The Battle of Midway- First Moves


Traditionally, the Battle of Midway is listed as occurring over 4/5 June, 1942. But a proper appreciation of the battle also has to take into account the actions of 3 June 1942.

SteelJawScribe a few years ago wrote a fantastic thumbnail history of the battle, and rather than recount in my own feeble way, I’ll link to him.

One of the amazing things about looking back at Midway is just how decisive it was (though that would take a long time to be fully apparent) and frankly, just how small it was.  While virtually the entire Japanese fleet was tasked for the operation, in effect, only the four carriers were engaged. And virtually the entirety of available US Navy assets were deployed, a total of three carriers with cruiser and destroyer escort. In three short years, a three carrier force would be the hallmark of a decidedly subsidiary operation, not the entirety of the Navy.

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3 responses to “The Battle of Midway- First Moves

  1. The USN was quite lucky in that battle. Think of the influence of just one thing – Tone’s Aircraft launching late, had on the course of the battle.

  2. Yers, the A-gangers in IJN CA Tone didn’t keep one of the catapults operational. Truly a nail lost that affected an empire.

    Shattered Sword is a great book about Midway from the IJN perspective, clearing up many mysteries and errors.

    Note that only a small handful of USN aviators were spectacularly successful, where all the focus has been. The entire Hornet strike went elsewhere. Spruance’s biography hints at major errors from staff members inherited from Halsey.
    A full story on the USN side will show how fortunate we were to win.

  3. The entire Hornet divebomber strike went awry.