The Search for the Japanese Fleet: USS Nautilus and the Battle of Midway

The Search for the Japanese Fleet: USS Nautilus and the Battle of Midway

The Search for the Japanese Fleet: USS Nautilus and the Battle of Midway

The Search for the Japanese Fleet: USS Nautilus and the Battle of Midway

Synopsis

In The Search for the Japanese Fleet, David W. Jourdan, one of the world's experts in undersea exploration, reconstructs the critical role one submarine played in the Battle of Midway, considered to be the turning point of the war in the Pacific. In the direct line of fire during this battle was one of the oldest boats in the navy, USS Nautilus. The actions of Lt. Cdr. William Brockman and his ninety-three-man crew during an eight-hour period rank among the most important submarine contributions to the most decisive engagement in U.S. Navy history.

Fifty-seven years later, Jourdan's team of deep-sea explorers set out to discover the history of the Battle of Midway and find the ships that the Allied fleet sank. Key to the mystery was Nautilus and its underwater exploits. Relying on logs, diaries, chronologies, manuals, sound recordings, and interviews with veterans of the battle, including men who spent most of June 4, 1942, in the submarine conning tower, the story breathes new life into the history of this epic engagement. Woven into the tale of World War II is the modern drama of deep-sea discovery, as explorers deploy new technology three miles beneath the ocean surface to uncover history and commemorate fallen heroes.

Excerpt

In the late 1700s, President George Washington planted the seed of isolationism by advocating that America keep a safe distance from European wars and politics. Throughout much of the nineteenth century, the huge Atlantic and Pacific oceans protected America with natural moats—allowing us to live free in our castle and remain aloof to European conflicts. However, World War I proved too big to avoid, and President Woodrow Wilson made the claim that American intervention was necessary to “make the world safe for democracy.” Beginning in the spring of 1917, America would send over 2 million men to Europe. Greatly disturbing America’s collective psyche, over one hundred thousand of our brave men never returned home.

Grieving from the suffering of World War I, America entrenched back to isolationism and again vowed to stay away from world politics. That all changed on December 7, 1941, with the surprise Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The damage and death inflicted by that attack would wake the sleeping giant and bring the full potential of America’s industrial capability to bear on the world struggle.

In the months following Pearl Harbor, Japan bullied America and its Allies with its naval superiority by choosing where and when to attack, occupying many strategic islands throughout the Pacific theater. It was not until the Japanese attempted invasion of Midway that their advance was halted. In The Search for the Japanese Fleet: USS Nautilus and the Battle of Midway, David Jourdan does a masterful job bringing to life the battle that is commonly recognized as marking the strategic turning point of the Pacific war.

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