By Tommy H. Thomason

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Midway

A doomed VT-8 crew taking off on a one-way mission to attack the Japanese carriers off Midway on 4 June 1942.

Once upon a time, a friend loaned me a computer game that replicated, in some detail, the battle of Midway. I played it several times, me controlling the U.S. forces and the computer, the Japanese. Even knowing the initial disposition of the Japanese forces, which the U.S. Navy had to determine by scouting, I got my butt kicked every time. The superior range of their scouts and strike airplanes was one of the deciding factors. And yet the Americans prevailed in the battle, arguably the turning point of the Pacific war. I put it down to mostly luck but there was more to it than that. Here is an excellent synopsis of some of the other factors if you don't have time to read a book like Shattered Sword..

2 comments:

Unknown said...

Luck: from what I remember reading, the dive bombers got lost and torpedo squadrons proceeded to target on schedule. The Japanese CAP pounced on the torpedo planes with 100% effectiveness. Problem: with the majority of the defensive aircraft now down on the deck or returning, the dive bombers showed up high with clear paths to the carriers.

Anonymous said...

One of the great myths of Midway..the Torpedo bombers attacked according to the times ligged by both sides almost a full hour before the arrival of the Dauntless's.
Read Shattered Sword.