The Battle of Midway is widely regarded as the most important naval battle of the Pacific Campaign of World War II. Between June 4 and 7, 1942, approximately six months after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States Navy decisively defeated an Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) attack against Midway Atoll, inflicting irreparable damage on the Japanese fleet.
The Japanese plan was to lure the United States' aircraft carriers into a trap. The Japanese also intended to occupy Midway Atoll as part of an overall plan to extend their defensive perimeter in response to the Doolittle Raid.
The plan was handicapped by American codebreakers who were able to determine the date and location of the attack, enabling the forewarned U.S. Navy to set up an ambush of its own.
Until this battle Japan had been highly successful in swiftly securing its initial war goals, giving the Japanese a feeling of invincibility that has been called "Victory Disease". Of the six Japanese carriers involved in the Pearl Harbor attack, Shōkaku was heavily damaged and Zuikaku was awaiting a replacement air group due to losses from the Battle of Coral Sea (This is where the 'Victory Disease' comes into play, Why not transfer Shōkaku's air group to Zuikaku and have a fifth carrier available? The answer 'Victory Disease' or arrogance).
The Japanese force had four carriers (Hiryū, Sōryū, Kaga, and Akagi), while the American force had 3 carriers (Enterprise, Hornet, and Yorktown) plus Midway islands airfield.
At the end of the battle, Japan had lost 4 aircraft carriers, 1 heavy cruiser sunk (and 1 heavily damaged), 3,057 Japanese sailors and 248 carrier aircraft destroyed.
The US navy lost 1 Aircraft Carrier (USS Yorktown), 1 Destroyer, 307 servicemen and 150 aircraft destroyed.
This was a battle that the Japanese military never recovered from.
They had awakened the 'Sleeping Giant'.
Dan Emplit WBFD