Battle Of Midway. The fight for the Pacific.
The fight for the Pacific
BATTLE OF MIDWAY, a decisive naval battle of World War II that demonstrated that bombers from aircraft carriers, properly utilized, could defeat a superior surface force. This victory by the United States over Japan in June 1942 ended the Japanese advance in the Pacific Ocean.
Having achieved its initial military goals by early 1942, the Japanese decided to take more Pacific outposts--including Midway Island
in order to establish an outer defense line. The Japanese fleet, under Adm. Yamamoto Isoroku, also hoped to draw the remaining U. S. aircraft carriers into battle.
The Japanese planned to attack the Island of Midway, expanding their hold on the Central Pacific. American intelligence intercepted Japanese plans and knew of the impending Japanese attack. The Americans sent their entire carrier force, including the recently damaged "Yorktown," to intercept the Japanese force. The Americans succeeded in sinking four Japanese carriers, loosing only the "Yorktown." This was the turning point in the Pacific War.
Yamamoto erred in dividing his force of more than 160 vessels. The U.S. commander, Adm. Chester Nimitz, with 76 ships available, including the carriers Hornet, Enterprise, and Yorktown, was stronger than the Japanese thought. Searches by U.S. aircraft established the position of the Japanese fleet
Early on June 4, Vice Admiral Nagumo, in command of the Japanese carriers, launched 108 planes for an attack on Midway, 240 miles (386 km) to the southeast. American fighters sent to intercept them were outmaneuvered by Japanese fighters. Bombs damaged Midway, but the runways were not put out of action.
Two other waves of more than 40 bombers were sent to find the Japanese, and did, but they scored no hits, and all but a few were shot down. But the maneuvers of the Japanese carriers had kept their bombers from taking off, and their fighter planes were out of position because of their fight with the attackers. At 10:26, 37 U.S. bombers struck with devastating effect.
The Agaki took direct hits, was abandoned, and sank, and the Kaga and Soryu were also destroyed.