John P. Rossi: Midway Set Stage for U.S. Win in World War II
The Duke of Wellington said his victory at Waterloo was "the nearest run thing you ever saw." Seventy years ago today, the United States fought a naval battle against Japan that, like Waterloo, was both close and decisive.
The battle of Midway, which began on June 4, 1942, set the tone for the Pacific war and launched the United States on the path to eventual victory. It ended a six-month series of Japanese victories dating back to Pearl Harbor that had plunged the American public into a state of despair. The fall of the Philippines, with its horrific "Bataan Death March," and the capture of Guam and Wake Island, left the United States with no bases west of Hawaii.
Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto, the man who had planned Pearl Harbor, believed the Japanese had created a defensive perimeter far out into the Pacific. But two events during the string of Japanese victories convinced him that he must draw the United States into a major battle....
comments powered by Disqus
- NYT History Book Reviews: Who Got Noticed this Week?
- Researchers have discovered a previously unknown 149-page manuscript defending homosexuality.
- What Counts as Historical Evidence? The Fracas over John Stauffer’s Black Confederates
- Israeli journalist-turned-biographer, Shabtai Teveth, is remembered for his attack on the New Historians
- Harvard’s Drew Faust says the Civil War marked the start of large-scale industrial war, not WW I