When was the Midway invasion plan in the book?

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by VBF-13, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    This was a huge combined task force and it came a month after the Japanese got turned back at Coral Sea and I just can't see it as having come off the cuff. Does anybody know when the planning started?
     
  2. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Operation MI was approved 20 April 1942.

    Apparently there was already some sort of contingency plan. After Doolittle raid the contingency plan for Midway was updated and then executed.
     
  3. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    #3 VBF-13, Mar 17, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013
    OK, so it was in the works before Coral Sea. I'm wondering why, then, after they had just suffered the loss of momentum in that critical Coral Sea area, they hadn't thought of diverting the Midway Striking and Occupation Forces back to there. That's the area that meant anything to them, not Midway. If I'm missing something, it won't be the first time. But, if so, what is it?

    EDIT: I get the speeding up of the plan for retribution. I just think they'd have been better served, given they then knew their push to Australia had been stopped in its tracks, to have resumed the offensive, there, with that combined task force.
     
  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Midway wasn't worth the bones of a single IJN sailor.

    Coral Sea should have been delayed until at least 4 Japanese CVs were available plus a full division to invade Port Moresby. Japan would have the muscle to take the place and deal with any Allied naval vessels that get in the way.
     
  5. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    Dave, then we see this the same way.

    FWIW, I asked the question, as it occurred to me they couldn't have thrown that massive Midway operation together in just a matter of weeks. They could accelerate it, had it already been "in the book," so to speak, which, hearing you, is precisely what they did. When you said they planned it in April, that made more sense. That was just over a month out from Coral Sea. It was part of their comprehensive strategy. Maybe that strategy dictates they get Midway in July, or whatever, while, at the same time, they're going through Southeast Asia. But, that train hit an "open switch," there, so to speak. While Coral Sea was by no means a decisive victory on our part, it did "derail" them. Why not forget about the Midway operation and hit back with those resources in Southeast Asia, and get that train back on the rails? They even had the Occupation Force figured in to beef-up those island bases.

    Yeah, I'm kind of scratching my head on that, too. :confused:
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Why did Big Mac pour hundreds of thousands of U.S. and Australian military personnel into Northern New Guinea rather then island hopping from Australia to the economically important East Indies?

    Military commanders sometimes do dumb things. Japanese decision to fight at Midway fits that category.
     
  7. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    An old thread I see....


    You have to view this from a purely Japanese perspective in order to understand the reasons why Midway was chosen, and in fact was of vital importance to the IJN.


    Since the outbreak of the war Japan had been seeking a decisive Mahanist solution to the campaign. They needed to draw the USN out in strength for the decisive battle of annihilation. Midway offered that prospect. The Japanese did not expect to be walking into a trap, but following the invasion, they were confident that the USN would be forced to react to the invasion, and they further believed they could destroy the USNs last remaining carriers. The plan was to take the atoll, stock it with long range recon aircraft and monitor Pearl and its approaches on a more or less continuous basis. The USN in that scenario would be forced to act, and the Japanese would know of their preparations well in advance. The American command could choose to ignore the midway occupation, but if they did they would be operating from a severe disadvantage, with the IJN receiving timely warning of all the Pac Flts movements, and further being able to react to movements like supply convoys and the like. The Japanese also intended to use midway as a submarine supply base which would add to the USN problems in that area.


    Midway, from the perspective of Japanese military doctrine made perfect sense. Another lunge south, for the capture of any objectives like Moresby or Noumea or Fiji made some sense, but less so than the MI objectives. If the US fleet could be lured out and destroyed, the war in the pacific would be more or less won. It would not be won with a further lunge south
     
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