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Turning the Tide: The Battles of Coral Sea and Midway (Paperback)

Coral Sea and Midway



Postage and Packing Free - On 7 December 1941 at Pearl Habor, the Imperial Japanese Navy delivered a stunning lesson in the effectiveness of carrier aircraft against capital ships. The crippling of the US Pacific Fleet gave the Imperial Japanese Navy almost free rein in that theatre of operations until the turning point — the Battles of the Coral Sea and Midway (1942).


Detailed Description

Publication date: 15 April 2013

ISBN 978-1-84102-333-5 

Hardback 230 x 150mm

160 pages  

The outcome was the first decisive naval victory for the United States Navy with big-gun battleships further eclipsed by carrier aviation. Much of the action in the Pacific became legendary, as the British and American public viewed the newsreels of attacks at Pearl Harbor and the fall of Hong Kong, the Philippines and Singapore. 

At Midway, Commander Joseph Rochefort, USN, and his team cracked a Japanese code, which revealed Admiral Yamato’s plan of attack on Midway Island. Japanese losses were vast and many Japanese airmen who had carried out the attacks at Pearl Harbor would meet their end at the Battle of Midway. Turning the Tide details these key events of the Pacific War and how the Battles of the Coral Sea and Midway allowed the US to be able to counter the Japanese at Guadalcanal.

  • Turning the Tide is one of a series of previously restricted and classified documents in a new, accessible format
  • Specially commissioned commentary by expert military historians
  • Published in collaboration with Britannia Royal Naval College

Britannia Naval Histories of World War II – an important source in understanding the critical naval actions of the period

About the series 

Never previously published in this format, documents once stamped ‘secret’ have been sourced from Britannia Royal Naval College’s Library. These include reports and plans drawn up by serving Royal Navy Officers during and immediately after World War II. Britannia Naval Histories of World War II also contain Germany’s recorded view of action against the British, with Hitler’s comments, as they were typed and filed at the time: the Fuehrer Conferences. Specially commissioned artwork appears on each front cover.


...each phase of the action is described in a highly detailed but clear and cogent narrative. The quality of the text, working within the constraints of staff writing, underlines the enduring importance of clarity of expression and analysis, offering an important lesson for today's naval officer. A half-page summary of the battle is a model of its kind, highlighting the Americans' recognition of the importance of sustainability (with increased focus on replenishment at sea) and new tactics for anti-torpedo defense... its clear explanation and analysis will make a valuable resource to serious students of the first clashes of the carrier battle fleets.

Lieutenant Simon Bellamy RNR - The Naval Review Volume 101 Number 4, p.444-445


...the latest volume of the Britannia Naval Histories of World War II revisits the Royal Navy's official histories of two pivotal naval battles. Taken from the previously classified battle summaries, numbers 45 and 46, this newly printed edition is a valuable aid to the study of two groundbreaking carrier battles in the Pacific War.

Originally drafted and written between 1946 and 1951, these insightful summaries were meant to provide lessons learned for the Royal Navy officer corps studying maritime warfare in the first decade of the postwar era. As noted in Philip Grove's introduction, these official histories cross-refer and blend the official publications more than published works of the same era. Turning the Tide enables twenty-first-century readers to revisit the myths of the battles and reconsider the decisions that the leaders of the U.S. Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy faced during those months of uncertainty in 1942. While we may not necessarily find new information in these portrayals of the battles, we will find much to ponder in how the postwar generation studied these two pivotal fights in the Pacific theater from these richly constructed summaries...

Jon Scott Logel - Naval College Review Winter 2014, p.154-155

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