Parents and Teachers: Support Ducksters by following us on Ducksters Facebook or Ducksters Twitter.
Ducksters Educational SiteDucksters Educational Site
History Biography Geography Science Games

Advertisement
History >> World War 2 for Kids

World War II

Battle of Midway

The Battle of Midway was one of the most important battles of World War II. It was the turning point of the war in the Pacific between the United States and Japan. The battle took place over four days between June 4th and June 7th in 1942.

Battle of Midway bombs
USS Yorktown hit
Source: US Navy

Where is Midway?

Midway is an island located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean about half way between Asia and North America (hence the name "Midway"). It lies around 2,500 miles from Japan. Because of its location, Midway was considered an important strategic island for Japan in the war.

The Doolittle Raid

On April 18, 1942, the United States launched its first attack on the Japanese home islands. This raid caused the Japanese to want to push back the American presence in the Pacific Ocean. They decided to attack the American base at Midway Island.

How did the battle begin?

The Japanese formulated a plan to sneak up on the U.S. forces. They hoped to trap a number of the U.S. aircraft carriers in a bad situation where they could destroy them. However, American code breakers had intercepted a number of Japanese transmissions. The Americans knew the Japanese plans and prepared their own trap for the Japanese.

Who were the commanders in the battle?

The Japanese were led by Admiral Yamamoto. He was the same leader who planned the attack on Pearl Harbor. The United States was led by Admiral Nimitz and Commander Fletcher.

The Japanese Attack

On July 4, 1942, the Japanese launched a number of fighter planes and bombers from their aircraft carriers to attack the island of Midway. Meanwhile, three United States aircraft carriers (Enterprise, Hornet, and Yorktown) were closing in on the Japanese force.

Sinking of Japanese cruiser Mikuma
A Japanese Battleship Sinking
Source: US Navy

A Surprise Response

While the Japanese were focused on attacking Midway, the U.S. carriers launched an attack. The first wave of fighters were torpedo bombers. These planes would fly in low and try to drop torpedoes that would strike the side of the ships to sink them. The Japanese were able to fend off the torpedo attacks. Most of the U.S. torpedo attack planes were shot down and none of the torpedoes hit their target.

However, while the Japanese guns were aimed low at the torpedo bombers, American dive bombers dove in and attacked from high up in the sky. These bombs hit their target and three of the four Japanese aircraft carriers were sunk.

The Yorktown Sinks

The Yorktown then engaged in battle with the final Japanese carrier, the Hiryu. Both carriers were able to launch a number of bombers against the other. In the end, both the Yorktown and the Hiryu were sunk.

Sinking of the USS Yorktown from the US Navy
The Yorktown Sinking
Source: US Navy

Results of the Battle

The loss of four aircraft carriers was devastating to the Japanese. They also lost a number of other ships, 248 aircraft, and over 3,000 soldiers. This battle was the turning point in the war and the first major victory for the Allies in the Pacific.

Interesting Facts about the Battle of Midway Activities

Take a ten question quiz about this page.

Learn More about World War II:

Overview:
World War II Timeline
Allied Powers and Leaders
Axis Powers and Leaders
Causes of WW2
War in Europe
War in the Pacific
After the War

Battles:
Battle of Britain
Battle of the Atlantic
Pearl Harbor
Battle of Stalingrad
D-Day (Invasion of Normandy)
Battle of the Bulge
Battle of Berlin
Battle of Midway
Battle of Guadalcanal
Battle of Iwo Jima

Events:
The Holocaust
Japanese Internment Camps
Bataan Death March
Fireside Chats
Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Atomic Bomb)
War Crimes Trials
Recovery and the Marshall Plan
Leaders:
Winston Churchill
Charles de Gaulle
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry S. Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Douglas MacArthur
George Patton
Adolf Hitler
Joseph Stalin
Benito Mussolini
Hirohito
Anne Frank
Eleanor Roosevelt

Other:
The US Home Front
Women of World War II
African Americans in WW2
Spies and Secret Agents
Aircraft
Aircraft Carriers
Technology
World War II Glossary and Terms

Works Cited

History >> World War 2 for Kids

Advertisement


More polls

Advertisement
February is
Black History Month

Learn more about the history of African-Americans at these links

African-American Biographies

African American
Civil Rights
Ads help keep us free. Upgrade to remove.
Ads help keep us free. Upgrade to remove.





About Ducksters Privacy Policy   

Go Ad Free - Remove Ads

Follow us on Ducksters Facebook or Ducksters Twitter

This site is a product of TSI (Technological Solutions, Inc.), Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved. By using this site you agree to the Terms of Use.