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"The Japanese Story of the Battle of Midway" Topic

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Tango0120 Jun 2013 3:46 p.m. PST

"During the stay of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey in Japan, shortly after the conclusion of the war, a sizable number of official Japanese naval papers were recovered and returned to the Washington Document Center. The Naval Analysis Division of the Survey, in connection with its studies, arranged for the scanning of most of these documents and the fuller translation of some, but lack of qualified personnel has not yet permitted the complete coverage which a critical historical examination must later demand.

The document here presented in full is the action report by the C-in-C of the First Air Fleet, Admiral Nagumo, who was the commander of the Striking Force at Midway. As its title implies, this force contained the major offensive strength of the Combined Fleet, in its four aircraft carriers, and in fact conducted all the attack effort in this engagement. It was likewise the primary target of the United States forces involved. In the main, therefore, the action report of the Striking Force covers most of the detail of the historic Battle of Midway as seen from the Japanese side.

The Striking Force (variously titled Mobile Force, First Attack Force, and First Air Fleet) approached Midway from the northwest. The Occupation Force with landing troops embarked approached from the southwest. The Main Body, with Admiral Yamamoto, C-in-C Combined Fleet, took no part in the action, remaining to the westward prepared to meet such American threat to the concurrent operations in the Aleutians and at Midway as might develop.

There have been noted a number of obvious typographical errors in the original text, and several minor errors in fact particularly with respect to recognition of American aircraft types. In addition, there is sometimes difficulty in presenting an exact meaning in interpretation due to inherent peculiarities in Japanese naval phraseology.

It is suggested that the reader will benefit by reference to appropriate sections of "Interrogations of Japanese Officials" and "The Campaigns of the Pacific War" which have been published by the Naval Analysis Division of the Survey.

The arduous task of translating this document was accomplished by Mr. Fred Woodrough, Jr., of the Office of Naval Communications. Mr. Woodrough accompanied the Naval Analysis Division to Japan where he served as the Senior interpreter and translator of that group…"
From main page

Hope you enjoy!.


PD: Sure than Robert knows this one… (smile).

Coelacanth20 Jun 2013 5:16 p.m. PST

Thank you! At present, I am reading Robert B. Edgerton's "Warriors of the Rising Sun: A History of the Japanese Military" (W.W. Norton &Co, 1997). So, the timing couldn't be much better for me (I had just finished the chapter before the Pearl Harbor attack). It is always interesting to read about a well-known battle from another perspective.


jgibbons Inactive Member20 Jun 2013 5:28 p.m. PST

Reading the other sides view is always interesting…


Happy Little Trees Inactive Member20 Jun 2013 5:49 p.m. PST

Also Shattered Sword

It has a very good breakdown of the attacks on the Japanese and how the Americans managed to take out three carriers at once.

Temporary like Achilles Inactive Member20 Jun 2013 6:12 p.m. PST

Many thanks, Armand! Am starting a PBeM campaign of this, so a very timely find. Bookmarked!


Old Slow Trot Inactive Member21 Jun 2013 6:55 a.m. PST

Been watching the movie "Midway" recently.

Tango0121 Jun 2013 11:13 a.m. PST

Happy you had enjoy it my friends!


CampyF Inactive Member21 Jun 2013 12:35 p.m. PST

"The Nagumo Report" Thank you. I hadn't read it before. I think every wargamer should read items like this, and truly understand that in war, the commander does not have a complete or accurate picture of the battlefield.

Interesting that the Japanese were still obsessed with our battleships.We had seven old battleships on the west coast, but couldn't figure how to use them in this battle. Turned out the Japanese battleships were useless, also.

Happy Little Trees Inactive Member21 Jun 2013 4:07 p.m. PST

I think the obsession with the BBs is understandable.

Prince of Wales and Repulse being sunk was the only example they had of air power sinking capital ships at that point. And Coral Sea was only a month prior, so I don't think they had time to absorb the lessons and truly appreciate how much the carriers changed naval warfare.

Ken Hall Inactive Member22 Jun 2013 11:43 a.m. PST

Thanks for pointing us to this, Armand. In addition to Shattered Sword, I also read Paul S. Dull's work on the IJN about three years ago. It was very good.

Tango0122 Jun 2013 10:59 p.m. PST

A votre service mon ami!. (smile).


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