Index to the Battle of Midway, 4 - 6 June 1942

Last updated: 20 February 2007

THE END OF AKAGI

This image depicts Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo's flagship Akagi after it had been attacked at the
Battle of Midway by the SBD dive-bombers of Lieutenant Richard H. Best, USN and his two wingmen.


This painting of the doomed Akagi at the Battle of Midway was painted by the internationally respected artist John Hamilton (1919-93). The
original painting is displayed in The Pentagon in Washington, DC, and is one of a series by John Hamilton entitled "War in the Pacifc".


IMPORTANT NEWS
A new Pacific War web-site featuring interactive animations of key Pacific War battles, including Coral Sea, Midway, and Guadalcanal is now online. These excellent animations should assist viewers to follow text descriptions of very complex battles such as Midway and Coral Sea. Strongly recommended.

In the great naval battle at Midway in the central Pacific between 4 and 6 June 1942, the outnumbered United States Pacific Fleet won a remarkable victory against a much more powerful Imperial Japanese Navy carrier force. The Japanese aggressors intended to capture the last garrisoned American island outpost west of Hawaii and complete the annihilation of the United States Pacific Fleet that had begun with Japan's treacherous attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941.

Before Midway, the United States had been struggling to survive the powerful Japanese onslaught. The loss by Japan of four of its most powerful aircraft carriers at Midway marked the turning of the tide against the seemingly invincible Japanese Navy and thwarted Japan's ultimate aim which was to invade Hawaii.

Historical research has now revealed that the Japanese intended the capture of Midway Atoll to be the first step in tightening a steel noose around Hawaii before the end of 1942. The Japanese hoped to use the fate of the population of Hawaii as a bargaining chip to draw the Americans into peace talks that would lead to a negotiated end to hostilities between Japan and the United States, and American acceptance of Japan's domination of most of the central and western Pacific, including the Philippines and Australia.

In this section of the Pacific War Web-site, viewers will be able to follow each enthralling phase of the great battle at Midway for control of the central and western Pacific Ocean. Paintings of aspects of the battle by famous artists augment the contemporary black and white images. Additional historical material has been provided for those who wish to look beyond the battle and understand the place of Midway in Japan's strategic aims.

The Midway section also includes gripping eyewitness accounts of the battle under the index heading "They served their Country at the Battle of Midway".

Map of the central Pacific Ocean at 3 June 1942

Strategic Overview

US Marines transform Midway into Hawaii's lonely sentinal

Preparations for the Battle of Midway

Unravelling the full scope of Japan's Midway Operation-The work of Professor J.J. Stephan

Events of 4 June 1942 (morning)

US Marine Fighting Squadron 221 defends Midway Atoll

Midway Atoll under Japanese air attack

The Midway counter-attack on the Nagumo carrier force

The charge of the B-26 Midway Marauders

Vice Admiral Nagumo feels the pressure of American air attacks from Midway

The search for Nagumo's Carriers

The Tide of Battle turns at Midway

Events of 4 June 1942 (afternoon)

Events of 5 and 6 June 1942

They served their Country at the Battle of Midway

Assessing the place of Midway in World War II

Midway in Retrospect

Historical Source Material

The Battle of Midway Roundtable

PACIFIC WAR BRIEFING NOTES

INDEX (RETURN TO PACIFIC WAR HOME PAGE)

OR

INDEX (RETURN TO BATTLE FOR AUSTRALIA HOME PAGE)


Many of the fine aviation artworks generously provided for viewing on the Pacific War Web-site by leading artists Stan Stokes, Roy Grinnell, David Gray, and many others, can be viewed online and purchased at the Aviation Art Hangar. Searching for paintings of a particular aircraft is made easy with the "Locate by aircraft" menu.


MORE WEB-SITES FOR THE HISTORY ENTHUSIAST

THE PEARL HARBOR AND WORLD WAR II PACIFIC WAR RING

This site is a member of WebRing. To browse visit here.

THE HISTORY RING

This site is a member of WebRing.
To browse visit Here.