The Battle of Midway

The military confrontation between the United States of America and the Japanese Empire escalated in the early months of 1942, as strategic territories located in and around the Pacific Ocean saw unprecedented levels of attritional warfare. The following passages will analyze the unfolding of events during the Battle of Midway from various authors’ viewpoints and place this battle in the wider context of the Second World War and the then-emergent new world order.To begin with, let us consider the book written by Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully titled Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway. The most remarkable aspect of this book is the fact that the authors try to present the political and military developments from the point of view of the Japanese. American and British documentations of the Battle of Midway can at times be biased in favour of the Allied forces. So, this change in perspective offered by Parshall and Tully comes across as refreshing and different. This is not to say that their account of the story lacks objectivity and balance. We learn that Admiral Yamamoto’s planned to keep Japanese forces in the Midway and western Aleutian Islands as a way of gaining the advantage over the Naval Fleet of the United States1. In contrast with the commonly available literature on the Japanese plan, Parshall and Tully explicate in detail its technological, doctrinal and historical aspects spanning the early decades of the twentieth century. The authors also allude to the contrasting motives and modus operandi of the Japanese and American air strategies. The following passage from the book illustrates the range of references and attention to detail exhibited by the authors:The Akagi, Kaga, Soryu, and Hiryu, the four aircraft carriers of Kido Butai, the First Mobile Striking Force formed the offensive core of Japans fleet. Commanded by Admiral Nagumo, Kido Butai planned to attack Midway and then destroy any elements of the U.S. Pacific Fleet that tried to intervene.