Saturday, June 05, 2010

Midway to Victory

SBD-2 Dauntless that saw action at the Battle of Midway, June 1942. Recoverd from crash site in Lake Michigan and restored. Now on display at the musuem at Pensacola NAS. Photo take 28 May 2010. Click for really big version.

June 6th, 1944 tends to be etched in people's mind because Operation Overlord meant the liberation of Europe. But just think if another victory had not occurred exactly two years prior in the Pacific. Would Yammamoto Isoruku still be rampaging in the Pacific forcing FDR and his commanders to cancel the Europe First strategy in order to deal with a deadly dangerous Japanese foe? But due to incredible courage, sacrifice, and a large pinch of luck, we will never know if that could have happened.

By the setting sun of June 6th, 1942 the empire of Japan was set upon a downward trajectory. There would be long hard months and years of battle and heartache ahead for America and its allies, but to quote General Marshall in Washington, "the closest squeak and greatest victory" had been won. Or as Admiral Spruance remarked many years later, it was "brilliance shot with luck" this hair-breath victory. For the Japanese their pride ruled them before they even sailed for Midway, for one of their leading airmen thought if the US Navy caught them by surprise like what happened to Shokaku and Zuikaku just a month earlier for the attacking US fliers it the First Air Fleet would be like "touching an armoured sleeve."

A not-complete bibliography of the Battle of Midway:
Incredible Victory by Walter Lord
Miracle at Midway by Gordon W. Prange
The Ragged Rugged Warriors by Martin Caidin
The Big E by James Stafford
Rendevous at Midway by Pat Frank and Joseph Harrington
A Ship to Remember, Saga of the USS Hornet
The Flying Guns by C.E. Dickinson
Midway: The Battle that Doomed Japan by Mitsuo Fuchia and Masatake Okumiya

The raid that started Japanese planning for Midway - April 18th, 1942.
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo by Ted Lawson.
The Doolittle Raid by Carroll V. Glines
Four Came Home by Carroll V. Glines


Rides A Pale Horse said...

A couple of my videos for you, Anna. God bless those men.

Part One:

Part Two:

Anna said...

Thanks for the videos RAPH. Yes G_d did bless those men and now we must honor their sacrifice.