The Search for the Japanese Fleet


The Search for the Japanese Fleet

USS Nautilus and the Battle of Midway

David W. Jourdan
Foreword by Philip G. Renaud

424 pages


June 2015


$29.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
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June 2015


$29.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

June 2015


$29.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

In The Search for the Japanese Fleet, David W. Jourdan, one of the world’s experts in undersea exploration, reconstructs the critical role one submarine played in the Battle of Midway, considered to be the turning point of the war in the Pacific. In the direct line of fire during this battle was one of the oldest boats in the navy, USS Nautilus. The actions of Lt. Cdr. William Brockman and his ninety-three-man crew during an eight-hour period rank among the most important submarine contributions to the most decisive engagement in U.S. Navy history.

Fifty-seven years later, Jourdan’s team of deep-sea explorers set out to discover the history of the Battle of Midway and find the ships that the Allied fleet sank. Key to the mystery was Nautilus and its underwater exploits. Relying on logs, diaries, chronologies, manuals, sound recordings, and interviews with veterans of the battle, including men who spent most of June 4, 1942, in the submarine conning tower, the story breathes new life into the history of this epic engagement. Woven into the tale of World War II is the modern drama of deep-sea discovery, as explorers deploy new technology three miles beneath the ocean surface to uncover history and commemorate fallen heroes.

Author Bio

David W. Jourdan is the founder and president of Nauticos, a company devoted to the exploration of the deep sea. Jourdan and his Nauticos team are responsible for the discovery of the Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga and the Japanese World War II submarine I-52. He is the author of The Deep Sea Quest for Amelia Earhart and Never Forgotten: The Search and Discovery of Israel’s Lost Submarine Dakar. Capt. Philip G. Renaud, USN (Ret.), is the current executive director of the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation and a former commanding officer at the Naval Oceanographic Office.


"This well-written and well-researched book is a nice addition to any library centered on World War II, or the U.S. Navy’s submarines, or recent technological developments in underwater research."—Charles H. Bogart, Journal of America's Military Past

"The mix of history and the underwater detective work required to find the Japanese fleet keeps the reader engaged from start to finish."—Maj. Matthew Prescott, Military Review

“A superb combination of history, strategy, tactics, and science, David Jourdan’s new treatment of the epic Battle of Midway is a masterpiece. He takes us deep—both literally and figuratively—into acoustic exploration at sea, unlocks the mysteries of the undersea portion of Midway, and tells a gripping tale of war at sea in what many believe was the pivotal battle of the Pacific theater of World War II. An instant classic!”—Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.), former supreme Allied commander of NATO, 2009–2013

“David Jourdan and his team discovered the sunken Japanese submarine I-52 and found the lost Israeli submarine Dakar, but could they find the Japanese carrier Kaga, sunk at the Battle of Midway, when, despite the best efforts of others, its location remained a mystery? Two submarines, incredibly sharing the hull number 168, played key roles in the battle. One was Japanese, I-168, whose torpedoes sent the wounded Yorktown into the deep. The other was the American Nautilus (SS-168), which played a crucial role during the battle itself, and again, fifty-seven years later, in the hunt for Kaga. Jourdan brings both to life in this fascinating account.”—Vice Admiral George W. Emery USN (Ret.), former commander U.S. and Allied Submarine Commands, Atlantic

“David W. Jourdan’s superb study of the Battle of Midway reexamines the crucial strategic and tactical decisions made in the battle and, perhaps just as important, puts a face on the decision makers and combatants. It was a battle America had to win, but reading The Search for the Japanese Fleet made me acutely aware of the human cost of the battle for Japan. And to have this military study folded into a heart-pounding adventure story—well, hats off to David Jourdan!”—Randy Roberts, Distinguished Professor of History at Purdue University

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations



Prologue: “So We Have Won After All”

1. War Patrol

2. The Quest

3. Kidō Butai

4. Revealing the Deep

5. Hide, Seek, and Attack

6. Under Siege

7. The End of Kidō Butai

8. The Art of Renav

9. Return to Midway

10. History Revealed

11. Victory and Sacrifice

Epilogue: The Heroes of Nautilus

Appendix A: Further Questions on Nautilus and the Battle of Midway

Appendix B: The Crew of USS Nautilus (SS-168)

Appendix C: The Explorers

Appendix D: Order of Battle

Appendix E: Chronology of the Battle of Midway

A Note on References and Selected Bibliography


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