The Battle of Midway 1942: Told from the Japanese Perspective (1/2)





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Published on Apr 27, 2019

(Animated Battle Map)

This is part one of a planned two-part video covering Operation MI. As you can see I spent a considerable amount of time covering Nagumo’s Dilemma. To me it's one of most striking examples of how tough it can be for a commander to make a decision based on the information at hand. I found that to be the most interesting aspect of the battle.

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"Strength" , "Auxiliary", and "unknown" are misspelled in the video.

At 22:55 I should have stated “North of Midway” instead of Northeast of Midway. The illustration shows a 10 degree 240 nm from midway location. Not so Northeast as I audibly stated.

At 23:43 I should have stated 79 aircraft instead of 78 and I should have displayed 35 instead of 34 torpedo bombers. the “mistake” came about because sources still differ on whether there were 27 or 26 Carrier attack planes (Kates). If it was 27 it would have been 79 Planes. if it was 26 it would have been 78. During the recording I somehow mixed up the numbers.

Additional Notes:
notice that the carriers started off the battle in a box formation. This provided further mutual support for their rather weak AA fire. however, due to the incessant air attacks from VT-8, VT-6 and VT-3, the carriers were never able to reform in a box formation, instead they were in a ragged line which further worsened their AA capabilities.

-----------------------------------------Spoiler Below regarding Nagumo's Dilemma---------------------------------------------

So what was the answer to Nagumo’s Dilemma?

“Taking all together, and admittedly operating with the benefit of hindsight, the “right” answer to Nagumo’s conundrum probably should have emphasized maneuver, offensive speed in preference to mass, and passive damage control. With fifteen minutes in which to act, he didn’t really have time to implement anything terribly fancy. But he could have helped himself immensely by immediately spotting every strike airplane in his hangars, whether they were armed or not, and launching them at the Americans. The sixty-four armed aircraft he had in had were perfectly capable of doing enormous damage to his enemy. And by emptying his hangars, he removed the single greatest danger to his carriers --- the presence of fueled and armed aircraft within them.”

Parshall, Jonathan B.; Tully, Anthony P.: Shattered Sword. The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway. Potomac Books: United States, 2007 : p. 170

Music :
Ride of the Valkyries - Wagner

Isom, D. W. (2007). Midway inquest: Why the Japanese lost the Battle of Midway. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Lundstrom, J. B. (2013). The First Team Pacific Naval Air Combat from Pearl Harbor to Midway. New York: Naval Institute Press.

Parshall, Jonathan B.; Tully, Anthony P.: Shattered Sword. The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway. Potomac Books: United States, 2007.

Stille, M. (2010). Midway 1942: Turning-point in the Pacific(Vol. 226, Campaign). Oxford: Osprey Publishing.

Toll, I. W. (2012). Pacific crucible: War at sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942. New York: W.W. Norton.

Willmott, H. P. (2008). The barrier and the javelin: Japanese and Allied Pacific strategies, February to June 1942. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press.

And of course:



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