A Change of Tides in America's Greatest War

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"Midway thrust the warlords back on their heels, caused their ambitious plans..........to be canceled, and forced on them an unexpected, unwelcome, defensive role". -Samuel Elliot Morison, the United States Navy's official historian of World War II, on the Battle of Midway in June 1942. The danger of Japanese power in the Pacific lingered over the heads of the Americans and endangered the safety of their homeland in the years from 1903 to 1942. That power lasted until the Japanese made the mistake of attacking the island of Midway in the second great carrier battle of the war. At 4:30 in the morning on June 4, 1942, the Japanese attacked the U.S. naval base at Midway in an attempt to destroy their aircraft carriers that escaped Pearl…show more content…
Yamamoto had a complex invasion plan that included a second operation against the Aleutian Islands near Alaska, however, because of the damages sustained at the Battle of Coral Sea, his Carrier Strike Force consisted of only four aircraft carriers defended by only a handful of cruisers and destroyers (“HIGH NOON ON THE HIGH SEAS”). Even with the depleted fleet, the Japanese remained confident that the upcoming battle would be a swift victory for their advancement into the Pacific. Little did the Japanese know that U.S Intelligence was hard at work gathering intel to thwart an offensive on Midway.

The U.S. knew absolutely everything, with skillful work in radio communication and codebreaking, they were able to find out, in detail, when the attack would begin, where it would be, and how they would go about it (“Battle of Midway 4-7 June 1942”). After absorbing the information, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz of the U.S. Navy, decided to take an offensive approach to the impending battle. His plan required three naval task forces to be set up. Admiral William F. "Bull" Halsey was the commander of Task Force 8, or of the Enterprise aircraft carrier, Admiral Aubrey W. Fitch commanded Task Force 11, the Lexington carrier, and John Frank Fletcher was commander of Task Force 17, the Yorktown carrier. Even though they were outnumbered four carriers to

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