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tv   Japanese Perspective on the Battle of Midway  CSPAN  June 17, 2017 5:00pm-5:53pm EDT

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of black chicago that for a black man to expire to represent black chicago, it is necessary to have a black spouse. on c-span's q&a. the battle of midway took place 1942june to june summit in and resulted in a decisive naval victory. angela -- author anthony tully gives a perspective on the battle. it is part of a daylong symposium to mark the battle's 75th anniversary. >> we will kick off our afternoon program with a live victim and perspective from some of the things we have been hearing about. we talked a lot about midway and the strategic setting from a u.s. perspective.
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anthony tully will build on that and it will go a little deeper on the japanese side. many ways, they are just as central to the battles outcome as any u.s. action. anthony tully is a noted expert on the navy, he has written on various aspects of the neville were of the specific -- pacific. without further ado, anthony tully. anthony: thank you all. thank you all for coming.
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what i would like to do is and drop the battle back in time a little bit in the setup -- leading into that. march there was the completion very. if you see this red line here. this barrier is what they called thedefensive barrier for areas they have just conquered,
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starting from pearl harbor all the way through february, to the start of march, the concord indonesia, singapore, borneo, wasphilippines, this area the consent of the japanese army to make sure they continue to defend. the next question that arose was which direction with her next offensive go. the japanese general headquarters, but the navy and the army, they want to go down here to cut off the supply line and what australia in a position that they could even look at rates or the invasion of some of the coast. this was the preference of the japanese general staff. however, the victor of pearl go to the wanted to central pacific in this direction.
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battles to forge a major -- these are the main choices. this was in the balance with the doolittle raid when it happened. day, the bombers launched from the morning covered by the enterprise and attacked tokyo and other japanese cities at the main island. this has a transformational effect at the time. up until then, the thinking had been that they would split their attentions. yamamoto wanted them to go to the central pacific and he gets his way.
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the situation at the start of they decreed to go to the central pacific but only after two operations had completed, one was down south which walter went over extensively. the other was the rate into the indian ocean to attack the royal navy. in shorthand to see if they can repeat some of the success they did at pearl harbor with the royal navy in the indian ocean and to the ill the desire to test the defenses of the indian ocean for future campaigns because they're opening operations and they wanted to know what the prospects were.
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have been forced to promise this and that is why the japanese rated them in april. it was off like pearl harbor, one in colombo, one in the other place. at the same time, they are setting up for the battle of carl c. this turns it on its head because the japanese fleet is on its way home from the indian ocean operation. for modern taiwan. at the same time, two of the were detaching and heading for the c -- sea. it puts full priority on the possible threat to japan for
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future attacks. raid,after the doolittle one of the bombs of the doolittle raiders hits one of the japanese carriers which was being converted. the reason i mention that is because it was a matter of pride to the japanese that one of their new every as being built is actually also hit right there at home in the yokozuna navy yard. it wasn't a trivial thing, it focused on the fact that there needs to get rid of the carriers to cost us. it was the main this and that have been left after pearl harbor. the result is because of the doolittle rate, yamamoto gets his way. he will be able to go straight to the central pacific instead of focusing for the attention on trying to go back to crawl
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-- carl sea. it becomes a failure for the japanese. there is nothing preventing them from trying it again. now yamamoto wants to go toward midway because he wants a decisive battle. that was the plan. the plan as it comes out -- as the japanese fleet goes out to midway is the highly complex one. it is in several formations. one is the main force of carriers coming from the homeland. it is heading across the northeast and then they will come down and strike midway from the northwest. the other was straight across to be ready to bombard and cover
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the landings on midway when they get the go-ahead signal after having completed the red and the hope of the destruction of the american carrier force. the landing forces coming up from the kuan direction. a bunch of transport and support ships. that is not the least of it, there is also the operation that is test to attack and abated the islands area this is part of the alaska area. it is often characterized as a , it is a promise to the japanese army. the illusion that has territory up there to guard the northern flags, that is what they want to do. especially after the doolittle raid.
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the island operation has two of the japanese carriers committed to it. the main battle of midway has four because they lost the services of three. it is badly damaged. they didn't just have the ability to make it happen. they just weren't able to -- the fight was completely smashed. both the front end and the bow and the stern. the flight was largely decimated in battle. the net result of those two carriers was them not think it to go to the japanese territory through midway. now they're down to four. two are committed, they don't change that because they're basically like carriers.
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keeping in mind, this approach, this is what yamamoto brings to the battle. and he cradless -- incredible thing about it is with a carriers, 11 battleships, 23 cruisers, 65 destroyers, nearly 300 ships total. nearly 100 are major warships. there are three american seven cruisers, one light cruiser, 14 destroyers, no battleships and all. paper, the japanese plan looks like it is a slamdunk. you will see a problem here.
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because of the way he divided his forces, this is all it and up doing. this is all he brings at the front end against fletcher. so you have it merely inherited. this is actually for carriers. the amazing thing is because of the complexity of the plan and having the formations all over the ocean, the point of contact is the actual battle. this illustrated better. you can see the parity is not that constrained. they are almost equal. if you remember kelly's
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and the rating of the japanese signals, that cut off on may 25. then, they have the japanese figuring out the codes and they are running low on water. the japanese are coming in thinking they have surprise achieved. the conviction gets to the point where it is paddle logically part of the chances of winning. these are the two main episodes in midway.
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the commander in chief was at the battlefield and one of the trailing squadrons which a lot of you may have heard of and , there areaul allen 300 miles of the most advanced elements of the midway squadron. he is on the scene. hand, they have come and logistical logical matters and realized that he can direct the battle better right to pearl harbor and honolulu area. he never considered going out to see because he could directed better from hawaii. he was doing what is necessary.
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demo model is in a position where he can control everything but it wasn't a micromanaging influence. the model has some of the best of the communication that meant and you have a situation where the latest intelligence -- they would be received but they are often not received by the -- nced forces when you add the insistence on radio silence, become an on blinders and they need to. this is the principle by which he agreed to get into the combat. he said the main part will be without exposing our characters to dig deep destruction out of
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proportion to the damage it can conflict. we have to accept the danger. he is willing to accept odds -- the dangerous odds because he is going by the total count of ships at sea, the divided nature of the plan. they had not given that all the way. he does not the japanese carrier forces are separate. these are terms by which they except the battle. the main thing i wanted to talk some of the on the japanese assumptions on what the frame of mind was going into the battle. some of what i said before may be familiar to many of you. this is the part where we take a new look at the japanese thinking about what their
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mindset is going into the battle as it opens on june 4. is theu see here relative disposition. this is done here on the southeast. they were approaching that way because they are flying into the wind launching. the wind was out in the southeast, that was perfect for the japanese. the on the midway to attack. the americans were sitting up here in the northeast. away, theo turn it launch and then come back. that adds -- that makes them fly longer. it helps toconfused make them a little harder to find. disposition ofal
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the battle. alljapanese had no clue at that these were here. they go into battle on june 4. they are certain -- practically certain that there won't be any american carrier forces present yet because their plan called gone, once midway was that will make our carriers come running from wherever they are, whether that is southeast, southwest or pearl harbor, wherever they were, they would come when they bombed midway. but they never took into account was whether or not it would be there. you had heard earlier about how the parents of yorktown arrived and were rushed out to the scene. there waiting in ambush position. then'tstion is why
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americans in lower positions? the intelligence may have been wrong. this was all the way to launch a doolittle style raid. if he is here, the chances of going that way are strained. even down here, they do misdirection. they would be way down here. they need not worry that this goes into one of the things. unlike our side that was worried about the japanese wanted to repeat the doolittle raid in reverse, yamamoto -- it never entered his mind. on bringing about a
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major battle. for the next big battle that they were setting up. now, on the morning of june 4, when the japanese prepared a tog search to bombed midway prepare for invasion, they also launched several search planes. this is one of the controversial aspects of the battle. the search plan that goes out was more extensive. some of the ships seemed to have thised launching area and kind of search pattern is what the japanese fleet does one it is not expecting opposition.
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it is what they do when they go bomb the envision. -- invasion. they are not expecting enemy carrier forces. knownarch itself is now to be proved that the japanese did not expect carrier forces the very day of the battle. when the japanese carrier fleet launches its strike in the morning of june 4, they fly to midway and attack it and bonded and destroyed fighters on the ground, they blow the fighters out of the sky, the fact is we
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multiple interior design. there were some cats. most of them geared the design of the buffalo. they tried to stop the japanese. it was just a fiasco. the japanese in turn do too much damage to the runways. they can tell that they are flying away. they will tell him that they need a second strike launched. they have been holding the second wave, each death is japanese carrier has two strikes, the one they committed and the one that is done on the hangar. the way it works is when they come back, one ridicules and the other one takes off. themry not to have both of on the ship at the same time
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except when a battle for starts. they get the door that the second wave needs to go attack, this is where you may have heard the famous decision-making takes place on whether or not to be on the planes that landed an attack or wait for search results to see if there is american ships present with the need to attack. ony make a decision based his experience in the indian ocean. found that he needed a second way when he was bombing them. each time he found that out. he knows that he will need to launch the second wave. he has that in the back of his mind. when the head a search pattern that didn't indicate the enemy was expected, it also meant that
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they were expecting to concentrate on land targets and that is what they are doing that day. when the state -- when the signal comes, he is halfway expecting it. it was prearranged in short form. this is we need another attack. this meanshe planes the planes would not be able to attack the carriers. he is committed to go to another. that is when planes launch and started attacking waves. their torpedo powers. we have bombers out that it would torpedoes. they haven't even been trained
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but they are brave enough to really go out and make level bombings. they just drop the bomb and hope they can hit something. these groups go out to midway and all of them attacked the japanese carriers. one after another, it was incredible. just getting shot down out of the sky. that, this is do what the causes. there are no planes on the deck. this is true of all four japanese carriers. none of them are able to spot the second wave on deck. midway ory go attack they play the american plate. during these bomb runs, the ships take evasive action. the kind ofdo rearming, especially with torpedoes. it is just too dangerous.
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here we come to a famous point where the regard that there is american carrier out there. the search plan gets its name from the cruiser which is where it is catapulted from. it cites an american carrier. it took them a while to come back for the confirmation. think after two british cruisers of the indian ocean and found nothing. they are thinking it is maybe kind of like that. now they note there is an american carrier. they have to change all their plans. they have to attack the american carrier's first. they have to sink that carrier.
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this is a situation at the same time. the reason we had that picture is because guess what is happening, b-17's have now arrived. the b-17 bombers arrived overhead. they are just dropping tons and tons of bombs and corporate bonds. this is actually exploring all around. all the pictures show them taken the evasive actions. of 830, the decks are clear. this is the time when he has to decide what to go into next time,e at the same returning from midway is his own strike group from midway. now running low on the field and landing there. he has two choices. he has to figure out do i go
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ahead and launch what i have but try to raise to the flight or do i land my first strike way first and 10 them all out to get a big package? he opts to do the second. his decks were empty at 0830. he doesn't have the chance to do a second strike. yet just get that, spent a half-hour spotting the clients. the reason this is so tangled up you have to do three
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things individually. when you are lifting planes up the elevator you can't be landing any, only a straight flight deck to use. when you're launching they're masked off the back of the carrier taking off the length of the runway, just like thaw still -- they still do you need the , length of the runway. when landing, same thing, you need the length of the runway. this is why you're having to decide choices what you do. this sequence for the japanese at the time worked out to where you had to take about 30 minutes to raise and spot and launch and strike.
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if they all already are armed. that's how much time you had to figure out what you had to do if there already armed. if they're not already armed you're having to do that first before bringing them up to flight deck and launching them. their carriers, it was necessary to use a different attaching plant on the planes. these clamps had to be changed on the planes to either put a torpedo on the attack plane they called a torpedo bomber or put an 800 kilogram bomb, the giant large armor piercing bomb, kind of like the one that sunk arizona at pearl harbor. attackre ship weapons. to put them on, you needed a different attaching item on the bottom of the plane. that is complicated rearmiment on short notice like they're
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having to do. this is a good picture of it. notice the torpedo's length, notice the torpedo's length here. if it was a bomb it would only come to this point. you would see a clamp here. -- this is one and another back here. japanese maintenance crews in hangars had to change out each clamp for these planes before switching out a bomb or torpedo. so you can see how complicated that starts getting. now in the meantime, the american carrier force hornet yorktown enterprise have
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launched and they're on the way, in the air. even as the last of the midway attacks of the land-based planes from midway are petering out. nagumo is busy landing his strikeforce on midway. by 0400 or so they are all back on the carriers. turn northeast to close the sighting of the american carrier , which turns out to be yorktown, but they didn't know which one it was. that was the one they least believed it was because they were convinced the yorktown was sunk at the carl sea or under extensive repair at home yards , a place like puget sound. so they do not know which carrier they have sighted but they know that they are going to attack and strike it now that they have their planes aboard. i just explained how complicated it is from the change of
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changehing from the -- of ammunition of land bombs, to ship attacks, torpedos and bombs. excuse me. so given this situation, when they've just turned to head toward this situation they've , just turned ahead of the american fleet, come in the first torpedo planes from our carriers, they have not even had barely 15 minutes or so of a breather. that's while landing their planes. they're not free to do anything then. almost on the dot, a torpedo led by the hornet came in to attack and this is the famous attack where all of the planes are shot down and only one of the pilots, ensan gay, survives. this is waldron, the one some of you may be familiar with, was
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part cherokee indiana. and he sioux, sorry, thank you. that he had an intuition that he knew where the japanese would be and he took the squadron. people had said later it was as if he had a lead line attached to the japanese carrier flagship and he flew straight from hornet to the carrier. it is very strange because the bulk of his squad was sent off like assion almost mystery the course they took. , the best is that they seemed to be that like at carl sea, there were two japanese carrier forces rather than one bunch together. it's unclear. john lindstrom's name's been mentioned, he's an expert on it and in his book he discusses it extensively.
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but it basically amounts to the hornets dive bombers and fighters, they go off on the course. he ignores it. he breaks away and follows his intuition and the squadron in attack, shotto down by the japanese in air fire. not one plane survives. but gay in the sea survives the sinking of his plane and he's afloat to watch what happens later. right after torpedo 8, torpedo 6 comes in from enterprise. you're talking barely two minutes apart. i mean the japanese records show , the last avenging squadron's attack is ending around 0930 and then 0932, they do the same thing. they make clear it is right after.
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and the torpedoes from enterprise come in and attack and do the same thing. a few of their planes get back. most are shot down. at that time,ane the devastator, was not fast enough to make an attack and yet not get shot down if there's no fighter covering. the fighters were not overhead, they had gotten lost, with one exception i'll mention. hornet's torpedo planes also go down, having failed. again, every time, remember from before every time you're bombing , the carriers, especially making torpedo runs, they cannot bring anything to the flight deck and spot them. they were busy doing this and they cannot switch those torpedos because of the same thing. also, they're launching one after another reserve zeros to get the torpedo planes and they need them of their, they
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are constantly active and cycling the flight planes, they call it. when the torpedo plane attack ends, you have a brief lull and the japanese prepare to launch a second wave against our carriers. they're all in the hangar deck now, not in the flight decks, that's the common misnomer because the japanese standby practice was for armed and fuel planes to stand by in the hangar deck for launch while they were equipping. this is a situation when right around 1000 you have this situation developing. enterprise's dive bombers in the meantime had been searching around the ocean and saw a japanese destroyer below, because it was tracing the american submarine.
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and -- to make an attack and by making the attack it caused one of the japanese destroyers to drop out of formation. it's trying to catch up. mccluskey leading the enterprise dive bombers is coming in from the southwest. at the same time from the southeast, you have bombing three of a carrier in yorktown as well as torpedo threes, the fighters and the dive bombers altogether, not separated. they are coming in from the southeast, all converging by a strange sense of timing around 10:00, 10:05, as if it had been planned. this is where you get into some of the miracle of timing people talk about. but some of the miracle had a different answer, because the yorktown planes, the reason they are approaching from the southeast direct, they did not like time wandering around
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the enterprises planes, they saw the smoke of waldron's suicidal attack as well as enterprises lindsey leading his torpedo 6. hornet and enterprise's torpedo planes making their sacrificial attack created so much aircraft ruckus, smoke, shells exploding into the sky, all this on the far western horizon, that the yorktown planes sight it headed down this way. so they make a right turn. even though they launched later they arrive over the japanese carrier fleet almost at the same time. just an amazing thing. now, elliot mentioned earlier, the 1996 movie by universal, "midway" and some of you may
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have seen it recently on tv or dvd, especially in the '70s, it was a strong visual element. it still is one of the major theatrical releases people have. battle,hink about that the carriers are being bombed, you understand it when you picture those planes going off the flight deck, those were fighters going in to intercept, new planes coming in. they are not the strike wave being launched, they are still in the deck below the hangars. that's the main difference in the moment. visually, it's still the same. you have the dive bombers hit in the classic fashion you have , them hit three carriers all in the space of 5 to 7 minutes nearly simultaneously because they are approaching from the different directions almost accidentally when they arrive overhead. the japanese are planning the launch at 10:30 at the earliest or 11:00 at the latest. ,the big strike against the american fleet.
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it is not quite planned yet. they are about 10 minutes away from that. they have not started to lift the aircraft to the deck. those are fighters that people see being blown up. this is the imagery everyone is familiar with. and it is very -- it is basically true to life, just that any aircraft on deck should be thought of the fighters and strike way. the idea of a striker going off the deck as the bombs land, that is not really right. this diagram comes from a book and it shows the relation of how the squadron's attack, enterprise and squadron split best and his group head for the other. kagy is on his right hand and kagy on his right hand.
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according to doctrine, heads for one onlyeads for this , to find mccluskey is also headed for it. he cuts off in his own decision and he heads for the one further away and a good thing he did. because there were only three planes that attack. one of his planes, gets a single hit on them and causes a massive fire that will cause it to sink. then the same thing, a dive bomb hits. theseey are setting off complications. an example some people may be familiar with, franklin, the bunker hill, the american carriers the way that they -- fire win strike waves are ready. -- when strike waves are ready. this is what happens. the net result of 10:20, three carriers are knocked out outright in what is the miracle five minutes.
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but the part that was not clear was the fact that they were not about to launch, they had been delayed by their massive troubles in switching the torpedoes and bombs from land attack to enable attack and that is what partly set up the chance to do it. like you saw a earlier, the chance to set up where yamamoto scattered his forces and you have four carriers meeting three and that's how the battle turns out. after that, you have the four carriers left, launches two strikes. two attack the original target. they don't leave until 11:00 and they are helping those they were originally scheduled to leave. they attack and hit with bombs and torpedos, badly cripple it and it has to be abandoned. and yorktown despite attempts to
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, tell it to hawaii will be sunk , by a japanese submarine and sinks in the morning. so two strikes for yorktown. in our strike , waves from the remaining, whatever from yorktown and one from the enterprise are moved over, whatever can be launched they here are supposed to launch a third strike but postponed it. they were so exhausted and were going to wait about an but hour wanted to attack at night with so few planes left. that didn't work. that gave time for the last strike and hornet and enterprise to arrive. edit so the end result is all four japanese carriers are now gone from dive bombers strikes.
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and the battle that on paper looked like it couldn't be won when it began has turned out this way. the reason this mattered was this is the balance before the battle of midway. if you look at the numbers of the ships, the japanese had these repaired. two of them were laid up. and these four going into midway. we lost the lexington and saratoga, which is being repaired from a torpedo attack. have -- rushing over from the atlantic war. we had it rushing trains from forces. that's what they're doing and comes running back and then in
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runningn the change -- back and then the change happens and they order it home on the scene. she will be at the canal, which will be sunk. after midway, this is about four japanese carriers, we had three. this is going into the battle of the canal. this is the next moment of parity. now ready for battle up against the enterprise. those familiar with this battle, this is why it is so important. it is the final touch what makes the midway victory, because it is the aquatic and now -- it is the canal that has all the surviving, some survive the war and stuff an write the memoirs. the bulk of the japanese pilot ps, there weren't that many
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of them other than the hearing. anyone who survived midway appeared to be killed in the two big battle of guada canal. it puts the final thing on it. here is why. this is the very next year. you see the american industrial force kicking in its replacement community. the japanese in the same time period. this is the battle of the philippines. they had the new heat carrier and lost four at midway. they lost the show one and that's going in the battle of the philippine sea. but after philippine sea, they are lined up there, this is june, 1944, two years after
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midway almost exactly the greatest carrier battle, the last one in that sense, both sides are already equipped. you can see that they are already badly outnumbered. this is how the situation is at the end. this is in 1945. july look how many. this is why midway ends up mattering. there was no way to replace those four carriers swiftly. they were like the lexington and saratoga, built after the treaty limitations and out of battle cruiser hulls. [applause] >> this weekend on american history tv, on c-span3 -- saturday at 8:00 a.m. eastern.
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>> secretary this weekend on amn history gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the soviet union and eastern europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. mr. gorbachev, open this gate. [applause] [cheers] >> mr. gorbachev, tear down this wall! [applause] >> president ronald reagan's 1987 trip to berlin. at 8:00 p.m. on lectures and history, homer reynaud on how the baby boom and the emergence of teen culture changed post-world war ii society. >> you get a separate youth culture. advertisers are looking at this, young people adopt their own style of dress, the kind of music they listen to is very different and there is a kind of separation or segregation of
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youth culture from mainstream culture. >> and sunday at 8:00 p.m. on the presidency, on the 45th anniversary of the watergate break-in, we have an insider's view into richard nixon's white house and the watergate scandal 18 monthlted in an prison sentence. >> the white house phone rings and i instantly assume it is that dreaded call from richard nixon, the conversation is presently brief. the president wants john and i to meet him at camp david i weathered p.m. today. 1:30 that it could that was the press -- today. that was the press secretary, he is at camp david too. the president feels very strongly that john and i should volunteer to resign. >> for the complete schedule go this is bent outward.
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>> sunday night on afterwords, mike lee talks about forgotten historical figures that fought against big government in his book "written out of history." he is interviewed by neil capital. >> when they -- when you are on the lookout for them, they come to you gradually. i asked friends who they thought should get more credit than they do get, and this was an iroquois indian chief who understood the printable federalism because they lived it for centuries before we were our own country. i was intrigued by that because cannot they go is -- is not a name most americans know about andy had a profound impact on our system of government, because he was the guy that enabled benjamin franklin to learn about federalism, and benjamin franklin is through home the information flowed.
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it made it into the articles of confederation and then into the constitution. >> watch afterwords on the tv. >> all we can, american history tv is joining our cable partners to showcase the history of hyde park, new york. to learn more about the cities on our current tour, visit we continue with a look at the history of hyde park. >> we are on the hudson river today and we will show you some of the local sites and sounds you can enjoy in hyde park. much of the river you will visit today was referred to as million millionaire's row because of the many homes owned by


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