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Posts Tagged ‘USS Yorktown’

The Battle of Midway – 4-7 June 1942

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

77 years ago, The Battle of Midway dramatically changed the outcome of WWII in the Pacific.

An out-gunned flotilla of US warships took advantage of information provided by Joe Rochefort‘s codebreakers and caught Imperial Japan’s massive attack force off guard. It was perhaps the most decisive battle in naval history.

By mid-1942, Rochefort’s codebreakers could read much of the Japanese Purple Code (Rochefort was fluent in the language) and they knew that an attack was imminent on “AF” but they didn’t know where AF was. They arranged that an un-encrypted message be sent from Midway Island claiming that the desalinization plant was down and the island was almost out of fresh water (it wasn’t).

Japanese intelligence intercepted the alert and sent coded messages that “AF” was out of water, and the codebreakers confirmed that “AF” was Midway. Rochefort’s team also predicted the direction that Admiral Admiral Yamamoto’s armada would attack from.

It wasn’t an easy fight. The U.S. Navy lost the USS Yorktown, the destroyer USS Hammann (DD-412), and nearly 150 aircraft. More than 300 Sailors were killed or injured. But when you stack it up against Japanese losses (four carriers, a heavy cruiser, more than 300 planes, and some 2,500 casualties) there’s little room for doubt as to who won.

Admiral Yamamoto’s armada was successfully ambushed while attempting to ambush the US Navy.

[Image and quote from here. More at the links above.]

P.S. If you think Hollywood’s version of Midway is accurate, it’s not.

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