American Elephants

June, 1942. The Battle of Midway. by The Elephant's Child
June 5, 2021, 9:48 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,


The Battle of Midway was one of the big maritime battles against the Imperial Japanese naval forces during the Pacific War. National Review has presented today a collection of images from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command and the National Archives. We need to be steadily reminded of our own history, and what we have been through as a nation and a people. One of the greatest gifts you can give your children is an interest in and fondness for learning about our history. Makes us better judges of what we are doing or not doing today.

The plane, pictured above, is a Dauntless SBD dive bomber, one of the work horses of the Pacific War.

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A bit of related trivia, from “When you’ve had a hard day” file…

The battle that preceded Midway was the Battle of the Coral Sea, which was significant for several reasons, among which were that it was the first time carriers engaged each other through aircraft only, and it was the first time in the war that a Japanese objective (the invasion of Port Moresby) had been thwarted.

It was, however a confusing battle. Since the ships never came within sight of each other, both fleets had to rely on intelligence data and radio traffic to determine the oppositions location. Unfortunately, apart from one U.S. vessel being attacked (the fleet oiler Neosho) the fleets generally missed each other.

The outcome of the battleresulted in the loss of the American carrier Lexington and heavy damage to the Yorktown (which nonetheless was able to participate in the Battle of Midway), and the Japanese lost use of two fleet carriers – the Shokaku to damage and the Zuikaku lost most of its aircraft and related crews – which, had they been present at Midway, would likely have resulted in a Japanese victory.

One humorous note – the commander if the Japanese air forces, Rear Admiral Chūichi Hara, on board the Zuikaku, grew so frustrated at what he described his “poor luck” at locating the American forces on the first day of the action – his forces would go to the last reported location, but the fleet had moved – that he wrote in a letter to Yamamoto’s Chief of Staff, Admiral Matome Ugaki, that if he were have another day like it, he would “…quit the Navy, and become a fisherman.”


Comment by Lon Mead

Thanks for that one, Lon. Never heard the story about Hara before. We followed the Pacific War more closely, I suppose because we’re West Coast people, and Europe more remote.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

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