sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Midway (movie review)

41 Devastator (torpedo/bombing aircraft) launched during the battle produced no torpedo hits and only six survived to return to their carriers. The torpedo bombers were great decoys, for the dive bombers. The movie gets a lot of things right, a few things were omitted, such as F4F Wildcat fighters. The sacrifice and bravery of the aviators (Navy and Army Air Force) that led to the demise of four front line Japanese aircraft carriers can't be overstated and the film does a good job laying that out. 

The workmen at the docks that repaired the damaged Yorktown in 72 hours, and set sail with the aircraft carrier, which would lend weight to decide the matter were likewise brave. It was a total war, and before Midway (at the Coral Sea, in the Philippines, etc) that Japanese gave a lot more than they got. They were dark days.

The movie was worth viewing, even though I've read just about every book written about the Battle of Midway.

America paid a very high price by not being ready for War. It's a lesson for the current generation. The "miracle at Midway" changed the momentum of the war. But best not to have to rely on miracles.

19 comments:

  1. I watched this for the first time the other day. Some interesting points made my Admiral Nimitz towards the end.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1NSFqltASc

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  2. I heard it was nicely done. I suppose I'll have to go see it. Paying a high price for lack of preparedness seems to be something we go through every time. When one conflict ends, it's decided that a viable military is no longer needed. Then the next one comes along.

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  3. I am proud to say ( although there was no valor on my part ) that I once met George Gay, the lone survivor of Torpedo Eight.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

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    1. The Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas (fronted by the historic Nimitz Hotel) has some personal items of Gay's, including his flight log which includes that entry. Also, it has items donated by Saburo Sakai, including the damaged and blood-stained leather flying helmet he was wearing when he got shot in the head by a tail gunner in the Solomons. It's a must-see museum.

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    2. I met him at the "Planes of Fame" airshow in Chino, CA.

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    3. I met him several times while working as a ramp rat for TWA at Denver Stapleton. Never had a conversation about anything but TWA business.

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  4. I'm happy you agree with my review. And let's hope someone bring the battle of Leyte Gulf, or even just the battle off Samar, to the big screen, possibly with the same actors were applicable. The more we get reminded of, and introduced to the Greatest Generation, the better.

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    1. They could do all or part of the Guadalcanal Campaign - lots of ships on the sea floor of Iron Bottom Sound.

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  5. Many lessons were learned from this battle by both sides. The US torpedoes were woefully inadequate and vastly inferior to Japanese torpedoes until late into the war. The Japanese tactics and organization that lead to their success at Pearl Harbor was diluted and weakened by entrenched attitudes iin their fleet as a whole.

    What the X factor became was the grit and determination of the USA pilots taking the war to the Japanese; in their faces so to speak. That they had never faced and all their inadequacies in training and damage control doomed them.

    So pontificates a writer who probably doesn't know what the hell he is talking about.

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    1. I recommend the book, "Shattered Sword" because it covers the battle with an eye toward what the Japanese were doing, and how they did it. The Japanese carriers were filled with combustible material and naturally, they all burned. The original plan was to come with Midway with 6 fleet carriers. If they'd done that, it would have been game-over for the US. Fortunately for the US, they committed to the Battle of the Coral Sea first, and while Lexington was sunk, Yorktown (damaged) live to fight another day.

      It was close.

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  6. I had a nightmare during the Reign of the Zero. (Ozobo, not Mitsubishi)
    Pearl Two.
    Slow acting engineered flu, one month spread. "natural cause", no action taken.
    Three weeks later, computer virus, scada attack, " random hackers to blame". No action. Few at work due to flu.
    Four weeks out, the satellites go dark, everyone (those with a flu resistance and a working terminal)wrestle with the source, unknown cause, no action taken,
    One hour later, the ICBM's, now unobserved and uncontested, start reentry.
    Just like a mugger- at first, the victims reaction is confusion-"what is going on?" "I don't understand?"
    Things that are outside the expected are hard to come to grips with.

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  7. We haven't seen it yet. We're going to see "Ford v. Ferrari" Friday afternoon.

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    1. I'll go see 1917 when it comes out, and I'll report on it.

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  8. It was a miracle indeed. All those Dauntlesses were WAY past bingo fuel before they found the IJN fleet... at just the perfect moment. Not many of those men made it back to their carriers, nor were found at sea after they ditched.

    Imagine what would've happened if those guys had not followed a stubborn, reckless hunch and pressed on at their peril. Hell many of them thought they were lost.

    The IJN finishes re-arming for an antishipping strike, and follows the US planes back to our carriers. They would have lost a lot of planes, but if we didn't lose all three flattops it would have been amazing. Hell, just the small strike Hiryu got off took care of Yorktown.

    On the bright side, it wouldn't have added more than 18 months to the war, tops. We built a hundred carriers in 4 years; Japan never stood a chance unless we were cowards and surrendered.

    Probably the greatest benefit accrued to the Japanese people, another 18 months of war and greater losses before we came back would have made us even angrier and more pitiless.
    -Kle.

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  9. I'll see that movie, one way or another. And yes, let's see if we're able to learn from the lessons of the past. Not putting soldiers in jail for killing head chopping savages would be a start.

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  10. I rely on the Miracle Giver, but work my butt off to show my interest.
    :)

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  11. I'm glad to read your positive impression of the movie.
    It was a great overview of the War in the Pacific up to that point, also.

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  12. I read a lot about Midway, but forgot about Bruno Gaida. No one who saw Midway 2019 ever will.

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