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(AP)   FTW: U.S. Navy marks Battle of Midway's 70th anniversary. Japan's vessels outnumbered U.S. ships 4-to-1, Japan's aviators had more experience, and its Zero fighter planes could easily outmaneuver U.S. aircraft   (hosted.ap.org ) divider line
    More: Spiffy, F T W, U.S. Navy, Battle of Midway, U.S., vice admirals, Japan, midway, U.S. ships  
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9761 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Jun 2012 at 12:15 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-04 09:14:08 AM  
Of course, the fact that we had broken the Japanese code and were laying in wait for them helped, too... :)

My great uncle flew a Dauntless from the USS Hornet at Midway, and scored a hit on the Japanese destroyer, Asashio.
 
2012-06-04 09:24:05 AM  
It was 4 carriers versus 2 carriers and an island. And what Lucky LaRue said.
 
2012-06-04 09:31:53 AM  
Someone should make a movie about that.
 
2012-06-04 09:39:55 AM  

Lucky LaRue: Of course, the fact that we had broken the Japanese code and were laying in wait for them helped, too... :)

My great uncle flew a Dauntless from the USS Hornet at Midway, and scored a hit on the Japanese destroyer, Asashio.


Salute to your great Uncle. The cracking of the Japanese code was the key to the victory and the story covers that pretty well.

///Subby
 
2012-06-04 09:50:24 AM  

basemetal: Someone should make a movie about that.


I believe they did.
www.wearysloth.com

and you just read that in his voice, too
 
2012-06-04 10:27:41 AM  
Don't underestimate luck either.
 
2012-06-04 10:33:43 AM  
Is Midway really one of the Hawaiian islands?
 
2012-06-04 11:00:45 AM  

notmtwain: Is Midway really one of the Hawaiian islands?


It's where Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam take place
 
2012-06-04 11:23:00 AM  

notmtwain: Is Midway really one of the Hawaiian islands?


Yes:
upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-06-04 11:23:14 AM  
And don't forget the pride goeth before the fall factor, Japan's plan was way too complex and assumed that the Americans were afraid of them and would hide in Pearl Harbor. And that even if the Americans didn't hide, the fancy Japanese sub screen would detect them. Two false assumptions that left the Japanese unprepared to deal with carrier strikes on top of land-based strikes, plus some lucky timing having to do with the order of American attacks that left the Japanese CAP out of position when the US carrier divebombers arrived overhead.
 
2012-06-04 12:02:44 PM  

vossiewulf: And don't forget the pride goeth before the fall factor, Japan's plan was way too complex and assumed that the Americans were afraid of them and would hide in Pearl Harbor.


Over-complexity was one of their trademarks of most of their naval planning.

I don't think they expected the American navy to hide, but they expected them not to be in position to defend the initial Midway invasion. The plan was to secure Midway and defeat the carriers as they sailed to Midway from Pearl Harbor.

The decoy attack on the Alaskan islands was one example of having too complex of a plan; it meant they had fewer carriers and planes in the main Midway attack group. That could have made a big difference.
 
2012-06-04 12:13:53 PM  
Also, the Americans had lasers that shot in three different directions.

www.exotica.org.uk

(1943?)
 
2012-06-04 12:14:54 PM  

2wolves: Don't underestimate luck either.


No kidding. The one search plane AND the one sub that were delayed were the ones responsible for where the American fleet turned out to be.
 
2012-06-04 12:19:39 PM  

Ricardo Klement: 2wolves: Don't underestimate luck either.

No kidding. The one search plane AND the one sub that were delayed were the ones responsible for where the American fleet turned out to be.


It was indeed a tactical blunder to pack power-ups onto their planes.
 
2012-06-04 12:19:53 PM  
The US Navy in 1942:
farm8.staticflickr.com
 
2012-06-04 12:22:41 PM  
Spruance: 'We've won the battle...now let's GTFO before we run into their battleships at night and lose the battle.'
 
2012-06-04 12:23:26 PM  

Ricardo Klement: 2wolves: Don't underestimate luck either.

No kidding. The one search plane AND the one sub that were delayed were the ones responsible for where the American fleet turned out to be.


There were plenty of screw ups on our side too. The waves of torpedo bombers we sent were like lambs to the slaughter. And the crews knew it before taking off. But strangely enough, it was they that drew the air cover away from the carriers so the dauntless's could move in for the kill.
 
2012-06-04 12:23:44 PM  
Lesson: Don't fark with US SIGINT.
 
2012-06-04 12:24:07 PM  

Lucky LaRue: Of course, the fact that we had broken the Japanese code and were laying in wait for them helped, too... :)


HaXXORs!
 
2012-06-04 12:25:18 PM  

vossiewulf: Japan's plan was way too complex and assumed that the Americans were afraid of them and would hide in Pearl Harbor


If they'd kept it simple like Pearl Harbor, they could have pulled it off. But they were trying for a grand Mahanian victory across the entire theater.

Japanese Navy commanders had gone to US colleges, had the same ideas about Mahanian warfare, they just didn't get KISS.

From Midway on, the US did get KISS, concentrate your force, go smash the enemy.
 
2012-06-04 12:25:49 PM  

rikdanger: Also, the Americans had lasers that shot in three different directions.

[www.exotica.org.uk image 300x343]

(1943?)


I always wonder why people under-estimate the power of those frikkin' lasers in WWII.
 
2012-06-04 12:27:38 PM  
This past weekend we attended a memorial service for SS209 the USS Grayling which is on Eternal Patrol with all crew.

My darling's father went down with the Grayling September 1943.

USS Grayling SS209 memorial Page

I mention this because had not the sub-mariners of the day performed with astounding courage and determination to harass, harry and engage the Japanese navy so relentlessly, Midway could well have been a different footnote in History ...

"We shall never forget that it was our submarines that held the lines against the enemy while our fleets replaced losses and repaired wounds."
Fleet Admiral C. W. Nimitz, U.S.N.

"I can assure you that they went down fighting and that their brothers who survived them took a grim toll of our savage enemy to avenge their deaths."
Vice-Admiral C. A. Lockwood, Jr., U.S.N.
P.F.S. 59 Commander Submarine Force 1943-1946

May Go have mercy on the souls on eternal patrol.
May God Bless and send His Angelic Protection around all who serve in our military.
 
2012-06-04 12:28:08 PM  
Regarding WWII fighters: In general, i consider energy fighters to be superior to angles fighters. In fact i would go so far as to say that turning circle is of secondary importance to speed, armament, and roll. This is especially true in group tactics. That assumes of course that the pilots know what they are doing, which the americans didnt.

also, the americans had almost 50% more planes at midway than the japaneese
 
2012-06-04 12:29:31 PM  
Let's not forget the shipyard workers who got the Yorktown back to fighting shape in only a few days. So impressive was that feat that the japanese admiralty didn't believe their scouts when it was sighted out at sea
 
2012-06-04 12:30:30 PM  
USA! USA! USA!
 
2012-06-04 12:30:32 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: It was 4 carriers versus 2 carriers and an island. And what Lucky LaRue said.



4v3, actually - not counting the light carriers escorting japanese surface forces and the Aleutian invasion, in which case it was, iirc, 8v3. But the island helped. Sorta.
 
2012-06-04 12:30:52 PM  
Served 'em right for invading Poland.
 
2012-06-04 12:30:58 PM  

I Said: notmtwain: Is Midway really one of the Hawaiian islands?

It's where Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam take place


He's on FIRE!
 
2012-06-04 12:31:44 PM  

ScotterOtter: Let's not forget the shipyard workers who got the Yorktown back to fighting shape in only a few days. So impressive was that feat that the japanese admiralty didn't believe their scouts when it was sighted out at sea


areyoufuckingcoding.me
 
2012-06-04 12:31:47 PM  

Lucky LaRue: My great uncle flew a Dauntless from the USS Hornet at Midway, and scored a hit on the Japanese destroyer, Asashio.


Yeah, that's cool. But in the movie "Midway", one pilot was shot down in a Dauntless, but when he crashed into the sea he was in a Hellcat. Top that!
 
2012-06-04 12:34:33 PM  
'...and its Zero fighter planes could easily outmaneuver U.S. aircraft'

But they did not outgun them and, more importantly, lacked armor protection and self-sealing tanks making them extremely vulnerable to battle damage.
 
2012-06-04 12:36:30 PM  
Joseph Rochefort was the MAN.
 
2012-06-04 12:38:00 PM  

elvisaintdead: basemetal: Someone should make a movie about that.

I believe they did.
[www.wearysloth.com image 320x240]

and you just read that in his voice, too


Maybe it's cost prohibitive of something (but then they did just make that "Battleship" thing) but this really does seem like possibly the single best military event ripe for a modern era film.
 
2012-06-04 12:40:59 PM  

clovis69: vossiewulf: Japan's plan was way too complex and assumed that the Americans were afraid of them and would hide in Pearl Harbor

If they'd kept it simple like Pearl Harbor, they could have pulled it off. But they were trying for a grand Mahanian victory across the entire theater.

Japanese Navy commanders had gone to US colleges, had the same ideas about Mahanian warfare, they just didn't get KISS.

From Midway on, the US did get KISS, concentrate your force, go smash the enemy.


Guadalcanal was a much sterner test of the American spirit. The Japanese came very close on several occasions to smashing the Marines and thus lengthening the Pacific War. A little-known fact is that for every one Marine killed on 'canal, there were three sailors killed in battles nearby. James Hornfischer's "Neptune's Inferno" tells the story of the naval battles in excellent fashion.
 
2012-06-04 12:41:13 PM  
Yamamoto should have brought all six of his fleet carriers. The USN moved mountains to get the Yorktown operational. Also, the poor design of Japanese carriers and their pathetic damage control training and preparation doomed many brave men to a fiery death.

GO Navy!
 
2012-06-04 12:41:51 PM  

capt.hollister: '...and its Zero fighter planes could easily outmaneuver U.S. aircraft'

But they did not outgun them and, more importantly, lacked armor protection and self-sealing tanks making them extremely vulnerable to battle damage.


While I agree with your latter points, the fact that Zeros had 2 20MM cannons was more than enough to compete with the .50 Cal. machine guns of the Wildcats.
 
2012-06-04 12:42:20 PM  

rtaylor92: Maybe it's cost prohibitive of something (but then they did just make that "Battleship" thing) but this really does seem like possibly the single best military event ripe for a modern era film.


Yeah, people thought that about Pearl Harbor too.
 
2012-06-04 12:42:38 PM  

clovis69: vossiewulf: Japan's plan was way too complex and assumed that the Americans were afraid of them and would hide in Pearl Harbor

If they'd kept it simple like Pearl Harbor, they could have pulled it off. But they were trying for a grand Mahanian victory across the entire theater.

Japanese Navy commanders had gone to US colleges, had the same ideas about Mahanian warfare, they just didn't get KISS.

From Midway on, the US did get KISS, concentrate your force, go smash the enemy.


You would think the shoes made it harder for them to fly the planes.
 
2012-06-04 12:44:20 PM  

rtaylor92: Maybe it's cost prohibitive of something (but then they did just make that "Battleship" thing) but this really does seem like possibly the single best military event ripe for a modern era film.


The problem is the film Pearl Harbor. It's like if you've seen a turd in a punchbowl, you're not gonna be thirsty for punch for a long long time.
 
2012-06-04 12:44:39 PM  
ecx.images-amazon.com

Read this. Best book on Midway since, well, ever. Virtually every iconic "legend" from the Battle of Midway is misleading or outright wrong - Best japanese pilots where all killed there, it was very long odds, the American forces were hopelessly outnumbered, the Aleutian Campaign was supposed to be a distraction from the real goal of Midway, the japanese planes were on deck, littered with fuel and bombs and a few minutes away from launching when the SBDs attacked, some japanese scout planes were launched late and therefore (by dumb luck) saw the american forces, the land based attacks launched from Midway itself did no damage to the Kito Budai etc -- All ether outright wrong or very misleading.

Basically, Japans first major defeat was long overdue thanks to Japans muddled thinking and failed short sighted and over complicated strategy. It's what happns when you have excellent tactics but poor strategy - a good lesson that other superpowers often ignore...

Breaking the Japanese code was of paramount importance, but virtually everything the Japanese did was either wrong headed or overly complicated and rigid. This was a long time coming and very nearly happened at the Coral Sea. Yamamoto promised beforehand he could only dominate the pacific for 6 months after Pearl Harbor and he was right almost to the day.
 
2012-06-04 12:45:27 PM  
Well, the Navy weren't afraid 'cause they knew all Japs were blind as bats, even w/ the thick glasses.
 
2012-06-04 12:45:30 PM  

Evil Twin Skippy: Ricardo Klement: 2wolves: Don't underestimate luck either.

No kidding. The one search plane AND the one sub that were delayed were the ones responsible for where the American fleet turned out to be.

There were plenty of screw ups on our side too. The waves of torpedo bombers we sent were like lambs to the slaughter. And the crews knew it before taking off. But strangely enough, it was they that drew the air cover away from the carriers so the dauntless's could move in for the kill.


No, they didn't know before taking off. They were hoping for a coordinated attack. Torpedo bombers are way more effective than dive bombers. (generally, sinking a ship by letting water in from the bottom is easier than by letting air in from the top)
 
2012-06-04 12:46:25 PM  

Speaker2Animals: James Hornfischer's "Neptune's Inferno" tells the story of the naval battles in excellent fashion.


I've read that. Great book.
 
2012-06-04 12:46:40 PM  
It was a vortex of bad luck for the Japanese, all the above plus fuel lines and unstored bombs on deck when the dive bombers showed up.

/Fortune favors the bold
 
2012-06-04 12:47:02 PM  
Herman Wouk's War and Remembrance does a great job of summarizing the impact and relative cost of gaining this victory. Thirty airmen basically secured the US hegemony.
 
kgf
2012-06-04 12:48:21 PM  

capt.hollister: '...and its Zero fighter planes could easily outmaneuver U.S. aircraft'

But they did not outgun them and, more importantly, lacked armor protection and self-sealing tanks making them extremely vulnerable to battle damage.


More important was the Thatch Weave. It was the Thatch Weave that allowed our outdated fighters to compete with Zero's before Lightnings and Hellcats showed up. Tactics can always outweigh technical specs.

This may sound sappy, or corny, but here goes- I am an atheist, but our victory at Midway is the closest I've ever seen to evidence that proves the existence of God (and that He was on our side).
 
2012-06-04 12:52:12 PM  
 
2012-06-04 12:53:05 PM  

GatorHater: Yamamoto should have brought all six of his fleet carriers. The USN moved mountains to get the Yorktown operational. Also, the poor design of Japanese carriers and their pathetic damage control training and preparation doomed many brave men to a fiery death.

GO Navy!


Yeah IIRC the Japanese navy had wooden decks. If that wasent a call for an inferno I dunno what is.
 
2012-06-04 12:54:03 PM  

kgf: Tactics can always outweigh technical specs.


Unless one side is completely and utterly superior. Tactics aren't going to help you if you are flying a Spitfire or Me-109 against an F-15.
 
2012-06-04 12:54:36 PM  
At the battle of midway the fate of the entire Axis was decided. In order for Germany to have a chance of winning the war in Europe the U.S. would need to have persued a Japan first policy.

If Japan had been successful at midway and Alaska and Hawaii where both invaded that would likely have happened since the next targets would have been the west coast of the US mainland.
 
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