It's not often that one finds a well-written book detailing the losing side's perspective of a battle.
The book is written well, with a fairly balanced perspective.
Mitsuo Fuchida and Masatake Okumiya provide a frank assessment of Japanese strategy from Pearl Harbor through Midway. The insider view from airmen who were on the bombed Japanese carriers is stunning.
The narrative brings out the authors' respect for the Japanese admirals in charge of the Midway effort. At the same time it is critical of their strategic errors and arrogance in the planning of the Midway campaign. It details the absence of radar, poor execution, bad search strategy and poor leadership decisions at critical points of the Midway battle.
If you are looking for a detailing of atrocities, or any reference to them, you won't find them in this book. You will, however, gain an appreciation for naval strategy and aircraft-carrier warfare. You'll walk away realizing the US was good, but more importantly, very lucky at Midway. A little fog, a little cloud cover, and a couple of poor decisions at the worst possible time by the Japanese Navy admirals swung the momentum in America's favor.
The book was a fantastic listen, and I couldn't stop listening once I'd started. I gave this 4 stars as the narration was a bit monotone. It's still a great listen, and I plan to listen to it again in the near future.
Really liked this book. The narrator's voice is child-friendly (at least, for my children), and the material was at the appropriate level to inspire children, though not overwhelming them.
I'm happy that my children can hear about Edison, Bell, the Wright Brothers, etc. and how they kept failing and learning, before they triumphed.
The Holocaust. Mankind at its worst. You think you've heard it all before.
But this book is different. The individual accounts from actual survivors touch your very soul. I am so grateful for the courage of the survivors to share their stories. You hear how the survivors struggle to tell even their own children why they were in camps, and what happened to their friends and families. Touching. Moving.
This book starts out with a heart-warming story of Louis Zamperini turning his life around from troubled youth to Olympic runner. That by itself would have been enough for an inspirational book. But not for Louis - he was just getting warmed up.
The book then shifts gear to World War 2, and deftly takes you through his harrowing flights on a US bomber. All along, you're rooting for Louis and his fellow crewmen. You can feel bullets zing by. Bombs fall around you. Very stunningly written.
And then, the real struggle for life begins, as Louis and two of his crew-mates are set adrift on the Pacific, night after night, with sharks around them. It gets worse from there. The sheer amount of misfortune and adversity these men faced is unbelievable. And through it all, Louis and his
crew-mates' indomitable will rises to the challenge time and again. I could not turn off the book.
Edward Herrmann's narration was very easy on the ears, and you can actually feel the dust kicked up by the runners as he narrates. Superbly done.
The author, Laura Hillenbrand, deserves a special mention for a fantastic job with this book. The depth of research for the book is very evident. I was absolutely floored to realize she put together this masterpiece despite suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome.
At the end of the book, you'll want to meet Louis, shake his hand, and thank him for showing how high the human spirit can soar.
Five Stars all the way!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and will re-listen to it in the near future. Robin Olds's memoirs are colorful, interesting, and a must-read for any Air Force or World War 2 fan. I was fascinated by his Vietnam experience.
He also writes frankly about the challenges of reintegrating into civilian life after Tours of Duty - I found this very eye-opening. A very good book to listen to.
This book is by far my favorite Audio Book.
It is well-paced, and moves the reader along without bogging down.
One gets a very good feel for what it was like to be an SAS officer in WW2.
Robert Whitfield's narration is masterful - the voice is clear and lively. Whitfield's Scottish and British accents are quite believable, and the narration pace matches the action in the book very well.
I've listened to this book twice already.
By far the most entertaining read I've downloaded from Audible.
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