June 7th, The Japanese Fleet Is Gone

Los Angeles To Midway To Hawaii To Los Angeles In 21 Days

June 7, 1942, The Battle Is Over
Background Sound: "God Bless America"

The Results

At the end of the Battle of Midway, all four Japanese carriers involved in the attack on Pearl Harbor had been sunk, while the United States lost the carrier Yorktown. The Japanese lost 256 of their finest aircraft, and more than 200 of their most experienced pilots and several thousand sailors perished. The Japanese Navy never fully recovered and its expansion into the Pacific had been stopped. American naval power in the Pacific was restored. The American victory at Midway was the turning point of the Pacific campaign of World War II.

This major defeat for Japan came six months after the beginning of open warfare against the United States. That is almost exactly the maximum amount of time that Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto predicted he would have the advantage over the enemy before the tide would turn in its favor.

The Prediction

"I shall run wild considerably for the first six months or a year, but I have utterly no confidence for the second and third years."
Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto
Imperial Japanese Navy

Admiral Yamamoto's prediction proved remarkably prescient. Three days short of six months after Japan's incomplete but nonetheless stunning victory at Pearl Harbor the American navy decisively defeated the Imperial fleet at Midway. Phase One of the Pacific War, the Japanese Blitzkrieg, ended and Phase Two, the build up for an Allied counter offensive, began. At this point, when the fortunes of war turned, this paper will examine several seemingly insignificant incidents, which greatly influenced actions at Pearl Harbor, Midway and consequently, the war's eventual outcome.