The Battle of Midway 1942: Told from the Japanese Perspective (1/3)
(Animated Battle Map)
This is part one of a three part video series covering Operation MI. As you can see I spent a considerable amount of time covering Nagumo’s Dilemma. To me it's one of most striking examples of how tough it can be for a commander to make a decision based on the information at hand. I found that to be the most interesting aspect of the battle.
I don’t have a Patreon but if you want to show appreciation for my work feel free to donate.
» patreon
"Strength" , "Auxiliary", and "unknown" are misspelled in the video.
At 22:55 I should have stated “North of Midway” instead of Northeast of Midway. The illustration shows a 10 degree 240 nm from midway location. Not so Northeast as I audibly stated.
At 23:43 I should have stated 79 aircraft instead of 78 and I should have displayed 35 instead of 34 torpedo bombers. the “mistake” came about because sources still differ on whether there were 27 or 26 Carrier attack planes (Kates). If it was 27 it would have been 79 Planes. if it was 26 it would have been 78. During the recording I somehow mixed up the numbers.
Additional Notes:
notice that the carriers started off the battle in a box formation. This provided further mutual support for their rather weak AA fire. however, due to the incessant air attacks from VT-8, VT-6 and VT-3, the carriers were never able to reform in a box formation, instead they were in a ragged line which further worsened their AA capabilities.
-----------------------------------------Spoiler Below regarding Nagumo's Dilemma---------------------------------------------
So what was the answer to Nagumo’s Dilemma?
“Taking all together, and admittedly operating with the benefit of hindsight, the “right” answer to Nagumo’s conundrum probably should have emphasized maneuver, offensive speed in preference to mass, and passive damage control. With fifteen minutes in which to act, he didn’t really have time to implement anything terribly fancy. But he could have helped himself immensely by immediately spotting every strike airplane in his hangars, whether they were armed or not, and launching them at the Americans. The sixty-four armed aircraft he had in had were perfectly capable of doing enormous damage to his enemy. And by emptying his hangars, he removed the single greatest danger to his carriers --- the presence of fueled and armed aircraft within them.”
Parshall, Jonathan B.; Tully, Anthony P.: Shattered Sword. The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway. Potomac Books: United States, 2007 : p. 170
Music :
Ride of the Valkyries - Wagner
Isom, D. W. (2007). Midway inquest: Why the Japanese lost the Battle of Midway. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
Lundstrom, J. B. (2013). The First Team Pacific Naval Air Combat from Pearl Harbor to Midway. New York: Naval Institute Press.
Parshall, Jonathan B.; Tully, Anthony P.: Shattered Sword. The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway. Potomac Books: United States, 2007.
Stille, M. (2010). Midway 1942: Turning-point in the Pacific(Vol. 226, Campaign). Oxford: Osprey Publishing.
Toll, I. W. (2012). Pacific crucible: War at sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942. New York: W.W. Norton.
Willmott, H. P. (2008). The barrier and the javelin: Japanese and Allied Pacific strategies, February to June 1942. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press.
And of course:

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  • Anselm Kersten
    Anselm Kersten

    Clearest explanation of the Thach Weave I've come across. Thanks!

  • Something Random
    Something Random

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  • MarkoDeLaVoota

    lucky ?

  • Rhats Kicks
    Rhats Kicks

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  • Dave Petersen
    Dave Petersen

    The Japanese attack on Pearl was pure luck that they weren’t disastrously wiped out. Incredible Japanese luck that US fleet and air were on stand down for that 1 day out of 4 straight weeks of defensive high alert and drills. Not true that the Japanese fielded the best pilots. The Zhuikaku’s and Shokaku’s air wings were recently formed and lacked all but rudimentary training. They were new (about 3-400 hours) untested, and not trained in combat maneuvers, bombing, or hard core dogfighting - they were only entrusted with strafing the airfields. US Pilots on the other hand typically had 700 flight hours and extensive training in combat On the other hand, Midway was pure American luck. The odds of the Tone’s rece plane being late with mech problems and it being on a flight path to discover the US forces was really tiny odds. Further, the odds of a garbled spotting report by that plane when it finally flew over the US fleet added to US luck in a priceless way.

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    Axel Mendoza

    This UZload video is the best video I have ever seen. This is what UZload is all about. How can we donate some cash to this guy. Fucking amazing.

  • Patrick R.
    Patrick R.

    So detailed, I couldn't stop watching!

  • JayTB

    is it bad i've watched this like 15 times in the past 2 weeks. Which doesn't include all the times before that.

  • Robbie The great
    Robbie The great

    the Japanese perspective hahaha that doesn't count they lost the war facts are they challenge the wrong country

  • sam moore
    sam moore

    Did the first wave get to land, or ditch?

  • Penultimate H
    Penultimate H

    Right after the battle, Nagumo had no idea that the piecemeal arrival of the American squadrons was happenstance. He thought that three helpless torpedo squadrons had intentionally thrown themselves against him as a pure diversion, sacrificing themselves "like Samurai" he said, so that their brothers could hit him from above. If these supposedly decadent Americans were really capable of doing something like THAT, there was no hope.

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  • melon musk
    melon musk

    39:25 when you accidentally step in high level terittory

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    Sanna Ong

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  • Doug Batt
    Doug Batt

    Informative and the timeline detail of Nagumo's Dilemma was helpful. You should also consider other decisive historical engagements land or sea.

  • Aldo Fitla
    Aldo Fitla

    Admiral Yamamoto : "USA is a sleeping giant. Once you awaked him , you got six month to kill him. After 6 months , it s too late."

    • CAT

      @Aldo Fitla Read the link i posted, it's fictional quote from movie.

    • Aldo Fitla
      Aldo Fitla

      @CAT Yamamoto studied in USA. And his assessment of US firepower was accurate.

    • CAT

      This is probably just movie quote.

  • Lennysunday

    Stupid decision.

  • FTheLeo

    Please make a part 2 of the Major battles of WW2. Can you make Stalingrad? Your narration is excellent

  • ArnoldXD

    Having half your force kitted for naval warfare you should of set your priority for the naval battle after such an attack rather that changing ordinance. Critical mistake since he had intelligence suggesting an enemy presence. it would of been better to use your superior range and launch the naval planes well before the midway strike group got back. Refitting them only tightened schedule. Also he should of focused on launching any plane up into the sky with any of the 4 carriers for air defense rather than having them all do dangerous maneuvers. I don't think it takes long to launch 1 plane and that's what they needed. once they were being pressured.

    • Noshur Viverse
      Noshur Viverse

      Zeroes were being launched pretty much constantly. The carriers started with about 12 CAP planes overhead, at the time of the dive bomber attack at 1025 there was about 45 in the air.

  • Eric Peters
    Eric Peters

    This is how a damn documentary should be. To the point without all the theatrics. Kudos and outstanding job.

    • Andy Brennand
      Andy Brennand

      Makes the History channel look stupid.

  • jarrod yuki
    jarrod yuki

    i hate america!!!

    • jarrod yuki
      jarrod yuki

      @Shain Andrews once America is yellowstoned japan china and germany will once again overtake the world.

    • Shain Andrews
      Shain Andrews

      @jarrod yuki You are clearly a small child.

    • jarrod yuki
      jarrod yuki

      @Shain Andrews women have no authority to lecture men. much less adult men.

    • Shain Andrews
      Shain Andrews

      @jarrod yuki I think you are a misguided kid trying to troll... poorly...

    • jarrod yuki
      jarrod yuki

      @Shain Andrews for the two atomic bombs and taking away our empire there.

  • Conundrum

    It seems like, given the fact that capturing Midway was never the true purpose of the attack, rearming to attack land targets was a horrible idea in the first place. Who cares if you don't take the island? The island isn't what matters.

  • David Currens
    David Currens

    Awesome presentation

  • Francesco Ruosi
    Francesco Ruosi

    amazing video

  • Craig Nguyen
    Craig Nguyen

    do the american planned this? by waves of weak ess attack to keep nagumo planes unable to launch then strike from two sides?

  • Nikolaos Pseudonymous
    Nikolaos Pseudonymous

    Wait, all the Japanese missions were codenamed with the initials of their target? I really hope that is a translation thing or just what the Americans called it afterwords.

  • Freddy Fox 500
    Freddy Fox 500

    We could build schools and hospitals for everyone on earth, but choose to fight each other instead."An organism at war with it self is doomed."

    • SpaceyGnat

      You realize that both of those things would be redundant without war?

  • Toxic Man Flu
    Toxic Man Flu

    Well done, very well done

  • Jimmy

    Lol toxic squadron leaders ended up beating the Japanese

  • TheTriangle444

    Man what the hell are these recent cryptic riddle like comments by random accounts

    • Shain Andrews
      Shain Andrews

      Bots using AI. Their purpose? I have not figured it out yet.

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    Bill Wright

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  • Patrick Donnolley
    Patrick Donnolley

    38:49 and now because I'm immature. OWARI DA!

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  • Joey Morales
    Joey Morales

    I'd crash two of my carriers into the american ones and then use my supporting ships to hold the americans in places while I launch my fighters all while drinking heavily

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  • brendancramphorn44

    At 27:54.... I would have sent in the aircraft aided by some of the protection fleet, there are obvious enemies rushing your flank! The Japanese lost due to underestimating the Americans, the Americans took advantage of this and was able to destroy their superior Air Force and ships.

  • Jim H
    Jim H

    Funny...try to get the US to surrender 🤣🤣 good luck with that

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  • William Reymond
    William Reymond

    00:50] "It was considered that Americas's center of gravity was it's Pacific Fleet, *primarily it's carriers..."* This statement is historically wrong in two important respects. First, the Japanese Imperial Command was completely wrong and ignored Yamamoto's own warning and that it was Americas's immense industrial capacity that was the danger to Japan's imperial expansion. Second, the attack upon Pearl Harbor 7 December 1941, confirmed Imperial Japanese priorities as attacking the United States Navy' battle ship force as it's primary goal. That point is not even arguable - they attacked the battleships relentlessly - but the aircraft carriers *all* got away. Because the 'final battle' that the IJN envisioned was a battleship to battleship showdown. This point isn't arguable any longer.

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  • garylobo3

    Great vid! Took long enough but the good guys finally got it done. Where was the Kobiyashi Maru? Oh sorry, that was Star Trek. Well we all know how the aggressors, the Japanese, met their final end. They screwed with the wrong country, fighting two wars at the same time on different seas. Now they're our friends. Funny how that works.

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  • Norske noober v2 Bremseth
    Norske noober v2 Bremseth

    I feel bad for the japanise they hade so bad luck and this fight wasent fair

    • MikiKiki

      The Japanese had the best naval fleet and pilots on earth. Idiot.

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  • Sebastian Lehrbaum
    Sebastian Lehrbaum

    You asked how I would have acted in his situation. I wanted to launch part of the strike so that it doesn't take 45 minutes. 4 carriers can in less time launch a strike like a single carrier could. Then he could still recover the incoming aircraft. The idea is, if the enemy indeed is just a small force without carrier, then a smaller strike should be able to take them out. If they do have a carrier, then we need to get them under attack, so that they cannot launch.

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    This is an amazing series! More Montemayor and less (or no) Logan Paul, please!!!!!!

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  • Shig Ogyu
    Shig Ogyu

    There are good books on the Battle of Midway, including Shattered Sword, they all lack good maps for the fleet movements. This video has provided a much clearer vision of the battle with the well researched materials. Excellent!

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  • Blackduck

    I wish they would show you this video in history class. So easy to understand and so much lovely detail. Learning should be this easy

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  • Abdul Alim Baakza
    Abdul Alim Baakza

    Excellent documentary

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  • hi 2
    hi 2

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    • MikiKiki


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    Ru Qa

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  • Kameleonic

    Excellent video, and made on my birthday, and I lived in Japan 18 years, so all good:)

  • Scott Isbell
    Scott Isbell

    I have watched this before...but everytime it pops on my timeline I have to watch it good...thanks!

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    whats your accent

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    On the day the Americans got extremely lucky. An uncoordinated attack that ended up being perfectly coordinated.

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    The _Valkyries_ kicking in at 39:00 BEAUTIFUL 😫

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  • Carlos 271
    Carlos 271

    So, the japanese lost because of the bombs and full-fuel planes they had outside the hangars. Surprisingly an insignificant fact can change totally the history

  • Korakos

    I think your question was too leading... You also didn't mention the prevailing war game theory for carriers being: the only way to secure an encounter is to strike before the other one can put it's fleet in the sky

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