The Battle of Midway (Pivotal Moments in American History)


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His focus is on the key decision makers, from King and Nimitz to the task force, ship, and aviation squadron commanders. According to Symonds, the naval culture that produced these leaders—both American and Japanese—likewise served to influence their actions and decisions in fundamental ways.

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For this reason, the author provides thorough biographical sketches of each of the key players throughout the narrative, focusing on education and previous naval experience. This serves the dual purposes of explaining cultural norms while offering the reader insights into individual personalities. Symonds did not simply rely on the research of others; his examination of operational archives, oral histories, memoirs, and official records was thorough and consistent with the comprehensive archival investigation one would expect.

When borrowing from previous scholarship or debunking long-held myths, Symonds is careful with his language and endnotes.

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The Battle of Midway (Pivotal Moments in American History) (Unabridged)

So what is new and refreshing in this account of a well-worn topic? Primarily, the focus on the commanders and their interactions was most enlightening. Employing expert prose that is both clear and careful, Symonds highlights the relationships between the key leaders. Failing to sight the enemy, Ring flew back to the Hornet alone. Had Waldron survived his suicidal attack on the Japanese carriers that morning, he certainly would have been court-martialed for insubordination.

In praise and criticism, the author presents an evenhanded treatment of the performance of the decision-makers at Midway.

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With only a few carriers and support ships left to fight against the massive Japanese Navy, there could be no room for mistakes. He goes on to explain how Admiral Nimitz, played by Woody Harrelson, took command of the Pacific Fleet facing not only a daunting enemy but also a shortage of experienced sailors to strike back.


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The coming battle would depend upon a series of unknown heroes. However, Nimitz did have one advantage: the intelligence unit under command of Lieutenant Commander Edwin T.

WW2: Key Events

Layton, played by Patrick Wilson, had broken the Japanese code and were ciphering through thousands of messages in an underground bunker nicknamed the "Dungeon. However, the codebreakers could only guess as to the location of the Japanese fleet and the leaders in Washington decided it was time to hit the Japenese homeland instead.

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Despite their desire for revenge on the Japanese fleet, the crews of the carriers Enterprise and Hornet were assigned to escort duty, and to make matters worse they would be escorting Army Bomber pilots. The mission known as the "Doolittle Raid" is a key moment both in history and in the film.


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As the massive waves of the North Pacific rage over the carrier decks, we are transported into the ready room where dive bomber pilot Lieutenant Dick Best, played by Ed Skrein, is frustrated that the Army pilots are given the chance to strike the Japanese first. When the fleet is detected before the scheduled departure point, the bomber pilots under Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle, played by Aarron Eckhart, make the pivotal decision to launch despite the weather and the risk of running out of fuel.

Emmerich reinforces the tension in this scene on the flight deck where Navy pilots take bets that the massive B bombers won't even make it into the air.

Battle of Midway Tactical Overview – World War II - History

The entire scene is incredibly powerful and only reinforces Emmerich's reputation for blockbuster filmmaking. While this is a scene we can watch over and over again, it was a moment the carrier crews would never forget. They wanted their own piece of history and it would soon come with a gamble from a gutsy Admiral Nimitz. With only one chance left for a strike on the Japanese fleet, Nimitz relied on Layton's codebreakers to determine the exact location of the next battle so that the U.

Layton and his team were not able to directly read the Japanese code, but they could make predictions based on bits of information. All signs pointed to Midway as the target, and even with the risk of failure, Nimitz ordered the two carriers into battle. In addition, Nimitz knew that his Naval Aviators, especially Lt.

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Dick Best, were prepared for the gloves to come off. With enemy aircraft swarming overhead and massive fires from anti-aircraft guns below, Emmerich's Midway shows the insane odds these pilots faced as they thrust their aircraft into nosedive attacks. In a matter of minutes, a series of bombs strikes the Japanese fleet.

The explosions and smoke remind us of the first few moments of the movie, when the Americans are left bruised, but not broken. As the lights come on, it's obvious that Emmerich has indeed created a film that honors the U. Navy's greatest comeback. However, as we discuss the challenges of making a movie of such epic portions and detail, Emmirch recounts how the production was a series of endless problems. But the Navy had to make sure Emmerich was the right man for the job. The Battle of Midway is such a pivotal moment in U.

The Battle of Midway (Pivotal Moments in American History) The Battle of Midway (Pivotal Moments in American History)
The Battle of Midway (Pivotal Moments in American History) The Battle of Midway (Pivotal Moments in American History)
The Battle of Midway (Pivotal Moments in American History) The Battle of Midway (Pivotal Moments in American History)
The Battle of Midway (Pivotal Moments in American History) The Battle of Midway (Pivotal Moments in American History)
The Battle of Midway (Pivotal Moments in American History) The Battle of Midway (Pivotal Moments in American History)
The Battle of Midway (Pivotal Moments in American History) The Battle of Midway (Pivotal Moments in American History)
The Battle of Midway (Pivotal Moments in American History) The Battle of Midway (Pivotal Moments in American History)
The Battle of Midway (Pivotal Moments in American History) The Battle of Midway (Pivotal Moments in American History)
The Battle of Midway (Pivotal Moments in American History)

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