Two weeks ago I explained the conclusion of the pacific war and, at the same time, the end of World War II. The atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. While most of WWII went down on the European mainlands, there was some heavy fighting in the so-called ‘Pacific Theater of Operations’.
First the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, a naval base near the Hawaii islands. This was a terrible and unpredictable attack from the United States’ point of view. Six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor the Allied forces fought off another Japanese attack in the Pacific Theater. At the Midway Islands the battle of Midway was fought, 4-7 June, 1942.
The Japanese plan was to occupy the Midway islands, because of it’s defensive positioning. It would disable future attacks on the Japanese mainland. The initial Japanese plan was to lure the American aircraft carriers into a trap, while then targeting the islands.
One thing could be said about the Japanese strategic plans on the seas, they were terribly complex. It was required that multiple combat groups were moving at exactly the right time, over hundreds of miles of open sea.
The Japanese were under the impression that two of the American ships were unavailable in Battle. Both the USS Lexington was sunk and the USS Yorktown was severely damaged.
Not known to the Japanese was that the USS Yorktown was repaired very fast to make it available in the Battle of Midway. This ship would be the key to defeating the Japanese naval forces. Meanwhile the Americans cracked the Japanese encrypted messages, enabling them to see through the Japanese strategy.
After an initial attack by the Americans, the Japanese counterattacked multiple times on the American fleet and air-forces deployed on the battle. After these counterattacks, the Americans did a final counterattack on the Japanese fleet, sinking them one by one. The hope of the Japanese to be the only rulers of the Pacific Theater was officially shattered.