The Battle Of Midway: An Analysis

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The Battle of Midway is often regarded as the turning point of the war in the Pacific theater, where 5-minutes (starting at 10:25 am) “miracle” changed the course of the battle and consequently its victor. Authors and historians who have written on the battle and the U.S.’s victory have regarded it as an act of luck, even veterans of the battle who remembered it several decades afterthought of their impossible win as a result of divine intervention. Symonds argues against this commonly held belief, arguing instead that it wasn’t because of luck or divine intervention but more so because of the mistakes and quick decision making of men like fleet admiral Chester Nimitz and Lieutenant Commander Joseph Rochefort and those under their command that…show more content…
Cmdr. Joseph Rochefort and the U.S.’s overall superior strategies of Nimitz and Fletcher was the true reason for why the U.S.’s seemingly impossible victory became possible. The two key themes that I will focus analysis on is the failures in the Japanese strategic planning and execution at Midway and U.S. determination and resilience to keep pushing on even after things, especially with USS carriers leading up to and during the actual war was falling apart. Symonds begins to argue his case by dissecting Japan’s plans for conquest and domination in the Pacific. He starts with looking at the Japanese failure by several of their military philosophies. For example, he was talking about the lack of armor on airplanes, saying that the Japanese valued the attack over protection, so while their airplanes were able to carry heavier bombs, since the airplane protection was not weighing the plane down, basically the Japanese were doing half the work for their enemies because a single hit was would ignite an explosion. This idea of not armoring planes was one of the many mistakes of the Japanese for several reasons. While the Americans were ok with just having trained piolets out there on the front whether they had had actual combat experience or not, the…show more content…
The main deficiency with Japan’s war plan for Midway, as Symonds pointed out, came from the assumption that the Americans would react and behave in the way that the Japanese wanted, enough for them to strangle and beat down U.S. forces enough to drag them to the negotiation table as they had done with the Russians in the Russo – Japanese War. One mistake that Symonds pointed made on the part of the Japanese regarding their Midway plan was that attacking the island itself provided no advantage for them but everything for the Americans. Japan did not have the resources to both take over Midway and maintain the island, but it boosted all the benefits for the Americans because Midway provided land-based air cover, shorter logistic lines and was close enough to repair facilities that the U.S. forces did not have to stress. Essentially by picking this island, the Japanese had lost another step in the overall battle. Midway was closer to the U.S. bases which were crawling with American submarines and therefore easier to protect instead of the geographical location of Japan were trying to provide resources to Japanese on the would be occupied island would stretch out Japan’s already depleting sources as pointed out by Commander Miyo. Symonds also shows how the war wasn’t a miracle by
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