The Japanese thought they had outsmarted the Americans. America didn't know what they were about to get into; until U.S. Intelligence broke the Japanese code. The result; the turning point in the Pacific war.
Midway Island was about 1,140 miles from Pearl Harbor. This was the farthest outpost of Hawaii. The entire area stretched six miles, including a little land, but Midway was a key strategy point in the war. Admiral Yamamoto decided that Midway was the way to go.
The Japanese navy gathered together 200 ships, 11 battleships, 8 carriers, 22 cruisers, 65 destroyers, 21 submarines, and 700 planes. They were to launch an all-out assault on the American forces. The success of the mission was determined by precise timing, and the Americans doing everything according to plan. What they didn't count on was the Americans cracking the code.
The attack occured on June 4, 1942. The day before, the Japanese were heading for the island. The planes on the ships took off the next morning and headed for the island. About fourty Japanese planes never got a glimpse of the island as Army, Navy, and Marine planes took off to protect against the invaders. The American planes destroyed a battleship and a carrier.
Japanese were winning, however. One more similar attack and Midway would be in Japan's hands. Japanese counted on their ships to take on the attack, but Midway would be almost entirely fought with planes. The ships had nothing to do but sit there.
The Americans unleashed a wave of planes onto the Japanese. Bombs and machine-guns wreaked havok on the Japanese. Japanese planes couldn't land on the badly damaged ships. Japanese became more pre-occupied with saving the survivors than worrying about the Americans. The attack was an extreme success.
The next day, some B-17 flying fortresses joined the Americans from Hawaii. They were ready to attack the Japanese fleet.
On Yamato, Admiral Yamamoto lost his mobility when he learned that four of his carriers were sunk along with the planes on them. He canceled the invasion and ordered a retreat. He ordered four cruisers to destroy the airfields at Midway, but a group of American submarines were waiting for them.
The U.S. chased them into the direction of Japan until they were low on fuel. The Americans had successfully beaten the enemy. Japan lost 5,000 men, four carriers, and a cruiser. the cruiser Mogami was heavily damaged, 2 destroyers were damaged, and the battleship Haruna was damaged. Three hundred and twenty two planes were lost during the battle. Two hundred and eighty were from sunken carriers.
The carrier Yorktown, the destroyer Hammann and 147 aircraft were lost to the Americans. One hundred and nine were on carriers. Midway was still occupied by the Americans. The Battle of Midway ended all hope for a Japanese invasion of Hawaii and eventually the U.S. west coast.
The Battle of Midway was now over.