What is the importance of the Battle of Midway?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The Battle of Midway was important in a couple of ways.  The largest importance the battle held was that it repelled the Japanese from advancing against the United States.  Following the success of Pearl Harbor, the Japanese military sought to make another advance that would permanently cripple the United States Navy and move them back to California, giving control of the Pacific Islands to the Japanese and allowing them significant advantage against the United States.  The Japanese forces failed to calculate that weakened is not the same as defeated.  American forces utilized intelligence and stealth in a much more effective manner than did the surprise element of Pearl Harbor.  Led by the strategically minded Admiral Chester Nimitz, U.S. Naval force was able to design an attack strategy that baited the Japanese vessels into a conflict that they were not expecting and for which they were not prepared.  Along these lines, the losses that the Japanese suffered were immense, losing significant aircraft and naval vessels as well as some of their best pilots.  From a momentum point of view, the battle was important in that it killed off Japanese advance and shifted the momentum to the American forces who were now able to repel the Japanese and could themselves advance further into the Pacific Rim.  Less than a year removed from Pearl Harbor, the Americans proved themselves to be the equal of the Japanese in the Battle of Midway.

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