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Battle Of Midway
The article ?Return to the Battle of Midway? by Thomas B. Allen is a summary of the battle. While Allen tells of the events, he also tells of the stories behind the events. It is interesting to note that the stories came from both sides of the war. Allen found himself on Ballard?s ship, Ballard was the man that found the Titanic, and the people that he interviewed were actually shipmates. They were looking for the Yorktown, a ship that had been sunk by the Japanese. Taisuke Maruyama was in charge of the airplane that bombed the Yorktown. He recalls how he didn?t want to die before dropping the torpedo. The other three survivors on Ballard?s ship aside from Surgi were Harry Ferrier, Yuji Akamatsu, and Haruo Yoshino. They had all been in the air during the battle. They attacked the Arizona and the Oklahoma respectively.
Two months later they were on their way to attack the naval base at the Island of Midway. The Japanese were getting ready to lead a major offensive, spearheaded by four aircraft carriers supported by eleven destroyers, two battleships and three cruisers. As the Japanese sailed toward Midway, they believed that they would be able to surprise the Americans, but in fact, the Americans were ready with the Hornet, the Yorktown, and the Enterprise.
Thanks to the American cryptanalysts, the Navy was not taken by surprise. These code breakers sent messages that they knew the Japanese could decipher. American carriers met at ?point Luck? and got ready for battle. The Americans were outnumbered and hoped to find the Japanese first for the upper hand. They found them, and just like American intelligence had expected, the Japanese attacked Dutch Harbor followed by the attack on Midway. Because of this Japanese planes found themselves within a swarm of heavy antiaircraft fire. Even so, the Japanese zeros killed most of the American fighters.
American ships were sent to attack Japanese ships, with very disappointing results. The Japanese were ready for the second phase, but could not proceed because of very strong American opposition. Both sides continued to fight, the U.S. came strong, but none of the Devastators hit an enemy ship. These Devastators kept the Japanese busy while the dive-bombers got into position. These dive-bombers did most of the damage; in about six minutes they hit three carriers and set them on fire. The ships were so badly damaged; the Japanese had to abandon them.
Later on, the Americans lost the Yorktown and the Hammann, which had to be towed. Then, a Japanese submarine escaped detection and managed to sink both ships. The Americans then sunk another carrier, which was the turning point in a war that lasted for three more years, the important thing being that Japan would never again launch an offensive. -C