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THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY. JUNE 4-5, 1942. EARLY 1942 EVENTS. THE DOOLITTLE RAID: WHEN? APRIL 18-19, 1942 WHERE? WESTERN PACIFIC, JAPAN ISLANDS WHO? U.S. ARMY AIR CORPS / FORCE BOMBERS U.S. NAVY Lt. COL. JAMES DOOLITTLE, U.S.A.A.F. IS C/O 16 B-25 BOMBERS (80 OFFICERS & AIRMEN)

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the battle of midway

THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY

JUNE 4-5, 1942

early 1942 events
EARLY 1942 EVENTS
  • THE DOOLITTLE RAID:
    • WHEN? APRIL 18-19, 1942
    • WHERE? WESTERN PACIFIC, JAPAN ISLANDS
    • WHO?
      • U.S. ARMY AIR CORPS / FORCE BOMBERS
      • U.S. NAVY
      • Lt. COL. JAMES DOOLITTLE, U.S.A.A.F. IS C/O
      • 16 B-25 BOMBERS (80 OFFICERS & AIRMEN)
    • WHY?
      • RETALIATION FOR PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
      • TO BOOST U.S. MILITARY & PUBLIC MORALE
    • PROBLEM?
      • HOW TO GET AIR GROUP CLOSE ENOUGH TO JAPAN W/OUT DETECTION
      • HOW TO GET CREWS / PLANES TO SAFETY
    • RESULTS?
      • TOKYO BOMBED W/LITTLE DAMAGE
    • CASUALTIES:
      • U.S. – 3 KIA, 8 POW (4 DIE IN CAPTIVITY – 3 EXECUTED, 1 OF DISEASE), 15 B-25 BOMBERS
      • JAPAN – 50 DEAD, 400 WOUNDED
    • STRATEGIC RESULTS:
      • JAPAN WITHDRAWS CARRIER GROUP FROM INDIAN OCEAN TO DEFEND JAPAN
      • JAPAN DECIDES TO ATTACK MIDWAY ISLAND
the battle of the coral sea
THE BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA
  • WHEN? MAY 4-8, 1942
  • WHERE? CORAL SEA, S.PACIFIC (near Australia)
  • WHO?
    • IJN COMBINED FLEET (carriers & battleships)
    • USN – 2 CARRIER TASK FORCES (define)
    • AUSTRALIA – DESTROYER FORCES
  • WHY?
    • JAPAN ATTEMPTING TO…
      • STRENGTHEN THEIR POSITION IN S. PACIFIC
      • OCCUPY PORT MORESBY (New Guinea)
      • EXTEND CONTROL IN SOLOMON ISLANDS
    • SO WHAT? DIRECT THREAT TO AUSTRALIA
  • RESULTS?
    • FIRST BATTLE TO EMPLOY LARGE-SCALE CARRIER-BASED ATTACKS
    • HEAVY FIGHTING / LOSSES ON BOTH SIDES
    • CASUALTIES:
      • JAPAN – 1 CARRIER SUNK, 1 DAMAGED, 966 KIA
      • U.S. – 1 CARRIER SCUTTLED, 1 HEAVILY DAMAGED, 656 KIA
  • STRATEGIC EFFECT?
    • JAPAN CANNOT OCCUPY PORT MORESBY
    • 2 JAPANESE CARRIERS UNABLE TO PARTICIPATE AT MIDWAY
    • U.S. & ALLIES NOW HAVE TIME TO PREPARE NEW GUINEA INVASION
admiral chuichi nagumo commanding officer ijn carrier strike force battle of midway
ADMIRAL CHUICHI NAGUMO COMMANDING OFFICER, IJN CARRIER STRIKE FORCE, BATTLE OF MIDWAY
midway preparing for battle
MIDWAY: PREPARING FOR BATTLE
  • JAPANESE GOALS:
    • ELIMINATE U.S. STRATEGIC POWER IN PACIFIC
    • ALLOW JAPAN TO STRENGTHEN / TAKE ADVANTAGE OF RECENT CONQUESTS
    • WOULD ENSURE NO REPEAT OF DOOLITTLE RAID
  • HOW? / WHAT WAS THE STRATEGY?
    • LURE U.S.NAVY CARRIERS INTO TRAP & ELIMINATE THEM
    • A THREAT TO HAWAII WOULD FORCE U.S. TO RESPOND W/ CARRIER FORCES
    • ATTACK & OCCUPY MIDWAY ISLAND
midway order of battle
MIDWAY: ORDER OF BATTLE
  • JAPANESE FORCES*:
    • 4 CARRIERS
    • 2 BATTLESHIPS
    • 15 SUPPORT SHIPS
    • 248 AIRCRAFT
  • U.S. FORCES:
    • 3 CARRIERS
    • 25 SUPPORT SHIPS
    • 233 CARRIER-BASED PLANES
    • 127 LAND-BASED (Midway Island) PLANES
  • *THESE FIGURES ONLY INCLUDE FORCES DIRECTLY INVOLVED IN COMBAT AT MIDWAY
comparing forces
COMPARING FORCES
  • JAPAN: ADVANTAGES
    • LARGER NAVAL FORCE
      • MOST IMPORTANTLY – MORE CARRIERS
    • MORE EXPERIENCED NAVAL CREWS
    • MORE EXPERIENCED PILOTS
    • CONFIDENCE
    • MOMENTUM
  • JAPAN: DISADVANTAGES
    • FEW, IF ANY
    • NAVAL CODEBREAKING / CRYPTOGRAPHY WAS INFERIOR TO U.S.
    • BATTLE PLAN IS COMPLICATED:
      • JAPANESE FORCES CANNOT SUPPORT EACH OTHER
      • WHY? THEY ARE DISPERSED OVER LARGE AREA
    • OVERCONFIDENCE – UNDERESTIMATION OF U.S. CAPABILITIES (at that time)
comparing forces cont d
COMPARING FORCES(cont’d.)
  • U.S.: ADVANTAGES
    • CODEBREAKING / CRYPTOGRAPHY
  • U.S.: DISADVANTAGES
    • LESS EXPERIENCED CREWS
    • FEWER SHIPS, esp. CARRIERS
    • INFERIOR TORPEDO PLANES
    • INFERIOR FIGHTER PLANES
    • U.S. CANNOT AFFORD TO LOSE CARRIERS
  • WHAT ROLE DO U.S. NAVAL INTELLIGENCE CODEBREAKERS PLAY IN THE BATTLE?
    • IJN NAVAL CODE (IJN-25) WAS BROKEN BY THE U.S.
    • CODES PROVED MIDWAY WAS JAPAN’s PRIMARY TARGET
u s navy task force 16 carriers battle of midway u s s hornet above u s s enterprise right
U.S. NAVY TASK FORCE 16CARRIERS, BATTLE OF MIDWAYU.S.S. HORNET (above)U.S.S. ENTERPRISE (right)
slide42
U.S.N. SBD “DAUNTLESS” DIVE BOMBER MOVING TO TAKEOFF POSITION (note Pre-War insignia & color scheme on plane)
slide46
U.S. NAVY TBD DEVESTATOR VARIATIONS – note the Pre-war markings & color scheme; also note the aerial bomb on lower variant
course of battle
COURSE OF BATTLE
  • JUNE 4:
    • 0620 hrs: JAPANESE ATTACK MIDWAY
      • HEAVY AIR LOSSES FOR U.S.
      • MIDWAY DAMAGED, BUT AIRFIELDS REMAIN INTACT
      • SO WHAT?
        • U.S. CAN STILL LAUNCH ATTACKS FROM ISLAND
        • IJN WILL HAVE TO PREP. FOR 2nd ATTACK ON MIDWAY
    • 0500 hrs.: U.S. ATTACK JAPANESE CARRIERS w/MIDWAY-BASED PLANES
    • 0715 hrs.: NAGUMO ORDERS CARRIER TORPEDO PLANES REARMED W/ CONTACT BOMBS (Why?)
    • 0800 hrs.:
      • IJN SCOUT PLANES SIGHT U.S FLEET
      • NAGUMO ORDERS HALT TO ARMING OF PLANES – ORDERS BOMBS REMOVED & REPLACED BY TORPEDOS
    • PROBLEM:
      • NAGUMO MUST WAIT FOR MIDWAY STRIKE FORCE PLANES TO LAND
      • THEN HE WILL LAUNCH PLANES AGAINST U.S. CARRIERS
    • SO WHAT? U.S. FLEET HAS ALREADY LAUNCHED THEIR ATTACK PLANES
course of battle1
COURSE OF BATTLE
  • PROBLEMS?
    • FOR IJN? YES…
      • THEY HAVEN’T LAUNCHED PLANES AGAINST U.S. FLEET
      • FLIGHT DECKS / HANGAR DECKS ARE COVERED w/BOMBS, TORPEDOES, & FUEL LINES
    • FOR U.S.? YES…
      • THEIR PLANES WERE LAUNCHED w/OUT COORDINATION
      • PLANES GET SEPARATED ON FLIGHT TO IJN
      • SO… TORPEDO PLANES HAVE NO FIGHTER COVER
  • 0920 – 1000 hrs.:
    • U.S. TORPEDO PLANES ATTACK
    • SEVERE LOSSES (ex. TORPEDO SQUADRON 8)
    • CRITICAL MOMENT: JAPANESE COMBAT FIGHTER PATROL COVERING CARRIERS IS DRAWN DOWN TO SURFACE CHASING TORPEDO PLANES
  • 1020 hrs.: U.S. DIVE BOMBERS ARRIVE OVER IJN CARRIERS
    • IJN FIGHTER PLANES CANNOT STOP THEM (why?)
    • 3 DIVE BOMBER SQUADRONS ATTACK
    • 3 IJN CARRIERS HIT SIMULTANEOUSLY
  • THE FATAL FIVE MINUTES: KAGA, AKAGI, SORYU ALL HIT & SUNK
  • HIRYU LAUNCHES AIRSTRIKE IMMEDIATELY
  • U.S.S. YORKTOWN IS ATTACKED BY IJN DIVE BOMBERS & TORPEDO PLANES – HEAVILY DAMAGED; SINKS ON JUNE 7
  • HIRYU IS SUNK AFTER U.S. ATTACK IN AFTERNOON
slide77

JUST A WORD TO LET YOU KNOW THAT I THINK WE ARE READY. WE HAVE HAD A VERY SHORT TIME TO TRAIN AND WE HAVE WORKED UNDER THE MOST SEVERE DIFFICULTIES. BUT WE HAVE TRULY DONE THE BEST HUMANLY POSSIBLE. I ACTUALLY BELIEVE THAT UNDER THESE CONDITIONS WE ARE THE BEST IN THE WORLD. MY GREATEST HOPE IS THAT WE ENCOUNTER A FAVORABLE TACTICAL SITUATION, BUT IF WE DON’T, AND THE WORST COMES TO WORST, I WANT EACH OF US TO DO HIS UTMOST TO DESTROY OUR ENEMIES. IF THERE IS ONLY ONE PLANE LEFT TO MAKE A FINAL RUN IN, I WANT THAT MAN TO GO IN AND GET A HIT. MAY GOD BE WITH ALL OF US. GOOD LUCK, HAPPY LANDINGS, AND GIVE ‘EM HELL.

              • LCDR JOHN C. WALDRON, C/O TORPEDO 8, JUNE 4, 1942
results
RESULTS
  • CASUALTIES:
    • IJN:
      • 4 CARRIERS SUNK
      • 1 CRUISER SUNK
      • 248 AIRCRAFT DESTROYED
      • 2,013 KIA
    • U.S.:
      • 1 CARRIER SUNK (U.S.S. YORKTOWN)
      • 1 DESTROYER SUNK (U.S.S. HAMMAN)
      • 150 AIRCRAFT DESTROYED
      • 307 KIA
effects
EFFECTS
  • ALLIES 1st MAJOR VICTORY AGAINST JAPAN
  • ELIMINATES JAPAN’s OFFENSIVE CAPABILITY
    • WHY?
      • HIGH CASUALTIES FOR VETERAN PILOTS
      • HIGH CASUALITES FOR CARRIER CREWS
      • EXPERIENCED PEOPLE CAN’T BE QUICKLY REPLACED
      • LOSS OF 4 CARRIERS CAN’T BE QUICKLY REPLACED
  • SETS THE STAGE FOR U.S. INVASIONS OF SOLOMON ISLANDS & NEW GUINEA
  • THE TURNING POINT IN THE PACIFIC THEATRE OF WORLD WAR II
ad