Academic journal article Military Review

THE SEARCH FOR THE JAPANESE FLEET: USS Nautilus and the Battle of Midway

Academic journal article Military Review

THE SEARCH FOR THE JAPANESE FLEET: USS Nautilus and the Battle of Midway

Article excerpt

THE SEARCH FOR THE JAPANESE FLEET USS Nautilus and the Battle of Midway David W. Jourdan, Potomac Books, Lincoln, Nebraska, 2015, 424 pages

In The Search for the Japanese Fleet: USS Nautilus and the Battle of Midway, David W. Jourdan writes on the pivotal Battle of Midway through a lens not previously used to view the battle by historians. The USS Nautilus (SS-168), commanded by Lt. Cmdr. William Brockman Jr. and manned by a ninety-three-person crew, was on her maiden voyage and tasked with locating the Japanese 1st Air Fleet, or Kido Butai, and then subsequently inflicting as much damage as possible on the enemy. Jourdan argues convincingly that Nautilus's actions during the battle, and the initiative of her commander, assisted greatly in the destruction of Kido Butai and the overall thwarting of the planned Japanese invasion of Midway.

The intent of the book is to use the exploits and records of the USS Nautilus to create an untold story of the Battle of Midway. He then illustrates how these accounts were instrumental in assisting the author and his team with locating the sunken Japanese fleet. Nautilus's mission log, Brockman's after action report, and interviews from crew members are used to assist the search efforts, and ultimately the team discovers the Japanese carrier Kaga.

Jourdan uses abundant sources throughout the book with a heavy emphasis on interviews and correspondence from historical subject-matter experts, participants of the battle, and U.S. Navy records and personal accounts. Referenced frequently by the author are Shattered Sword by Jon Parshall and Tony Tully, and The Battle of Midway by Richard Bates, and he states they were both invaluable in assisting him to write his book.

The book has many strengths, but one in particular is the author's ability to pack so much detailed information about the Nautilus's maiden voyage and the Battle of Midway into such a small book. …

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