Index to the Battle of Midway, 4 - 6 June 1942
Last updated: 20 February 2007
THE END OF AKAGI
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.
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".
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
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)
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.
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