With the release of the Midway 2019 movie, we explore the history behind this critical moment that changed the course of the Pacific Theater of the war between the US and Japan. This documentary is hosted by the esteemed historian Craig Symonds who brings the Battle of Midway to life for us.
Video Overview The Battle of Midway was a clash between the American fleet and the Japanese Navy which marked a pivotal turning point in the Pacific Theater. We begin with an overview of the Japanese strategy and their unbroken string of victories in the first 6 months of the war from the Battle of Pearl Harbor to the Battle of the Coral Sea. At this point it has become apparent that control of the Pacific will be determined by aircraft carrier dominance. Thus Admiral Yamamoto resolves to draw the American Fleet out of Pearl Harbor by launching a sneak attack on Midway.
However the US has already broken the Japanese codes thanks to Operation Hypo and knows of the incoming attack. Nimitz decides to set his own counter trap by sending his 3 aircraft carriers to point luck, just north of Midway to intercept the Imperial Japanese Navy. The battle of Midway begins with Japanese planes bombing the Pacific atoll. American planes from the island retaliate with their own bombers and torpedoes throughout the morning. These score no hits but have the critical effect of delaying the preparation of Japanese aircraft.
At this point, Japan detects US forces to the north and prepares to turn to meet them. But by this time the US Navy has already launched its own places. The first wave to arrive are the torpedo bombers. Though they score no hits either, they draw the defensive Japanese fighters away from the next wave of dive bombers which manage to knock out 3 carriers in just a few minutes. The Kaga, the Akagi, and the Soryu all go down.
The only remaining Japanese carrier, the Hiryu, launches a counter strike which hits the USS Yorktown and eventually sinks it. But a final US attack by the USS Hornet and USS Enterprise takes out this last carrier. Hearing this news, Admiral Yamamoto calls off the rest of his fleet and returns to Japan. America has just turned the tide of the war.