Battle of Midway - Wikipedia
The Battle of Midway, fought in World War II, took place on June 5, (June Fought just a month after the Battle of the Coral Sea, Midway was the turning. World War II. Battle of Midway, June 3–6, View All Media. date. June 3 the end of April the Japanese were ready to assert control of the Coral Sea . The intelligence interplay would be critical to the outcome of the battle and began many weeks before the clash of arms. American radio nets in.
There would be no chance of them landing on an aircraft carrier so they would have to fly to a friendly part of China. The pilots practiced short-field takeoffs in Florida in preparation. The project was under the command of Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle. Eighteen bombers were launched successfully from an aircraft carrier under the command of "Bull" Halsey.
The bombers made it to Tokyo and the other cities and dropped their bombs. Some made it to China and others came down in Japanese territory and the crews were captured.
The raid was probably only important in terms of morale. The Japanese thought it was essential to prevent any more such raids. Such raids could endanger the Emperor.
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The Japanese military incorrectly deduced that the raid had been launched from Midway Island and therefore Midway Island had to be captured. The Japanese Attack Force Sent to Midway Island Admiral Yamamato had responsibility for planning the attack on Midway Island and as was his forte it was massive coordination of naval and aircraft power.
It involved two hundred ships and aircraft organized into five separate forces. The naval force included eight aircraft carriers, eleven battleships and 23 cruisers. Not all of these were devoted to the attack on Midway. There was to be a diversionary attack on the Aleutian Islands of Alaska.
The strike force for Midway consisted of four aircraft carriers and two battleships. An Occupation Force consisted of twelve troopships for landing five thousand soldiers on the island.
Twenty submarines were to be stationed between Midway and Hawaii to prevent forces from Hawaii coming to the aid of Midway. The American Naval Defense Force Sent to Midway Island From the decoded operational messages, the Americans knew an attack was being planned but they did not know the target.
The Battle of Midway
Many in the decoding operation correctly surmised that Midway Island would be the target. However there were some in authority that feared the target might be Hawaii or the West Coast. They did not want defense forces assembled at Midway if Hawaii was going to be the target. The situation was resolved sending a message to Midway by secure undersea cable telling them to send an unencoded message by radio to Hawaii announcing that their water desalinization plant had failed and that they had only a two week supply of fresh water.
Hawaii sent back a message that the replacement plant was on its way. From the flurry of Japanese messages that resulted from this ploy it was obvious that Midway was to be the target.
Hornet, Enterprise and Yorktown. The Yorktown had been badly damaged in the Battle of the Coral Sea but fifteen hundred men working around the clock had her repaired in three days. The American task force arrived in the vicinity of Midway before the Japanese one did.
Battle of Midway
The Course of the Battle The Decoded messages revealed the Japanese intended to launch their attack from an area to the northwest of Midway. That gave the Americans the advantage of knowing where to search for their enemies.
Unfortunately that was not enough of advantage to offset superior number and superior quality of the Japanese Zero fighter planes. When the 26 outmoded fighter planes from Midway Island confronted an attack swarm of Japanese fighters and bombers 15 of American fighters were shot out of the sky and of the 11 that landed back at their base at Midway 9 were destroyed on the ground.
But the anti-aircraft guns on Midway put 67 of the Japanese attack planes out of action. The American carriers had more modern aircraft than those based at Midway but they too were heavily damaged by the anti-aircraft guns of the Japanese fleet and the 50 Japanese Zeroes protecting the fleet.
Of the 41 planes launched from the American carriers only four made back to their carrier. However just when the Japanese carriers were dealing with the landing and refueling of their planes a fleet of 32 Dauntless bombers from the American carrier Enterprise and 17 from the Yorktown came into the area unnoticed at a higher altitude.
The bombers from the Enterprise immediately went into dives to hit the Japanese carriers Kagi and Akagi. There were multiple direct hits from the bombers and additional damaged from the explosions of the Japanese planes on the decks of the carriers.
The American bombers from the carrier Yorktown also scored direct hits on the Japanese carrier Soryu. A fourth Japanese carrier Hiryu escaped notice and launched planes that hit the Yorktown and put it out of commission by badly damaging its engines.
All of the 24 planes left on the Enterprise were launched against the Hiryu. They scored four direct hits that set the Hiryu on fire which destroyed her.
Thus in the course of one day Japan lost four aircraft carriers. In addition she lost more than aircraft and men. The Japanese attack force still had battleships left but without the protection of aircraft from the carriers they would be vulnerable targets.
Yamamoto decided to accept the failure of his attack on Midway and withdrew his fleet to the west. Yamamoto did not know it but he had signed his own death warrant for his role in the planning of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
American anti-aircraft fire was intense and accurate, destroying 3 additional Japanese aircraft and damaging many more.
The initial Japanese attack did not succeed in neutralizing Midway: American bombers could still use the airbase to refuel and attack the Japanese invasion force, and most of Midway's land-based defenses were intact. Japanese pilots reported to Nagumo that a second aerial attack on Midway's defenses would be necessary if troops were to go ashore by 7 June.
Battle of Midway
The main airfield at Guadalcanal was named after him in August Making no attempt to pull out of its run, the aircraft narrowly missed crashing directly into the carrier's bridgewhich could have killed Nagumo and his command staff.
A Shotai of 3 Zeros is lined up near the bridge.
This was one of several combat air patrols launched during the day. These comprised two squadrons each of dive bombers and torpedo bombers. The dive bombers were as yet unarmed. The torpedo bombers were armed with torpedoes should any American warships be located. This was a result of the attacks from Midway, as well as of the morning flight leader's recommendation of a second strike.
Re-arming had been underway for about 30 minutes when, at Later evidence suggests Nagumo did not receive the sighting report until Another 20—40 minutes elapsed before Tone's scout finally radioed the presence of a single carrier in the American force.Everything You Know About Pearl Harbor Is Wrong: The Struggle for the Mastery of Asia (2002)
This was one of the carriers from Task Force The other carrier was not sighted. The returning strike force needed to land promptly or it would have to ditch into the sea. Because of the constant flight deck activity associated with combat air patrol operations during the preceding hour, the Japanese never had an opportunity to position "spot" their reserve planes on the flight deck for launch.
Without confirmation of whether the American force included carriers not received until In the end, Nagumo decided to wait for his first strike force to land, then launch the reserve, which would by then be properly armed with torpedoes.