The decisive naval battle of World War II, turning
America's losing fight into a domination over the Japanese Navy. In early
June of 1942 , despite Japan's military superiority, America handed the
Axis powers a crushing blow in the North Pacific, near Mdiway Island.
Although the Japanese did not learn until to late, their planned sneak
attack at Midway and been discovered much earlier when America had deciphered
the Japanese code.Yamamoto's intentions were to invade Midway Island and
the Aleutian chain off Alaska. However these fixed strategies allowed the
American forces, headed Chester C. Nimitz, a more flexible attack plan.
With such knowledge America had the distinct advantage of suprise, however
were still highly outgunned. The Japanese fleet was massive, 200
ships in all, including 8 carriers, 11 battleships, 22 cruisers, 65 destroyers,
and 21 submarines. America had three carriers with 233 airplanes
and no battleships. But as America struck out swiftly, Japan suffered
the loss of one heavy cruiser, four fleet carriers, and 330 aircraft--most
of which sat idly on the decks of their respective carriers. America lost
only 150 aircraft and one carrier.
The battle unfolded as so: Japan still believed they had a successful sneak attack in progress, and ordered their dive bombers to attack Midway island (an American base). While all the readied aircraft were away at the island, the still undiscovered American fleet launched their attack on the Japanese carriers. Despite the suprise 35 of the 41 launched aircraft were shot down in the first round, but then the second wave hit with no opposition. Three Japanese carriers sank in one hour. For the remainder of the day the Yorktown (US Carrier) and the Hiryu (Japanese carrier) pounded on one another, until both had to be abandoned.