Battle of Midway

WWII: The Greater East Asia War

East Asia 1942.0607

Battle of Midway

World War II, Pacific War, Second Sino-Japanese War (7 June 1942)

Historical Map of East Asia & the Western Pacific

Both the Doolittle Raid and the Battle of the Coral Sea emphasized the threat US air power still posed to Japan. To deny the US its air bases and draw out its outnumbered navy, the Japanese overran central China, invaded the Aleutian Islands and launched an attack on Midway Island. Unfortunately for the Japanese, the Americans had cracked their codes, and it was the smaller US fleet that prevailed at Midway, sinking Japan's aircraft carrier force.

Main Events

Zhejiang-Jiangxi Campaign

Battle of Dutch Harbor

An Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft carrier strike force under Kakuji Kakuta launched air attacks over two days against the Dutch Harbor Naval Base and Fort Mears in Dutch Harbor, Alaska. The attacks inflicted moderate damage on the US bases, killing 78 and destroying 14 aircraft for the loss of 10 Japanese dead and 8 aircraft.

Battle of Midway

In an attempt to lure the US Pacific Fleet's few remaining aircraft carriers into a trap, the Imperial Japanese Navy launched an offensive against Midway Atoll. Warned of Japanese plans by its code-breakers, the US was prepared for the attack and successfully ambushed the Japanese force, sinking all four of its major aircraft carriers - Akagi, Kaga, Soryu, and Hiryu - and a heavy cruiser for the loss of just the carrier Yorktown and a destroyer.

Occupation of Kiska and Attu

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