World History

Battle of Midway | World War II

One of the pivotal battles of World War II was the Battle of Midway. It marked a crucial turning point in the United States and Japan’s Pacific War. In 1942, the conflict lasted for four days, from June 4 to June 7.

Where is Midway?

An island called Midway is situated in the Pacific Ocean in the centre of the continents of Asia and North America (thus the name “Midway”). Around 2,500 kilometres separate it from Japan. Midway was regarded by Japan as a crucial strategic island during the war due to its location.

The Raid of Doolittle

The United States began its initial assault on the Japanese home islands on April 18, 1942. The Japanese wanted to push back on the American presence in the Pacific Ocean as a result of this raid. They made the decision to assault the Midway Island American base.

How did the battle begin?

The Japanese devised a strategy to surprise the American forces. They intended to put many American aircraft carriers in perilous situations so they could destroy them. However, a number of Japanese signals had been intercepted by American codebreakers. The Americans set up their own trap for the Japanese because they were aware of their plans.

Who led the battle as the commanders?

Admiral Yamamoto served as the head of the Japanese. He was the same commander who hatched the Pearl Harbour attack. Admirals Chester Nimitz, Frank Jack Fletcher, and Raymond A. Spruance served as the country’s leaders.

The Japanese Attack

The Japanese attacked the island of Midway on June 4, 1942, by launching many fighter and bomber aircraft from four aircraft carriers. Enterprise, Hornet, and Yorktown, three American aircraft carriers, were encroaching on the Japanese force at the same time.

A Surprise Response

The American carriers began an assault while the Japanese were concentrated on striking Midway. Torpedo bombers made up the initial wave of aircraft. These aircraft would approach slowly and attempt to drop torpedoes that would strike the ships’ sides and sink them. The torpedo attacks were repelled by the Japanese. No torpedoes were launched at their intended target, and the majority of American torpedo attack planes were shot down.

However, American dive bombers swooped in and attacked from a great height while the Japanese guns were pointed low at the torpedo bombers. Three out of the four Japanese aircraft carriers were sunk after these bombs hit their objective.

The Yorktown Sinks

The Yorktown then clashed with the Hiryu, the last Japanese carrier. Several bombers might be launched by either carrier at the other. The Yorktown and the Hiryu were ultimately sunk.

Conclusions of the Battle

For the Japanese, losing four aircraft carriers was catastrophic. They also lost almost 3,000 men, 248 planes, and a few other ships. The outcome of this fight marked the end of the conflict and the Allies’ first significant triumph in the Pacific.

Facts worth knowing about the Battle of Midway

Currently, Midway Island is regarded as a US territory.

The Japanese believed that there were only two carriers in the United States. They were ignorant of the Yorktown’s restoration.

The United States utilised Midway Island as a seaplane base and a submarine refuelling station for a significant portion of the remainder of World War II.