June 05, 2007

Midway Myths Debunked

Today, June 5th, is the 65th anniversary of one of the biggest victories in US Naval history, the Battle of Midway. LGF links to a post on the battle that, while well-written, brings out the usual myths of "The Miracle At Midway".

The story of Midway is well-known by now, thanks to numerous books and one feature film. Most of these books, and the movie, were mostly (if not entirely) based on American sources and a perishingly few translated Japanese "I was there" accounts that were never checked for accuracy.


Now that more researchers are able to read the raw Japanese data, such as the official War history of Japan (the Senshi Sosho), it's clear that much of what we "know" of the battle of Midway needs to be reevaluated.


Let's go over some of those myths, shall we?


1) "The near total destruction of the first wave of U.S. pilots and crew on board the "low and slow” torpedo bombers was not in vain; it alone made possible the exact conditions that allowed 50 U.S. dive bombers to send the Japanese armada to the bottom of the ocean minutes later."


2) "Four sitting duck Japanese carriers, without their protective shield of Zero fighter planes, with scores if not hundreds of Japanese planes sitting on the carrier decks, strewn with ordnance, fuel and crew..."


3) "The combined Japanese Alaskan and Midway forces, including those in support role, involved 200 ships, including 8 carriers, 11 battleships, 22 cruisers, 65 destroyers, 21 submarines and approximately 700 aircraft."


4)"A small Japanese carrier group first launched an attack on Alaska, intended to draw the U.S. Fleet out of Pearl..."


5)"The US Navy - outnumbered in carriers, ships, technology, planes and pilots - had achieved the greatest naval victory in modern history."


I'll discuss all of these below... read on, won't you?

more...

Posted by: Wonderduck at 05:45 PM | Comments (12) | Add Comment
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