How did the Battle of Midway Island impact World War II?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Battle of Midway impacted World War II by essentially halting the advance of the Japanese in the Pacific. Japan suffered heavy casualties and major destruction of their Navy, which forced them to reanalyze their progress in the Pacific. The United States' losses were much more acute. The US was able to then advance towards Japan now that they controlled the momentum in the Pacific.

While Japan lost four crucial aircraft carriers, the United States lost only one. Moreover, Midway had the impact of seeing a significant advance in the Japanese code breaking. The United States now had the ability to decipher essential codes that notified the Navy of future attacks. This obviously allowed the US to eliminate the element of surprise in the Pacific, which had aided the Japanese throughout the war.

Finally, the ultimate destruction that Japan experienced equalized their Navy to that of the United States, which was recovering from Pearl Harbor. Not only was this a logistical weakening for Japan, but also a damaging blow to their confidence. The United States was able to advance to Japan from that point on.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Battle of Midway was a decisive victory for the Americans in World War II and marked the beginning of the Japanese loss in the Pacific. Up until that date (June of 1942), the Japanese had won constant victories in the Pacific. During the Battle of Midway, the Japanese commander Admiral Yamamoto hoped to win a decisive victory against the Americans by destroying what remained of their fleet. The Japanese attacked Midway, near the American base in Hawaii. However, rather than crushing the Americans, the Japanese suffered the loss of four carriers. The American victory at Midway marked the turning point of the Pacific campaign, as the Japanese quest to gain control of the Pacific was at an end, and the Americans were able to go on to plan their campaign against the Japanese at Guadalcanal.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Battle of Midway Island was a key turning point in the war in the Pacific Ocean during World War II. Japan had been able to conquer almost all of the western Pacific Ocean and most of the central Pacific Ocean regions after the attack at Pearl Harbor. Since a significant portion of the American navy and air force were damaged at Pearl Harbor, and since the army also took a significant hit, there was little opposition to stop the Japanese advances in the Pacific Ocean and in Asia. The Japanese had their sites set on Midway Island, then the Hawaiian Islands, and possibly the west coast of the United States.

These plans were destroyed after the Japanese defeat at the Battle of Midway Island. As a result of the Allied victory at Midway Island, Hawaii was now safe from attack. Since Japan lost most of its navy and aircraft carriers in its failed attack on Midway Island, Japan would never again go the offensive in World War II. After this battle, Japan was forced to begin to retreat from the areas they gained. The Allies implemented their plan of island hopping. Under this plan, the Allies slowly regained islands they lost, one at a time, until we were close enough to begin bombing Japan. Eventually, the decision was made to use the atomic bombs, which ended World War II.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial