Battle of Midway
A lot of naval battles were fought in the World War II. However, the Battle of Midway in the Pacific Theater of Operations is regarded as one of the most substantial and fierce naval battles of all time. This is a battle fought in 1942, six months after the Pearl Harbor attack by the Japanese naval troops, and one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea. The United States Navy, under Admirals Chester W. Nimitz, Raymond A. Spruance and Frank Jack Fletcher overcame an attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy led by Admirals Isoruku Yamamoto, Nobutake Kondo and Chuichi Nagumo on Midway Atoll.
The USN caused severe damage on the Japanese fleet and troops. Evidently, it was one of the worst and first Japan naval setbacks since the Battle of Shimonoseki Straits in 1863. Japan thought that it will unleash surprise attack like the Pearl Harbor on the United States naval troops and create its Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. The Japanese troops hoped that another devastating attack and defeat would easily force U.S to surrender in the pacific war and guarantee Japanese supremacy over the pacific.
Japanese were always tactical when it came to naval wars and on this day they planned to lure the United States’ aircraft carriers into a snare. The Japanese naval troops intended to occupy Midway as part of an overall plan to extend their defensive perimeter in response to the Doolittle air raid on Tokyo. This plan was also set to strike attacks on Hawaii, Samoa and Fiji who japan was in conflict with. The plan was affected physically, mentally and socially by an assumption of the American poor initial outlooks and reactions. Essentially, the American code-breakers [Station HYPO] were able to detect the set date and location of the attack. This made it easy for cautioned U.S navy to set up and ambush of its kind.
With enough and apparent details on the location of the Japanese aircraft carriers [Akagi, Hiryu, Kaga and Soryu], the six-carrier force and the heavy cruiser, the American navy was able to sunk all these weaponry at a cost of one destroyer and one American aircraft carrier. From these great losses, the Japan’s shipbuilding and pilot training programs could not replace all the weaponry and expertise whereas the U.S naval unit’s increased their output on all areas.
By the time the Battle of Midway ended, following the cautioned attack by the American naval troops, 3,057 Japanese had perished. These were the casualties aboard the four Japanese carriers, the heavy cruisers and the destroyers. After the battle and victory, the American troops retired and the carriers were returned to the Pearl Harbor. Japanese public and the military structure were not informed of the defeat and loss of servicemen and carriers. In essence, this battle led to great military technological innovations and preparedness in both U.S and Japan.
From these losses, the Japanese military department trained more pilots and developed more and better carriers and firefighting equipment. Three U.S airmen were captured by the Japanese and imprisoned and later killed. The Battle of Midway due to its popularity and impact has often been referred to as the “turning point of the Pacific”. The battle also showed the need for a pre-war naval cryptanalysis and distinctive intelligence-gathering.
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