The Battle of Midway was a major naval battle widely regarded as the most important of the Pacific Campaign of World War II. It took place between 4 and 7 June 1942, approximately one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea and six months after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. The United States Navy decisively defeated an Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) attack against Midway Atoll, inflicting irreparable damage on the Japanese navy and seizing the strategic initiative.
The Japanese operation, like the earlier attack on Pearl Harbor, aimed to eliminate the United States as a strategic Pacific power, thereby giving Japan a free hand in establishing its Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. It was hoped another demoralizing defeat would force the U.S. to negotiate an end to the Pacific War on conditions favorable to Japan.
The Japanese plan was designed to lure the United States' few remaining carriers into a trap. The Japanese also intended to occupy Midway Atoll as part of an overall plan to extend their defensive perimeter in response to the Doolittle Raid. This operation was considered preparatory for further attacks against Fiji and Samoa. The plan was handicapped by faulty Japanese assumptions of American reaction and poor initial dispositions.
American codebreakers were able to determine the date and location of the attack, enabling the forewarned U.S. Navy to set up an ambush of its own. Four Japanese aircraft carriers and a heavy cruiser were sunk in exchange for one American aircraft carrier and a destroyer. The heavy losses, particularly the four fleet carriers and their aircrews, permanently weakened the Imperial Japanese Navy. Japan was unable to keep pace with American shipbuilding and pilot training programs in providing replacements.
BATTLEFIELD - Series One
Documentary which explores the some of the most significant battles of the Second World War, including: The Battle Of France, The Battle Of Britain, Midway, Stalingrad and The Battle Of Normandy and Berlin.
1) The Battle of France Blitzkrieg's most astonishing triumph, establishing Hitler as unassailable within continental Europe.
2) The Battle of Britain The two mightiest air fleets in the world clashed in tumultuous mortal combat. At issue was Britain’s very survival.
3) The Battle of Midway The stakes were no less dramatic when Americans met Japanese in this enthralling carrier-to-carrier battle of Midway. Both sides knew that the victor would rule the Pacific for years to come.
4) The Battle of Stalingrad The annihilation of an entire army amidst the charred and frozen ruins of Stalingrad was catastrophe for Nazi arms. Thereafter, the colossus of the Red Army was never to lose the initiative in the East.
5) The Battle of Normandy D-Day was the biggest amphibious operation in history. But even after the Allied troops had successfully forced a landing in strength, they still had to face a foe whose tenacity and resilience in defence was legendary.
6) The Battle of Berlin The furious, climatic last battle of Hitler’s war. Over half a million lives were lost as the Red Army finally crushed the last Nazi citadel.
Viewers Reviews, from Amazon.com
givbatam3 "givbatam3" (REHOVOT Israel) - See all my reviews
This is one of the most important television documentaries about the Second World War ever produced. Unlike other series, such as "The World at War", there are no interviews with either historians or participants and no descriptions of small-scale engagements, just the hard strategic facts of the engagement as seen by the top leaders. A considerable part of each film describes the run-up to the actual battle, with considerable use of maps, descriptions of the leaders, the commanders, the armies and the weapons that decided the engagement. What is emphasized is the importance of the battle within the whole strategic picture of the war. After this, a detailed presentation of how the battle played itself out is given. Finally, the strategic results of the engagement is described, showing how the entire course of the war was affected. This series is designed for someone who has more than just a casual interest in the history of the war, and I highly recommend it for this audience.
J.S. McIntyre "Mc" (San Francisco, CA USA)
I watched this entire series years ago on the American PBS network. Absolutely riveting. The novel approach of treating each battle as the climactic event of an extended series of events the preceded it was particularly effective in giving the battle a perspective you never get in most war documentaries. For example, the Battle of Midway is discussed as the climactic engagement of a battle the started months before in another region of the Pacific. This device allows the viewer to understand the varying influences at play; the strategic concerns, the manner in which weaponry affected engagements, and how chance, human error and material loss played a part in setting the stage for the final battle over the extended time frame.
Along with the "The World at War" this rates as one of the best World War II documentaries I have seen. And I absolutely hate the fact that it isn't available in a format that works in the United States region.
This excellent series provides a logical, clear, step by step guide to various major engagements of WWII. Broken down into stages such as; prelude, planning, weapons, armies, battle etc, the engagement is explained in comprehensive and easily intelligible detail. It is never over technical or textbook like and I found it absorbing. Tim Piggot Smith's totally professional narration enhances the overall experience. This is one of the best documentaries of its' kind (and I've seen a lot) and is suitable for beginner or history buff. Thoroughly recommended.