Sunday, June 5, 2011

Midway

"The most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare."

They were elite predators. Deadliest of the age. Four of them with their attendantry vessels, screening, scouting and securing SWO boy protection. A six month run of raising pure heck from Infamy Day 

Nipponesed as "Red Castle," "The Province," two sisters "Blue Green Dragon" and "Flying Dragon"their complement of aircraft and air crew were like the most expert naval aviators in world history. And they had the battlefield bona fides to back it up.


After doing Pearl -

"...Japan was on a roll. The Philippines had fallen, including the final outposts of Bataan and Corregidor. The Japanese had swept down through the Malay Peninsula from French Indochina, and on 15 February, the supposedly "impregnable fortress" of Singapore had fallen--to numerically inferior Japanese forces. The Dutch East Indies had been captured. Japanese forces were advancing into Burma and might proceed to India. 

"...Even Australia appeared to be threatened. American naval forces, significantly weakened by the attack at Pearl Harbor, appeared vastly inferior to the armada that Japan was gathering to advance eastward in the Pacific toward Midway--and then possibly to the Hawaiian Islands or even the West Coast. Additional Japanese victories would have made it politically impossible for Roosevelt to continue to pursue the Grand Strategy of Europe-first. 

When Doolittle Raiders  launched a magical 30 seconds panty raid on the Imperial Capitol from USS Hornet, Nippon was determined to destroy what remained of Great Satan's grievously injured naval forces.

Fixing up the final hook up to finish up creating the Far East Greater Co - Prosperity Sphere,  Midway was the bait. Plotting to draw out Great Satan's last two carriers (actually three - Yorktown was an unpleasant surprise as Japan intell'd she was blown out of the water just days before at Coral Sea) Enterprise and Hornet and annihilate them - forcing 32 to sue for peace and abandon PACRIM.

Instead, Imperial Navy rec'v'd the nasty surprise as Admirals Fletcher and Spruance bush wacked Nippon.

The Death Ride of Torpedo Eight was horrific in a uncoordinated attack that was supposed to be coordinated - those low and slow American torpedo planes ceased to exist as IJN's Combat Air Patrol destroyed them all. Wave hopping after the frantic, desperate aircrews - Japanese fighters leisurely killed them all except for a few miraculous shot down survivors.

Fashionably late - Dive Bombing Eight - appeared way up in the sky  - way too far and too late for the bloodthirsty Zeroes to intercept or interdict. Torpedo 8's heroic sacrifice was not in vain.

Diving headlong from as high as 20,000 feet, Dauntless dive bombers attacked INS The Province (Kaga) first. Her death was incredible - four bombs hit her flight deck crammed plumb full of gassed up aircraft fully crunk with bombs and torpedoes. Payback is sweet.

"...Kaga stopped dead in the water and began exploding. In eight minutes (a divine ref to Torpedo and Bombing Eight*) 800 hundred of her crew were vaporized. 

At the same incredible instant Red Castle (Akagi) - flagship of Fleet Admiral Nagumo himself took multiple direct hits and literally xformed in a dead floating inferno.

Minutes later Blue Green Dragon (Sōryū) suffered the same instant death as her plane loaded hanger decks  began reduxing the first hits - exploding in tandem and killing over 700 crewmen as fires flamed up and out of control.

Flying Dragon (Hiryū) exacted revenge of sorts - damaging Yorktown so bad in a counter strike the grand Old Lady was scuttled the next day. It did Flying Dragon no avail - Great Satan hunted her down without mercy and killed her.

The tide of war not so much tilted against Nippon - it somersaulted against her as America took the initiative and never. Let. Go.

Imperial Japan never recovered, her bloody dying death orgy doom was only a matter of time. 

Midway was the place and today is the time that Great Satan's conception as l'nation indispensable'  - uniquely powerful - the only one of her kind - took place.

Pic -"All these torpedo planes can't be coming from one American Carrier!"   

5 comments:

Kid said...

Fantastic Movie.

I met and talked to some of the airmen who survived Midway. One a pilot who was one of the guys that helped destroy one of the carriers.

That was 40 yrs ago when I was 18.

Larger than life.

1idvet.com said...

Very well written.
I enjoyed that one.

Scott Kirwin said...

Excellent piece. A thousand years from now history students will be studying Midway.

Rob said...

Well done, GSG. Midway is one of those victories Americans will remember as long as the nation exists.

Regards,
Rob

radar76 said...

OK pretty good peice but a few inaccurate statments although VT-8 did get in on the attack not only from Hornet but also from Midway its self flying TWO different aircraft...the TBD DEVASTATOR off Hornet and the TBF/TBM AVENGER off Midway island(possibly the first and only time that has happened in US Naval history) however the rest of the Hornets air group flew the course agreed on by the CAG and missed the first days action compleatly for a loss of 5-7 Wildcat fighters with no action LT-Comm Waldren actually disobeyed orders that day they flew into history....also Yourktown although damaged severely the first day was being salvaged and repaired the second day and had just raised steam in her boilers when she was struck by one or more torpedo's struck her also sinking the destroyer USS HAMMOND so to make the miracle of Midway more miraculous the first day it was really more like 2 US carriers vs 4 Japanese.....with assistance from planes from Midway....and one extra VT Squadron.....