePub)

America's Decisive Strike in the Pacific in WWII

Military > Frontline eBooks > Frontline: WWII Military > Pre-WWI > American History Photographic eBooks WWII > Battles & Campaigns > Japan & the Pacific Front WWII > Photographic eBooks

By John Grehan
Frontline Books
Series: Images of War
File Size: 128.7 MB (.epub)
Pages: 164
Illustrations: 150
ISBN: 9781526758354
Published: 23rd September 2019


£6.99 Print price £14.99

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In the press!

As featured by the Mail Online (November 2019): The real Battle of Midway; pictures capture the decisive US naval conflict.

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Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands on 7 December 1941, had severely damaged the United States Pacific Fleet but had not destroyed it, for the fleet’s aircraft carrier force had been at sea when the Japanese struck. This meant that, despite the overwhelming success of Japanese military forces across the Pacific, US carrier-based aircraft could still attack Japanese targets.

After the Battle of the Coral Sea in early May 1942, in which both sides had lost one carrier, the commander of the Japanese Combined Fleet, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, calculated that the US had only two serviceable carriers left. If those remaining carriers could be lured into a battle with the Combined Fleet and destroyed, nothing could stop the Japanese achieving complete control of the South Pacific.

It would take the United States many months, even with its massive industrial muscle, to rebuild its carried fleet if it was destroyed, by which time Japan would be able to secure the raw materials needed to keep its war machine functioning and to build all the bases it required across the Pacific, which would enable its aircraft to dominate the entire region.

Aware of the sensitivity of the Americans towards Hawaii after the Battle of Pearl Harbor, Yamamoto believed that if he attacked there again, the US commander, Admiral Nimitz would be certain to commit all his strength to its defence. Yamamoto selected the furthest point of the Hawaiian Islands, the Naval Air Station on the Midway Atoll, for his attack, which was beyond the range of most US land-based aircraft.

Yamamoto launched his attack on 4 June 1942. But the US had intercepted and deciphered Japanese signals and Nimitz, with three not two aircraft carriers, knew exactly Yamamoto’s plans. Yamamoto had hoped to draw the US carriers into his trap but instead he sailed into an ambush.

The four-day battle resulted in the loss of all four Japanese aircraft carriers, the US losing only one. The Japanese were never able to recover from these losses, and it was the Americans who were able to take control of the Pacific. The Battle of Midway, unquestionably, marked the turning point in the war against Japan.

This is an excellent book. Well written, with a great selection of photographs. Although I'm more interested in WWII in Europe by and large, I found this a fascinating and compelling read.

Seb Palmer, A Question of Scale

This is an excellent book for anyone with even a passing interest in naval combat, battleships, carriers and bombers, and the Pacific theater of World War II.

Read the full review here


This is a very well-researched, well-presented and extensively illustrated book that succeeds in actually taking you to the battle, not least through the many personal stories it contains. Highly recommended.

Warship World Sept/Oct issue 2020

As featured by

Ships Monthly, March 2021

The book is a quick and good read that contains many moderate-quality photographs. I personally like the Images of War format, as it focuses on pictorial composition supported by descriptive captioning. The book provides an excellent overview of the Battle for Midway.

Frank Willingham, Air Power History, Summer 2020

The book is an informative (and inexpensive) contribution to our knowledge of the War in the Pacific.


For anyone interested in the Second World War in the Pacific, John Grehan’s graphic account of the Battle of Midway makes worthwhile reading. Even those already familiar with the details of the battle itself, and with its significance to the course of the war, will find the extraordinary number of stunning photographs and the excellent captions make the battle come alive anew.

The Northern Mariner/Le marin du nord, (Vol. XXIX, No. 4, Fall 2019)

An essential book to understand the events that took place during the period that lasted the "Battle of Midway" thanks to magnificent documentation and a great visual support really luxurious.

Read the full Spanish review here

Miniaturas JM


This is an informative publication of 164 pages and gives a very useful quick summary of what was a complex battle fought over thousands of square miles of ocean. A useful introduction, The Build up to the Battle, is a very good scene setter and gives the busy reader all the background that he or she needs. The ensuing nine chapters are written in the form of a battle narrative with dates and timings of the action. This makes the book very easy to follow and the reader can pick the book up and put it down again without losing the thread.

The Naval Review, February 2020 - reviewed by SIMON HAILL CAPTAIN RN

I have no hesitation recommending this book to any naval or military historian, modeller or wargamer. I have spent quite a few hours looking at the photographs in this work. In addition to the photographs there is a reasonable interpretation and map how the battle played out.

Read the full review here


Both modeller and those with an interest in WWII naval matters will find this a book of interest. If you've seen any of the movies, then you need to read the book. It is thoroughly recommended reading.

IPMS Magazine Nov-Dec 19

The new Frontline Books series offers great images, concise insightful text, at a low price. The Battle of Midway was the start of the fight back that destroyed the Japanese navy and its aviation, ending in Japanese defeat. – Very Highly Recommended.

Read the full review here


The Battle of Midway is the stuff of legend, fact, fiction and movies. When I was a kid reading of those incredible relatively few minutes when the United States Navy smashed Japanese ambitions was something quite thrilling.

This tidy book presents the battle in all its phases with an array of standard and less-known images put together in a compelling format.

Important characters feature alongside images of the key moments and there is no question that the heroic Yorktown hogs a good deal of attention, but there is much more besides. This is book is as honest as the day is long. It represents a first-class introduction to one of the most important dramas of World War II.

Read the full review here

War History Online, Mark Barnes

This battle, thanks to the upcoming film, will again be the center of attention, but those who know the story know that it is one of the battles of the Second World War that can be defined as truly "decisive" and this book, very accurate, will make you discover the reason why.

Read the full Italian review here

Old Barbed Wire Blog

Stunning unseen pictures capture The Battle of Midway, a decisive US naval conflict that inflicted huge damage on the Japanese fleet.

Mail Online 6/11/1/9

There is a film about the Battle of Midway - I haven't ever watched it, I'm not a huge fan of war films, but this book told me things about Midway that I had no idea about. I had heard of Admiral Yamamoto, though, and he figures large in the Battle of Midway. Educational and entertaining account of one of the mopst iconic battles of the second world war.

Books Monthly

So now you know what happened, you want to SEE it too. And that’s what this book is for, including the maps with the timeline of what happened where. I kept leafing to and fro the map pages. An excellent book with a load of interesting photos from the archives, but above all a very detailed, chronological report of the Battle of Midway, worth every one of its 164 pages!


Read the full review here

Traces of War

This is an excellent book. Well written, with a great selection of photographs. Although I'm more interested in WWII in Europe by and large, I found this a fascinating and compelling read.

For someone, like me, with a very limited and sketchy knowledge of the War in the Pacific, this is pitched perfectly, giving enough info to stimulate deeper interest, but not so much as to overwhelm. And the clear and concise text is brought to life by the images, which cover the whole event in an admirably comprehensive and evenly balanced way.

Read the full review here

A Question Of Scale, Seb Palmer

This is a well presented book, and the daily format works well. Midway was an important naval engagement in this relatively early stage of the war in the Pacific, and the early period aircraft and markings feature well.

Read the full review here

Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

Featured 'ON THE SHELF' by Neil Smith

Wargames Illustrated, September 2019

About John Grehan

JOHN GREHAN has written, edited or contributed to more than 300 books and magazine articles covering a wide span of military history from the Iron Age to the recent conflict in Afghanistan. John has also appeared on local and national radio and television to advise on military history topics. He was employed as the Assistant Editor of Britain at War Magazine from its inception until 2014. John now devotes his time to writing and editing books.

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