Parshall, Jonathan B. 1962-

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Parshall, Jonathan B. 1962-


Born December 29, 1962; married; wife's name Margaret; children: Anna and Derek. Education: Graduate of Carlton College; graduate of University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management. Hobbies and other interests: Cycling, camping, playing bass guitar, and recording.


Home—Minneapolis, MN. E-mail—[email protected].


Senior manager for a Minnesota software company; U.S. Naval War College, adjunct professor. Founded (Imperial Japanese Navy Page), 1995. Has appeared on the Discovery Channel and the History Channel.


(With Anthony P. Tully) Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway, Potomac Books (Washington, DC), 2005.


Born December 29, 1962, Jonathan B. Parshall graduated from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. He is a senior manager at a Minnesota software company, but has a long-abiding interest in the Japanese involvement in World War II. In 1995, Parshall founded an Internet site dedicated to the Japanese Imperial Navy, and it has since become a popular destination for those interested in the subject.

In 1999, Parshall participated in an expedition, hosted by Nauticos Corporation and the Navel Oceanographic Office, that looked for and found the remains of the Japanese carrier Kaga, a ship of the Imperial Navy sunk during the battle of Midway. His interest in Midway resulted in the book Shattered Sword: TheUntold Story of the Battle of Midway, written with Anthony P. Tully, who was also a participant in the expedition to locate the Kaga.

The Battle of Midway, fought on June 4, 1942, was one of the pivotal battles in the Pacific war and was a turning point for both the Japanese and American fleets. The Japanese had won a string of naval victories after the attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941, and they expected to continue operations until the American Pacific Fleet was destroyed. The Japanese loss at Midway helped to change the course of the war. Shattered Sword looks at the battle of Midway from the perspective of the Japanese, using many new Japanese primary sources. According to the authors and many critics, the book sheds new light on the subject, displacing mythology about both Japanese intentions and American prowess with a more accurate view. The authors look at the battle in a strategic context, narrate the events of the battle, examine the reasons for the Japanese loss, and discuss its repercussions for all sides.

Critics were enthusiastic about the book. Reviewing Shattered Sword for the Troynovant Web site, Robert Wilfred Franson called it "an important and fascinating book, with not only wonderful tactical texture but some surprising strategic conclusions. Shattered Sword reads like a novel, and it's by far the best history of the Battle of Midway." Jeffrey P. Joyce, reviewing the book for the Air Power History, saw it as an important educational tool, declaring, "Shattered Sword is a must for any student of World War II history interested in the naval conflict in the Pacific … the book will be the standard work on the Battle of Midway for years to come." In his review for Air & Space Power Journal, Christopher Parrish wrote, "Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully have produced a work designed to do nothing less than fundamentally change our understanding of the Battle of Midway." Moreover, Parrish appreciated the way the authors used the new information they obtained: "The book exhibits the best uses of both technological and ‘revisionist’ history, fundamentally transforming the historical record in light of new evidence and new techniques—not new social agendas."



Air & Space Power Journal, June 22, 2008, Christopher Parrish, review of Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway, p. 119.

Air Power History, September 22, 2006, Jeffrey P. Joyce, review of Shattered Sword, p. 55.

Journal of Military History, April 1, 2006, John F. Wukovits, review of Shattered Sword, p. 537.

Reference & Research Book News, May 1, 2008, review of Shattered Sword.

Sea Power, November 1, 2006, David W. Munns, review of Shattered Sword, p. 62.

World War II, October 1, 2006, Richard B. Frank, review of Shattered Sword, p. 78.


Imperial Japanese Navy Page, (July 30, 2008), information on the imperial navy, site hosted by author.

Shattered Sword Web site, (July 30, 2008), book Web site and author biography.

Troynovant, (February 2007), Robert Wilfred Franson, review of Shattered Sword.

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Parshall, Jonathan B. 1962-

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