1. Welcome to Baptist Board, a friendly forum to discuss the Baptist Faith in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to all the features that our community has to offer.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

More facts/thoughts on Midway...

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by robycop3, Nov 9, 2019.

  1. robycop3

    robycop3 Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2000
    Messages:
    11,040
    Likes Received:
    298
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Come June 1942, Japan had been at war since 1937. And her Combined Fleet, especially the carriers, had been in constant warfare since the Pearl Harbor attack. Their crews were in need of some R&R; their equipment in need of PVM.

    The carrier, Adm. Chuichi Nagumo, was fatigued himself, having been constantly on edge for 6 months. Early on, he & his carriers had performed brilliantly after Pearl harbor. But the strain was beginning to tell; he became passive & somewhat lethargic not long before Midway. And his boss, Adm. Isoroku yamamoto, was tired as well. Also, both admirals, as well as many other Naval officers, were greatly embarrassed over the Doolittle air raid on Tokyo, as they had suffered much loss of face. Yamamoto had even unwisely sent a force in pursuit of the carriers which had brought the B-25s into range of Japan. (Halsey & those carriers had beaten a hasty withdrawal soon as the bombers had been launched.)

    Plus, Yamamoto & others were infected with the very syndrome he had warned against-"victory disease". All their operations had gone like clockwork with two exceptions: taking Port Moresby in New Guinea, thwarted by the battle of the Coral Sea, & land operations in the Philippines. Thus, Y was confident that his divided fleet could win all the operations he'd set forth in his Midway plan. His ultimate aim was to get the decisive battle against the majority of the US fleet he was obsessed with.

    Thus, Yamamoto had divided his force, when one strong push by most of his ships coulda taken Midway & perhaps forced the US fleet into the one decisive battle he wanted by then trreatening Hawaii, a battle he stayed obsessed with having, even after Midway. (But Nimitz was too shrewd to take the bait & dare battle the much-more-powerful Combined Fleet head-on.)

    Nimitz immediately saw an opening, when Y divided the Combined Fleet, to tackle & defeat parts of it when it was too-divided to supply backup support to any one part. Nimitz' cryptology team, led by Lt. Cmdr. Joseph Rochefort, had cracked part of the Japanese Naval cypher, which enabled them to determine that Midway, & Attu & Kiska in the Aleutians were the targets of the big invasion. Naturally, he wanted to hit the enemy carriers if he could. But he had to keep two things in mind: First, the Japanese carriers were veteran fighters; their sailors & aircrews were both expert; their equipment was batter than the US's, their pilots much-more-experienced in both assembling several groups from different ships into one strike force, and in actual bombing & fighting. Their torpedoes were the best in the world at that time & carried by aircraft, subbies, & destroyers. And Nimitz was under orders from his boss, COMINCH Adm. King, to not unnecessarily risk the carriers, as there were no more of them available for Pacific duty.

    Y believed he had surprise on his side, not knowing Nimitz was aware of his plan. Also, Y was counting on N doing exactly what Y believed he'd do with the Aleutians attacked first, then, Midway. But it was N who had surprise on his side!

    But even then, N knew the odds were against him, as Nagumo had many more, and better, aircraft, with more-experienced pilots. But luck, skill by all US forces involved, & super bravery gave the US the victory !

    AFTER THE BATTLE

    Y tried to go after the US carriers with his main body, which had been laying back waiting for the US fleet to appear. However, N knew the Japanese fleet was still far-stronger than his own, even after the carriers were sunk. He wisely retreated to regroup & see what the Japanese would do next. besides, the Battle of Guadalcanal was still going on, & Nimitz wanted to keep the Marines reinforced & supplied. Turned out, Japan poured a lotta effort into trying to re-take Guadalcanal, but in vain.

    US LESSONS LEARNED AT MIDWAY

    The USN learned it must have much more-organized air fleet assembly techniques to prepare quickly for a full-strength strike without burning too much fuel. The pilots learned to be more-disciplined in their radio traffic & not "walk on" each other. Air traffic controllers learned to more-skillfully vector their ships' aerial protection onto enemy formations. The carrier commanders learned the value of box formations for attacks & for at least two carriers per task force to have enough aircraft for effective strikes and ship protection. Commanders learned the Devastator torpedo planes & brewster Buffaly fighters were hopelessly-obsolete flying coffins & took them outta service.

    This victory & those tactics served the USN will thru the rest of 1942. On the last day of that year, the mighty USS Essex was commissioned, the first of a line of carriers that turned the tide against Japan. (Not one Essex-class carrier was sunk in the war !)

    The Combined Fleet went on to win a few more minor victories, but its air power was forever blunted by Midway, and it was losing moew & more experienced pilots.
     
  2. robycop3

    robycop3 Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2000
    Messages:
    11,040
    Likes Received:
    298
    Faith:
    Baptist
    THE HORNET AIRSTRIKE'S FLIGHT TO NOWHERE

    When the flights from the Enterprise & Hornet took off, it seems Capt. Mitscher told the Hornet's airmen to follow course 265 degrees to the west before turning north, based upon his estimation of where two of the enemy carriers were.(Nimitz had informed Mitscher that 2 enemy carriers were unaccounted for.) While two had been located & the Enterprise's planes were heading for, it was known there were four enemy carriers involved, & Mitscher(and other top commanders) assumed they'd be operating in a separate task force from the other two, & that's why they hadn't been yet spotted.

    However, they were operating together, unknown to the USN at that time. Commander John Waldron of the Hornet's Torpedo 8 had calculated where he believed the enemy was, based upon the known ranges of their bombers. Thus, Waldron defied Flight Leader Cmdr. Stanhope Ring & went 239 degrees southwest-and found the enemy. But Ring & the rest of the flight found nothing.

    The planes from the Enterprise found & bombed the Kaga & Akagi, while the Yorktown's planes found & bombed the Soryu. While all three soon sank, we can only speculate how much sooner this could've been accomplished had all of Hornet's planes joined in.

    The "empty" flight was no one's fault. Mitscher acted on the intel he had, while Ring obeyed Mitscher's order. And Mitscher wrote an inaccurate battle report deliberately, so as not to sully a great victory, nor dishonor the valient sacrifice of Torpedo 8 & other torpedo plane crews who had made it easy for the dive bombers to attack by drawing off the enemy's ship-protecting fighters to low altitudes, sacrificing themselves. And Cmdr. Ring went on to serve with distinction thruout the war, while Mitscher made rear admiral, also serving with distinction.
     
  3. robycop3

    robycop3 Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2000
    Messages:
    11,040
    Likes Received:
    298
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Some don't think Midway was the decisive battle of the Pacific war; they cite the Marianas Turkey Shoot series where Japan lost over 400 aircraft & quite a few ships, marking the virtual end of the IJN. But Midway halted the Japanese advances & blunted her air power, giving the USN time to become the formidable armada that began winning victory after victory in the Pacific.

    While a DECISIVE battle is a war-winner such as Waterloo and Petersburg/ Richmond were, My personal opinion is that Midway was a PIVOTAL battle, giving the IJN pause & stopping their current plans. However, they remained very powerful & dangerous, & Nimitz wisely decided to get his forces out of as much harm's way & be content with a great victory.

    The IJN still clung to the idea of a great decisive battle where it would wipe out the USN's Pacific Fleet. They finally got their wish at the Marianas in 1944 when they tried to stop the invasion of Saipan, but the USN they faced was not the small, inexperinced one they'd faced in 1941-42. This version was battle-wise, much-superior numerically in men, ships, & aircraft, with superior craft of all sorts. Yes, that battle WAS decisive-against the IJN ! It was crushed then & there.
     
Loading...