75 Years of Greatness

This weekend marks the 75th Anniversary of the U.S. Navy's greatest triumph, the Battle of Midway.

It's not too much of an exaggeration to say that this was one of the most decisive battles in naval history, turning the entire tide of the Pacific War and changing the role of the American Navy from the strategic defense to the strategic offense.  

There has been a great deal of analysis on the importance of this this battle, and I have to agree with the most extreme consensus that without an American victory here, the entire "Germany First" strategy, so crucial to the eventual Allied victory, would have likely died a quick death had the Japanese won and invaded and occupied Midway.

The bravery shown by the American Navy, especially the torpedo squadrons that were almost wiped out to a man, stands as a testament to both the Greatest Generation, and the courage of American Naval Aviators.

So, no Grouchy Historian post would be complete without books, right?

These are three of the standard, yet still some of the best works available.

I highly recommend  the middle volume by my old professor, Dr. Craig Symonds.  He does a great job of revisiting old myths and skewering those naval officers that need skewered, both Japanese and American.  

He basically concludes the battle on June 4, the most critical day of the battle, when American dive bombers sank three Japanese Fleet Carriers in a single attack wave, and when additional air raids are conducted, leading to the loss of a 4th Japanese carrier and the eventual sinking of the USS Yorktown, the battle is essentially decided in a 10 hour period on that day.

All of these are great books, and all Americans should remember the sacrifice of these true American heroes.