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Battle of Midway

Naval Battles of the Second World War
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    The Battle of Midway, fought in World War II, took place on June 4, 1942. The United States fended off a Japanese attack on its fleet, marking a turning point in the war in the Pacific theatre. 

    Fought just a month after the Battle of the Coral Sea, Midway was the classic carrier battle, in which skill, daring, and luck all played a part. The attack on the island of Midway, which also included a feint to Alaska by a smaller fleet, was a ploy by the Japanese to draw the American carrier fleet into a trap. With the American carriers destroyed, the Japanese hoped to invade Hawaii. 

    At dawn on June 4, Japanese carrier aircraft bombed and heavily damaged the base on Midway. U.S. carrier forces had the advantage of knowing, through decryption of Japanese communications, what the enemy was up to. When the Japanese aircraft returned to their carriers, Admiral Chuichi Nagumo decided to re-arm them with bombs for a second strike at Midway. They were to attack Admiral Raymond Spruance's carrier group, which had at last been detected and was rapidly approaching. With torpedoes and bombs stacked and fuel hoses snaked across their decks, the Japanese carriers made vulnerable and highly volatile targets. The Japanese had no chance by this time. 

    Spruance immediately launched an attack from the carriers USS Enterprise and USS Hornet. Anti-aircraft fire and fighters shot down 35 of 41 torpedo bombers, but this action brought the Zeros down so low that the American dive-bombers could attack almost without opposition. Five minutes later three Japanese carriers, the Akagi, Kaga and Soryu, were ablaze, abandoned, or crippled. 

    Aircraft from the Japanese carrier Hiryu struck the USS Yorktown, which survived this and a second attack, only to be sunk by a Japanese submarine on June 7, and the same submarine sank the destroyer USS Hammann. Aircraft from the Enterprise in turn attacked the Hiryu and set her ablaze, and damaged the destroyer Isokaze. After this, Spruance, in concert with the forces on Midway, launched attacks that crippled and destroyed the Japanese cruisers Mogami and Mikuma. Having scored a decisive victory, American forces retired. The loss of four carriers stopped the expansion of the Japanese empire in the Pacific and put Japan on the defensive. It had been six months to the day since the attack on Pearl Harbor, vindicating Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto in a way he cannot have welcomed. Yamamoto had predicted that Japan could prevail for only six months to a year against the Allies. 

    Order of Battle 


    • Yamato 
    Advance Expeditionary Force

    Carrier Striking Force

    • Cardiv 1 
      • Akagi 
      • Kaga 
    • Cardiv 2 
      • Hiryu 
      • Soryu 
    • Batdiv 3, 2nd section 
      • Haruna 
      • Kirishima 
    • Crudiv 1 
      • Chikuma 
      • Tone 
    • Desdiv 4 - Arashi, Nowaki, Hagikaze, Maikaze 
    • Desdiv 10 - Kazagumo, Yugumo, Makigumo, Akigumo 
    • Desdiv 17 - Isokaze, Urakaze, Hamakaze, Tanikaze 
    • Supply Unit - Kyokuto Maru, etc 
    Midway Occupation Force
    • Batdiv 3, 1st section 
    • Crudiv 4, 1st section 
    • Crudiv 5 
    • Desdiv 2 
    • Desdiv 9 
    • Supply Unit 
    Main Body
    • Batdiv 1 
    • Desdiv 11 
    • Desdiv 19 
    • Desdiv 20 
    Northern Area Force

    United States 

    Task Force 17
    • Task Group 17.5 (Carrier Group) 
      • Yorktown (CV-5) (sunk) 
    • Task Group 17.2 (Cruiser Group) 
      • Astoria 
      • Portland 
    • Task Group 17.4 (Destroyer Screen) 
      • Hammann (sunk), Anderson, Gwin, Hughes, Morris, Russell 
    Task Force 16
    • Task Group 16.5 (Carrier Group) 
      • Enterprise (CV-6) 
      • Hornet (CV-8) 
    • Task Group 16.2 (Cruiser Group) 
      • Atlanta 
      • Minneapolis 
      • New Orleans 
      • Northampton 
      • Pensacola 
      • Vincennes 
    • Task Group 16.4 (Destroyer Screen) 
    • Oilers 
    • Task Group 7.1 
      • Cachalot, etc 
    • Task Group 7.2 
      • Narwhal, etc 
    • Task Group 7.3 
      • Finback, etc 


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