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The Turning Point Of World War Ii The Battle Of Midway

2848 words - 11 pages

World War II, along with its numerous battles, brought great tension between two of the strongest countries during the 1940s: the United States and Japan. Conflict between these two countries started with Japan’s push past Chinese borders into Manchuria in search of the natural resources Japan lacks. At first, the United States avoided military action with Japan by waging economic warfare on them. This economic pressure included the passing of the Neutrality Act, which prohibited the sale of weapons to nations at war (Nash 513). Additionally, the United States placed oil embargoes on Japan hoping it would force Japan to shut down military operations in China. Japan, at a critical decision point, decided to bomb the American naval base at Pearl Harbor. On December 7th, 1941 at 6 a.m., Japan pilots bombed the naval base at Pearl Harbor, taking out the United States’ strongest battleships, killing thousands of people, and destroying hundreds of planes (Sherman). The day after Pearl Harbor, the United States declared war on Japan. Over the next few years, the United States and Japan fought fierce battles for dominance in the Pacific Ocean. One of the most important battles during the United States and Japanese war was the Battle of Midway. Japan was destroying the United States at sea, until the Battle of Midway gave the United States Pacific Fleet an edge on Japanese forces. The Battle of Midway was the most important naval engagement of World War II: it was a decisive battle that allowed the United States to be the dominant naval power in the Pacific and it marked a turning point in World War II for the United States.

The motive for Japan’s plan to attack Midway Island was to claim dominant power over the Pacific Ocean and to eliminate the United States Pacific Fleet for at least a year. Six months prior to the Battle of Midway, the U.S. suffered a major defeat at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the commander-in-chief of the Combined Fleet, took advantage of the situation the U.S. was put in after its losses during Pearl Harbor (“Japs Risk Large Naval Units...”). With the backbone of U.S. Pacific Fleet torn out, Japan made several attempts to dominate the Pacific. Japan was anxious to settle their differences with the U.S., so they began risking large naval units in Pacific battles. An article posted in the Los Angeles Time, “Japs Risk Large Naval Units in Blows at U.S.” says, “For the sixth time in six months Japan made a deadly bid to capture the mastery of the Pacific, and for the sixth time she has failed after paying a price that is fast becoming prohibitive,” (“Japs Risk Large Naval Units...”). This article was posted days after the Battle of Midway, on June 7th, 1942 reflecting the actions of the Japanese Navy in the previous months. The Japanese were anxious to pounce on the weakened U.S. after Pearl Harbor, backing their attacks with large naval units. The Japanese felt that they needed to take over...

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