When Colonel Doolittle’s raiders dropped their payloads on Tokyo after Pearl Harbor, it was only a pinprick attack on the Empire of Japan. But having their capital city bombed greatly embarrassed the Japanese warlords. They decided it was necessary to push their defensive perimeter further eastward into the Pacific Ocean. This made Midway Island, America’s westernmost bastion, and an invaluable forward fueling station for the U.S. Navy, an obvious target for invasion.
Admiral Yamamoto also wanted to draw out the American carrier forces, hoping to confront them in a lopsided battle and eliminate the American carrier threat once and for all. Midway appeared to be an ideal target to accomplish both these aims.
The Battle of Midway is generally considered to be the crucial turning point in the Pacific theater of the Second World War. In a matter of minutes, an apparent Japanese victory turned into an ignominious defeat for the forces of Nippon as four of the Emperor’s mightiest aircraft carriers were sunk by a handful of brave U.S. pilots. Dear reader, we offer you this incredible story of bravery, valor and the vicissitudes of warfare!