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Glimmers of Victory

December 7, 2019

Since that fateful day of 7 December 1941, America and its Allies in the Pacific experienced defeat across almost every front at a shocking speed. The defensive outposts in the Pacific crumbled before the Japanese juggernaut. From the White House to the Navy and Army war planners, a haunting question arose ... how and when will we be able strike back? History would later record that three fateful months, April, May, and June of 1942, would see the tide of war change in favor of the United States and its beleaguered allies.


From June 4th and 5th 1942, American naval air power would win a decisive victory at Midway during days of intensive aerial combat. Japan lost four aircraft carriers. Ironically, all four had participated in the attack on the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor and the island of Oahu. The battle had weakened the Japanese Navy and halted the offensive operations of the Empire of Japan. 


Americans listened to the news of victory on the radio or read the joyous headlines in the newspapers. It gave the nation a new optimism that the war could be won. Midway had changed the course of the Pacific War. A historian was once asked at a recent symposium on the Battle of Midway, “What short phrase would best summarize the decisive Pacific War naval battles in 1942?” He responded, “They were glimmers of victory."



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