#ThursdayReading – September used books a weekend early #militaryhistory #militaryscience

I try to schedule a run to the used book store only once a month. That means I should have waited until next weekend to go but life happens. Here are my September used book finds…for late August.

Miracle at Midway, Gordon Prange, New York: Penguin Books, 1982 (softcover). From the publisher:

Here is the definitive history of the battle of Midway, an American victory that marked the turning point of the war in the Pacific during World War II. Told with the same stylistic flair and attention to detail as the bestselling At Dawn We SleptMiracle at Midway brings together eyewitness accounts from the men who commanded and fought on both sides. The sweeping narrative takes readers into the thick of the action and shows exactly how American strategies and decisions led to the triumphant victory that paved the way for the defeat of Japan.


I am well aware that Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully’s Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway (Potomac Books, 2005) rewrote the story of the Battle of Midway, but before they came along it was Fushida through Prange that drove the common narrative of the battle. While Miracle at Midway is not the current viewpoint it is still very good to read and understand.

The Wizards of Armageddon, Fred Kaplan, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1983 (hardcover w/dustjacket). From the publisher:

This is the untold story of the small group of men who have devised the plans and shaped the policies on how to use the Bomb. The book (first published in 1983) explores the secret world of these strategists of the nuclear age and brings to light a chapter in American political and military history never before revealed.


Another book that is commonly referenced but which I lacked a personal copy of. I wonder where today’s “wizards” are with the threat of North Korean strategic and tactical nuclear weapons and the Extended Deterrence strategy.

7 Leadership Lessons of D-Day: Lessons from the Longest Day – June 6, 1944, John Antal, Havertown: Casemate Publishers, 2017 (hardcover w/dustjacket).

The odds were against the Allies on June 6, 1944. The task ahead of the paratroopers who jumped over Normandy and the soldiers who waded ashore onto the beaches, all under fire, was colossal. In such circumstances good leadership can be the defining factor in victory or defeat. This book is about the extraordinary leadership of seven men who led American soldiers on D-Day and the days that followed. Some of them, like Eisenhower, Theodore Roosevelt Jr, and Lieutenant Dick Winters, are well known while others are barely a footnote in the history books. 


Colonel Anatal is quickly becoming one of my favorite military leadership and strategy authors. He is very easy to read and always has great points.

Feature image by RMN

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