Skip to comments.Navy marks Battle of Midway's 70th anniversary (It happened 70 years ago today)
Posted on 06/04/2012 5:35:05 AM PDT by Zakeet
Six months after the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan sent four aircraft carriers to the tiny Pacific atoll of Midway to draw out and destroy what remained of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
But this time the U.S. knew about Japan's plans. U.S. cryptologists had cracked Japanese communications codes, giving Fleet Commander Adm. Chester Nimitz notice of where Japan would strike, the day and time of the attack, and what ships the enemy would bring to the fight.
The U.S. was badly outnumbered and its pilots less experienced than Japan's. Even so, it sank four Japanese aircraft carriers the first day of the three-day battle and put Japan on the defensive, greatly diminishing its ability to project air power as it had in the attack on Hawaii.
On Monday, current Pacific Fleet commander, Adm. Cecil Haney and other officials will fly 1,300 miles northwest from Oahu to Midway to market the 70th anniversary of the pivotal battle that changed the course of the Pacific war.
(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...
Battle of Midway: A handful of U.S. sailors did the impossible and changed the course of a war.
“The U.S. was badly outnumbered and its pilots less experienced than Japan's”
Yes while this is true in the theater, at the actually point of attack the US Navy had the advantage, three carriers plus Midway's air field, including B-17 heavy bombers.
Love this thanks for posting.
How close a thing it was, and how those two extra carrier groups might have turned the tide against us.
Midway was the tipping point in the Pacific war.
The Japanese public wasn’t told the details of the defeat until 1955.
Thanks Zakeet for the topic, and Thank You to those who served, whether here or hereafter.
Not really. It wasn't a "miracle" either. People need to read "Shattered Sword."
We won because we were better.
The men at Station HYPO under Joseph Rochefort are the ones who deserve the most credit. They broke JN-25. Thanks to them we knew the Japs were going to attack at Midway on 4 June with Kaga, Akagi, Hiryu and Soryu.
Yep. A good big guy beats a good little guy, every single time.
The Japanese were never really in the fight. The best that they could have hoped for (in fact, what Yamamoto was hoping for) was to hit the US hard enough so that we'd leave them alone. While this in no way should diminish what we accomplished in the Pacific, the fact remains that the Japanese picked a fight that they couldn't win.
Now Germany, on the other hand, was a much closer thing. A couple of slightly different choices (von Rundstedt keeps the panzers rolling at Dunkirk, instead of stopping for 48 hours, for instance) ....and the last 70 years would have been about the 3rd Reich.
“Midway was the tipping point in the Pacific war”
I don’t think so. Even if we lost all three carriers at Midway and the Japs lost none, the outcome would still be the same. By 31 December 1943 we would have 7 Essex CVs, 9 Independence CVLs and 20 Casablanca CVEs in commission. And another 7 Essex CVs and 30 Casablanca CVEs would be commissioned in 1944. The Japanese were doomed.
Ok you strap on a Grumman Wildcat and go up against an A-6M Zeke. We will come to your funeral.
My career Navy father survived the sinking Yorktown.
After almost 92 good years the Navy returned him to the Pacific.
December 1943 was 18 months later, and while I’m sure the war would have ended by now, the ending would have been delayed by a year or more had we lost at Midway. The real Japanese land war was in China, and had been going on for years before Pearl Harbor. They’d driven out the British, and relied on the ocean itself (and those dug-in fight to the death Japanese soldiers on the needed islands) to keep the US from invading the home islands.
Had they prepared for a longer time, they would ultimately have still seen a couple of their cities get vaporized by nukes — assuming the US had the means to deliver them. Without the victory at Midway, that would have been impossible in 1945; a defeat at Midway would have had an impact on the outcome of the European war as well.
The Japanese fought the Pacific war as if it were a land war, which is weird because as an nation of islands they have a long maritime tradition. Sending those two carrier groups to the Aleutians as a diversion was just nutty, and they couldn’t make up the losses they suffered at Midway, probably as a consequence of the diversion.
A: Admiral Yamamoto was overconfident and his battle plan was deeply flawed. He assumed-incorrectly-that US carrier strenth in the Pacific was down to two ships. Therefore he was unwilling to wait for two additional heavy carriers to become available. Even worse, he split up his forces leaving the four heavy carriers that he did choose to commit with almost no screening ships.
B: Carrier Admiral Nagumo was indecisive, unimaginitive and overcautious. His insistence on re-arming the attack planes with torpedos and AP bombs after sightning the American carriers had the effect of making his own carriers into floating bombs at the exact moment that they were attacked. Too bad, so sad for him.
C: But mainly we hit them first, and hit them hardest. We were able to do this thanks to the fact that we had broken their codes. And because of the miraculously fast repairs to the Yorktown we were not as outnumbered as Yamamoto thought.
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