The Battle of Midway

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Social Studies
World War II

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The Battle of Midway

Dates:June 5, 1942 (June 4-June 7 in US time zones).

The Battle of Midway was a crucial and decisive naval battle in the Pacific Theatre of World War II. [6][7][8] Between 4 and 7 June 1942, only six months after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor and one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea, the United States Navy under Admirals Chester Nimitz, Frank Jack Fletcher, and Raymond A. Spruance decisively defeated an attacking fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy under Admirals Isoroku Yamamoto, Chuichi Nagumo, and Nobutake Kondo near Midway Atoll, inflicting devastating damage on the Japanese fleet that proved irreparable.[9] Military historian John Keegan called it "the most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare."[10] It was Japan's first naval defeat since the Battle of Shimonoseki Straits in 1863.

The Battle of Midway, fought in June 1942, must be considered one of the most decisive battles of World War Two. The Battle of Midway effectively destroyed Japan’s naval strength when the Americans destroyed four of its aircraft carriers. Japan’s navy never recovered from its mauling at Midway and it was on the defensive after this battle.


The Battle of Midway

At the Battle of Midway, Japan lost four carriers, a cruiser, and 292 aircraft, and suffered 2,500 casualties. The U.S. lost the Yorktown, the destroyer USS Hammann, 145 aircraft, and suffered 307 casualties


Veteran Interview

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. Admiral Yamamoto had predicted to his superiors that Japan would prevail for only six months to a year against the United States, after which American resources would begin to overwhelm the Japanese Navy. He had been exactly correct.



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