The Battle Of Midway: Turning Point In The Pacific

Improved Essays
The Battle of Midway is often regarded as the “turning point in the Pacific” as well as the most decisive victory in the history of the United States Navy (USN). The United States had been planning for a war with Japan for years, but when the time came, Japan was second in priority to Germany. The Japanese leadership of Admiral Yamamoto, Commander of Japanese Combined Fleet, and Vice Admiral Nagumo, commanding officer of the carriers, wanted to take charge in the Pacific by putting all of their power into taking a small island in the Pacific. The United States Navy was in shambles with the losses at Pearl Harbor and the exhaustion felt after Coral Sea, but the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) had its underestimated depth and morale. The victory …show more content…
Due to both his judgments of the state of the United States and confidence in his own fleet, Admiral Yamamoto created Operation MI, which was an extremely complex plan involving the entire Combined fleet and requiring perfect timing and execution along with the accuracy of various assumptions. Operation MI was approved by the NGS Chief Admiral Osami Nagano only after threats of Yamamoto’s resignation. The plan was set to work if America acted exactly as Japan expected, shown through the extremely late deployment of IJN submarines even though they could stay underwater, undetected for weeks. Overall, Operation MI seemed to be a political plan rather than a military operation demonstrated by the choice not to use Yamato, the rush to get it under way on Navy Day, and giving each high ranking officer a command appropriate to his rank then planning how to use them rather than creating a plan and then assigning officers. Operation MI was based on a series of assumptions: America’s oblivion to Japanese plans, …show more content…
“In attempting a surprise attack [the Japanese] were themselves surprised.” Because they had based their operations on many assumptions, specifically ones claiming America would be unwilling to fight unless provoked and that they had no knowledge of Japanese plans, that needed to be true in order to find success, the United States intercepting and correctly interpreting any part of the plan would lead to the downfall of Operation MI. Due to his confidence in the surprise Midway would be as well as his trust that Americans already had been morally defeated and physically weakened, Yamamoto allowed the Army to pursue its own plans of Operation MO, which requisitioned a third of the fleet away from Midway. US intelligence made this a fatal error. Commander Rochefort, the commander of the Combat Intelligence Office, noticed an increase in Japanese radio traffic indicating the planning of a new operation. Even though he had come to the conclusion that Japan’s intended target was Midway, he used an uncoded message in order to trick the Japanese into using its code for Midway, “AF” in order to relay the message they “intercepted.” Also, Rochefort gained knowledge of the submarine cordon, allowing forces to be deployed in advance of the cordon. Along with Rochefort’s ability to draw conclusions about Japan’s plan through decoding of more highly-encoded messages, Nimitz became

Related Documents

  • Great Essays

    Officer Yamamoto Isoroku was in charge of the attack on Pearl Harbor and is recalled as possibly the greatest strategist in Japanese history. Yamamoto said that attacking the United States was a good idea but if conflict were to last longer than a year, Japan would lose. Yamamoto studied at Harvard in the United States where he learned English and also studied naval tactics. It wasn’t until he went back to Japan where he achieved a successful naval rank where he led several fleets of ships and planes. Yamamoto was recognized as one of the top naval commanders of…

    • 1961 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    According to the History Reader “oil was consisted of negotiations in parallel with preparations for war, never gave the negotiations any realistic chance of success unless the United States agreed to Japan’s conditions”(Stille). This means that if the United States did not agree to Japan’s terms, then a war would be necessary to sustain the survival of their country. Something interesting that occurred when planning for the attack was, the Emperor of Japan did not approve of war until December 1st, 1941. The person to be in charge of the planning would be Admiral Yamamoto. Yamamoto had this idea months in advance, because he hated the United States.…

    • 1124 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The majority quartered there because of growing apprehensions regarding an aggressive Japanese presence. A plan was developed to cripple the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor to allow time for Japan to seize the resource areas it needed and fortify them to the point that retaking them would cost more lives than the imperial High Command thought Americans would be willing to pay. The whole Pearl Harbor attack plan was conceived by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, who actually had studied in the United States, commander in chief of the IJN.…

    • 829 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The attack on the Pacific Fleet (Pearl Harbor) was taking care of properly and the reaction from the US was rightful and justified. The lingering question is if the attack that US had on Japan was too far and did not fit the “crime”. Well indeed the answer to this question is that the US reacted properly and by entering WWII just to defeat and destroy Japan and its leaders was nothing but right. Even by defeating Japan, this was not enough to pay back the emotional toll the soldiers and families had to go through. Before the attack was even planned the Japanese government was going to invade Malaya, the Hong Kong, Philippines, Singapore and others.…

    • 1314 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Causes Of Pearl Harbor

    • 2333 Words
    • 10 Pages

    The plan was very carefully thought out, and was the result of many years of tension between the nations. The attack was part of Japan 's big plan to conduct attacks on the Philippines islands, the East Indies, and indochina(Wallin 83). The United States got tied into the plan because of their Naval base being stationed in the Pacific Ocean. For this reason, the Japanese wanted to demolish the Pacific fleet, so they would not intervene with their future invasions.The attack was also made out to scare the Americans into not wanting to wage war("Attack on Pearl Harbor").The plan to attack the harbor on the island did not begin until the U.S. began putting economic sanctions on Japan for not retreating from China. Oil was one of the biggest concerns for the Japanese, and was the main reason for an attack on Pearl Harbor.…

    • 2333 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Coral Sea Turning Point

    • 1013 Words
    • 5 Pages

    The Battle of Coral Sea “People will forget what you said; people will forget what you did; but they will always remember how you made them feel” (Lieutenant Commander Kight). The Battle of Coral Sea was the first air-sea battle in history and a turning point in the Pacific. It was a catch between the United States and the Japanese. Methodically the Japanese won but cleverly it was an American victory. The Battle of Coral Sea began on May fourth, 1942 and went to May eighth, 1942.…

    • 1013 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Led by Generals Chester Nimitz and Douglas MacArthur, forces adopted island hopping, which surprised the Japanese forces. Nimitz and MacArthur would go to different islands, and one group was launch a false attack that would leave the Japanese disoriented as they attempted to discover which attack was real. As the United States armies further weakened Japanese forces in the Battle of the Philippine Sea and the Battle of Leyte Gulf, Japan shifted toward kamikaze warfare and intense island fighting. Iwo Jima and Okinawa proved to be battles with extremely high casualties, and despite further saturation bombing in Tokyo, Japan refused to surrender. The inability to force Japan to surrender in these last few battles eventually influenced new President Harry Truman to call for the use of the atomic bomb, which was a new technology that had never been used in war.…

    • 798 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Dbq Pearl Harbor Essay

    • 1153 Words
    • 5 Pages

    The U.S joined the war because of the Japanese attack on the American naval fleet anchored at Hawaii, Pearl harbour. This was a turning point in both aspects. Japan did buy themselves the time and space they needed to invade South-East Asia, but they also ‘Awoke a sleeping giant’ (source F) and gave America the perfect opportunity to enter the war, which would result in Japans eventual downfall. Why was the attack planned?…

    • 1153 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Pearl Harbor Attack Essay

    • 1471 Words
    • 6 Pages

    From overnight united Americans against Japan and probably made possible the position of unconditional surrender taken by Allied Forces. Relations between the United States and Japan had deteriorated rapidly during the last time. When Roosevelt imposed an embargo on exports to Japan of critical materials, the worst was expected. To the extent that the embargo became tougher, the Japanese had desperate more, feeling his rightful place in the world was in judge. why some historians believe that the attack on Pearl Harbor condemned the Empire of Japan the defeat since woke up to the sleeping giant because, regardless of the fuel tanks or shipyards have been destroyed, or that the carriers had been surprised in port and sunk, the industrial capacity of the United States, a once mobilized, he was able to provide lots of resources on stages both the Pacific and the Atlantic.…

    • 1471 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    “They perceived Japan as a small weak adversary whose aggressive posture was a bluff. Even if Japan did harbor aggressive designs, it would still seek to avoid a direct confrontation with the United States. It was, therefore, their beliefs and images that were responsible for the failure of American decision makers to anticipate an attack on Pearl Harbor” (Vidyalankar 847). Officials completely underestimated the Pacific and did not make it their priority which led to this problem. FDR made assumptions about the Japanese’s plans which allowed for these horrific events to take place.…

    • 1637 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays