*Includes historic pictures of the battle taken by both sides. *Includes pictures of important people, places, and events. *Includes a Bibliography for further reading. "[T]he most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare." - John Keegan, military historian The names of history's most famous battles still ring in our ears today, with their influence immediately understood by all. Marathon lent its name to the world's most famous race, but it also preserved Western civilization during the First Persian War. Saratoga, won by one of the colonists' most renowned war heroes before he became his nation's most vile traitor. Hastings ensured the Normans' success in England and changed the course of British history. Waterloo, which marked the reshaping of the European continent and Napoleon's doom, has now become part of the English lexicon. In Charles River Editors' Greatest Battles in History series, readers can get caught up to speed on history's greatest battles in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known. Although not as well-remembered as D-Day or even the attack at Pearl Harbor that preceded it, the Battle of Midway was one of the most unique and important battles fought during World War II. In fact, the turning point in the Pacific theater took place between June 4-7, 1942 as a Japanese fleet moved a sizable fleet intending to occupy Midway Island and draw the American navy near. Instead, American aircraft flying from three aircraft carriers that had been away from Pearl Harbor in December 1941 got a bearing on the Japanese fleet and sunk four Japanese aircraft carriers, permanently crippling Japan's navy. The Battle of Midway was one of the first major naval battles in history where the enemy fleets never actually saw or came into contact with each other. By the time the Battle of Midway was over, the defeat was so devastating that it was actually kept secret from all but the highest echelons of the Japanese government. Along with the loss of hundreds of aircraft and over 3,000 men killed, the four Japanese aircraft carriers lost, when compared to America's one lost carrier, was critical considering America's huge shipbuilding superiority. However, the Battle of Midway could also have easily turned out differently. Japan began the battle with more carriers, more and better aircraft, and more experienced crews than the Americans, and if the battle of the Coral Sea was any indication, the two sides had irrefutable proof of the dominance of the aircraft carrier in the Pacific. The implications of earlier clashes were now starkly underlined, and the fighting was now clearly about timing. The carrier fleets were incredibly powerful and crucially important, yet at the same time they were hugely vulnerable weapons systems. The protagonists at Midway were putting into practice a newly emerging naval doctrine, one which ultimately meted out a terrible punishment to the side that miscalculated. Carrier versus carrier combat had come of age. The Greatest Battles in History: The Battle of Midway comprehensively covers the entire military situation that led up to the battle, analyzes the decisions made by the battle's most important leaders, and explains the aftermath of the American victory. Along with a bibliography and pictures of important people and places, you will learn about the Battle of Midway like you never have before, in no time at all.