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The Battle of Midway: Hiryu's Counterstrike (2/3)

May 31, 2021
Inside Hiro's preparation room was Lieutenant Tomo Naga Joishi, he was the leader of the airstrike that had just been hit mid-air, he and his fellow airmen were resting when suddenly a pilot came in and shouted: the akagi It is damaged, the sodium and the kaga are burning, we are the only ship. that has not been hit by tomonaga and the men headed to the decks to see what was happening and one can only imagine the shock and horror on the pilot's faces as they saw their fellow sister ships burning fiercely on the horizon. Some kind of retribution had to be taken.
the battle of midway hiryu s counterstrike 2 3
Rear Admiral Yamaguchi now found himself in command of the only remaining operational aircraft carrier on the Ketobutai. Despite the tragedy that had just befallen them and the grim odds stacked against him, there was only one viable option left in his eyes. of the Japanese to counterattack this is the




part 2 hiro yamaguchi's counterattack wasted no time setting up the retaliatory attack led by lieutenant michio kobayashi the attack consisted of a full squadron of 18 dive bombers with six fighters as escorts which took off in 10 54. Much was expected of this group, as they were all piloted by experienced veterans and were considered by many to be an elite unit lifting the fog of war.
the battle of midway hiryu s counterstrike 2 3

More Interesting Facts About,

the battle of midway hiryu s counterstrike 2 3...

We can now see that the Americans had three aircraft carriers operating in two separate task groups. Rear Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher was a commanding general. He was a cautious but prudent commander who had extensive combat experience. He had previously fought against the Japanese a month earlier in Task Force 17 in the Coral Sea. He was under Fletcher's direct command and focused on his flagship. the uss yorktown sole survivor of the coral sea the damage yorktown had been quickly repaired and made


worthy in just two days so that it could participate in the battle the bombers that destroyed the solu had been heard dying fletcher also had operational command of the task 416 which was led by rear admiral raymond's bruins task 416 contained the hornet and the enterprise and were the enterprise bombers that had eliminated the kaga and the akagi.
the battle of midway hiryu s counterstrike 2 3
Currently the three carriers were anxiously awaiting the return of their strike groups and unfortunately for Yorktown, she would also receive some unwanted visitors. Kobayashi was heading towards her, contrary to what was believed, Nagumo was not a broken man after the 10:30 disaster. Her reaction was quite defiant after changing her flag from Akagi to the light cruiser Nagara. she ordered the kirubutai to head towards the enemy now believed to be only 90 miles away. She optimistically believed that she could take on the Americans in a daylight surface action. However, this fanciful idea was shattered when at 12:40 reports showed that American forces were heading east and opening the Later she also changed course and began heading northeast at 10:50.
the battle of midway hiryu s counterstrike 2 3
Admiral Yamamoto, commander of the combined fleet and chief architect of the entire operation, was notified of the current situation of the Nagumo mobile force. One can imagine his sadness and dismay upon hearing the news. that three of his carriers were on fire as was Nagumo, he too was hopeful that a surface engagement could be imposed on the Americans at 12:20, he issued a series of orders to recover the situation and ordered a concentration of Their main warships will arrive at Nagumo. help in terms of air support yamamoto ordered the aircraft carriers juno and rujo operating in the illusion campaign to head south to join the hero, there was only one problem, although all friendly forces were hundreds of miles away, both yamamoto with his main body of battleships like admiral condo.
With his two fast battleships he was able to arrive the next morning and the two aircraft carriers forgot him, they were more than two days away, but in the end this effort did not matter because the Americans had no intention of participating in a surface battle in the that they were. heading east, away from the Japanese, so it was up to the hero, with his meager air power, to engage the enemy en route to the reported location. The Japanese air group encountered a group of stragglers returning to their carriers. The six heroes apparently couldn't. resist such a tempting target and eager for revenge they broke ranks to attack them this turned out to be a foolish move the planes were intrepid dive bombers that now without their bombs proved to be very agile and maneuverable a strong crash occurred and although there were no planes lost in both sides two zeros were badly damaged and had to return to their carriers the vile dive bombers now only had four escort fighters and were miles away this unnecessary skirmish would prove to be a fatal mistake at 11 52 radar detected the japanese attack A 32 miles from Yorktown there were eight fighters in the air and most went to intercept an attack formation with their fighter escort still too far behind to intervene.
The attack proved devastating to the vulnerable dive bombers. The dive bombing formation was completely shattered and disorganized. They were shot out of the sky before the Zeros finally appeared, but they still only managed to take down one bobcat before losing three of their own during this confrontation, two additional vowels were destroyed and two others had to ditch their bombs, which meant that there were now only seven dive bombers missing to eliminate an aircraft carrier. The bombers decided to divide into two divisions to attack Yorktown, the first would attack directly from the west while the other four would attack from the southwest to be able to approach with the sun His Kobayashi unit had a reputation as the best dive bombing squadron in the fleet and they would soon confirm their elite status.
The attack began at 12:10. The first plane was shot down, but her aim was accurate, hitting the Yorktown behind elevator number two. the second nearly missed, starting a minor fire in the fan tail, the third and fourth failed as a yorktown turned to port to divert its aim, but the fifth bomber dealt the most damaging blow: it exploded deep inside its helmet damaging the battery. intakes and shutting down all but one of her boilers, thick smoke began to billow and Yorktown's speed slowed, then she scored another heavy hit which knocked out her front elevator and started several fires deep in her hole.
The attack concluded with the last aircraft scoring a near miss four minutes after the attack the yorktown stopped and was left dead in the water with heavy fires on board the aircraft carrier was out of operation this image shows the dive bombing attack in the stages Initial note that the damaged dive bomber is about to crash into the water its tail has been completely closed the dives made by Kobayashi's unit were almost vertical and remained stable despite the intense anti-aircraft fire that the Americans had launched hit a moving target cruising at 30 knots was no small feat and the result speaks for itself, three hits and two near misses by seven aircraft, it had been a spectacular performance that even the Americans grudgingly acknowledged.
Kobayashi was not among the survivors, but he would have been proud of the unit for this impressive achievement. However, the attack had suffered intolerable. losses only 5 of the 18 members returned, that is, a loss rate of 72 and of the remaining guards only one of the four zeros returned home. If the Japanese continued like this, they would have no more attack planes left that night in return. Despite all this damage, the Americans had lost only one bobcat. The survivors excitedly reported to Yamaguchi that they had left a dead aircraft carrier in the water and burning fiercely. By this time the Japanese knew that they were facing three aircraft carriers and, based on their scorecard, whether one had been destroyed. eliminated meant that it was now one against two the battle could still be won although a considerable amount of luck would be needed the second attack prepared for launch unfortunately for yamaguchi hiru's carrier strike unit had been the one that had suffered the most damage losses in the mid-course attack, so instead of the usual complement of 18 torpedo planes, only 10 kates were available for the attack.
The attack was to be led by Lieutenant Tomonaga. Earlier, his plane had suffered an impact and, although it had been repaired, it was still leaking fuel. He may not have had enough fuel to return. Other pilots begged him to change planes with him, but Tomonaga refused with a touch of humor. He told him that the Yankees were only 90 miles away and that he could get there and back on a single tank of gas. At 1:31 p.m., the attack took off along with its escort of six fighters. Before leaving, Yamaguchi had reminded his pilots that there were two aircraft carriers left unharmed.
Their mission was to eliminate one of them. It was imperative that this attack destroy at least one of the two aircraft carriers. unharmed This would then even the odds and make it one on one and with that result the prospect of a Japanese victory would not be so far-fetched en route to the target location, the air group sighted a carrier task group 30 miles away at 2:30 p.m. The carrier was not on fire nor did it show any signs of being damaged, so clearly this had to be one of the undamaged ones, so Tomonaga decided to attack this intact force.
However, unbeknownst to the Japanese, this was not a new aircraft carrier, it was the Yorktown again American damage. Control had been excellent and after the dive bombing, Yorktown's crew had been able to put out the fires and had restored enough boilers to raise her to 19 knots, so Hiru's second attack was about to be spent on a wounded carrier. Tomonaga approached. From the carrier's port he decided to execute a standard split attack. Radar had detected the incoming attack 45 miles away but only six fighters were available, all six were sent to intercept but only two found the enemy shooting down a single torpedo boat at this point.
Yorktown had begun an evasive turn to starboard giving Tomonaga a poor angle of attack in response, he split his small force once more to carry out another attack on Annaville. The four planes were about to pass the outer escort ring when this photograph was taken from the USS Pensacola. Note the intense anti-aircraft fire that Tomonaga and his pilots had to combat. The Americans would have to do everything they could in this attack to save their aircraft carrier. Fortunately, they had one of their best pilots on the scene, Lieutenant Commander Jimmy Thatch, who had just taken over.
Leaving Yorktown, he was determined to repel this assault, coming to 200 feet and flying at 200 knots, Lieutenant Thormannaga stabilized his plane to make his torpedo run to his right, a wildcat came roaring towards him, it was none other than jimmy thatch and handed it over. A devastating pass to Tomonaga's plane the plane was severely damaged and caught fire, however with nerves of steel Tomonaga pushed and with impressive skills he managed to launch his torpedo his plane crashed shortly after killing him and his crew unfortunately for Tomonaga his torpedo no He hit his companion he also missed and then he was shot down and the other two of the group were also shot down without any of their torpedoes hitting their target however his sacrifice was not in vain since he had lined up the Yorktown for the attack of the second division these five swooped in and scored two devastating hits on yorktown's port side in summary, the tomonaka attack had cost the japanese five torpedo boats and two zeros the americans had lost four fighters a photograph captured at the moment it hit The torpedo was this attack that caused tremendous and decisive damage to the Yorktown.
She lost all power, three of her boilers were damaged, her rudder jammed and with water gushing into a severe list, it seemed evident that the carrier would capsize at any moment. , which would have caused a great loss of life, so the captain was ordered to abandon ship at 15:00 Yorktown was definitely out of action at 15:45 hitu the surviving planes had landed at this point the hero was exhausted, keep in mind that they have been in constant action for the last 10 hours, only 10 minutes after they landed nagumo received a report from his scout planes revealed the truth of Tomonaga's attack.
The attack had hit the same aircraft carrier as before, so it was still one against two. With the odds still against them, the Japanese finally decided it was time to withdraw and open the range with the Yamaguchi Americans looked at what was left of their force and it was unfortunate that only four vowels and five kates remained.Incredibly, the admiral was still determined to attack the Americans. He would send out a nightfall attack with these nine planes and then call it a day, but he was exhausted first. The men needed a respite from all the action, the men went to eat and rest before launching their final counterattack, however, the airmen would never have that opportunity at this point, there is a worrying issue that needs to be discussed: it is the controversial decision of nagumo to close the range with the Americans once they have been discovered after the disaster of 10 30 nagumo had been left with only one aircraft carrier the hiru cannot underestimate the importance of this aircraft carrier nogumo was in possession of expensive military equipment that Japan could not afford to lose.
The Japanese had to fight intelligently from that point on. Early reports had indicated that the Americans were closing the gap and were only 90 miles away, so hopes of a surface engagement were justified, so Nagumo's decision to charge northeast to close the distance was reasonable, but there was something wrong with this picture, is this the hero going after Nagumo's surface force, an aircraft carrier has no business in a surface engagement, not only that, but closing the distance keeps you within the enemy's attack range and this was absurd, so why are they doing this? the hero was still closing the distance with the Americans, well we don't really know, maybe Nagumo believed that the Americans were also looking for a confrontation on the surface, but at 12:40 this was shown to be very unlikely due to the Americans They changed course to the east, away from it, so what it seems is that after 10:30 the Japanese became short-sighted and had this kind of tunnel vision where they were only focused on one thing: destroying the enemy.
For both Nagumo Yamaguchi, this fight had become personal. They were so determined to get revenge and so caught up in the heat of the moment that they forgot. employ your assets carefully, cultural and social norms may also have begun to cloud your thinking. Japanese society places a lot of value on honor and the line of duty, and we can see this occur during World War II, with many soldiers ending their own lives rather than being killed. taken prisoner which was seen as a shameful act there is a popular Japanese phrase that says please keep trying to do your best in other words at this time winning was optional but trying your hardest was not even if the situation was desperate and doomed to failure, they had to prove it. that they were at least trying to win, but in doing so they lost sight of the bigger picture.
Saving this last precious aircraft carrier could have helped the Japanese so well in future operations. Both are guilty of this reckless decision. It seems that both of them were more worried. With preserving his personal honor instead of focusing on preserving this invaluable and irreplaceable aircraft carrier of his nation, it is true that counterattacking the enemy had made sense, but exposing his aircraft carrier to an American air attack had not, so what they should have fact is to have let the surface units close the gap but not the aircraft carrier. They could have separated the helium with an escort to the west and opened the range even before Tomonaga's force had taken off at 13:30.
His plane still had the range to attack Yorktown and return home, but instead Tahiri spent the entire afternoon closing the gap with the enemy only at 15:50 when reports confirmed that the hero was still facing two operational aircraft carriers. He headed northwest, but at this point it was too little too late for the consequences of the reckless decision. The Americans had already reached them. They had lost contact with the enemy after the 10:30 attack. They did not know where the hero was, so at 11:33 Yorktown began sending search planes to regain contact with the enemy. One of these The planes had already reached the search limit, but the pilot decided to go a little further at 2:30 p.m.
His perseverance paid off when on his return leg he encountered the hiru. He was only 130 miles from Task 416, within attack range if the kidobutai had turned. northwest immediately after launching the attack on Tomonaga at 1:30 p.m., Helium would have been 35 miles further west at 2:30 p.m. and would likely never have been seen so much to save his last precious carrier once he The Americans received the report of the sighting, an attack was sent immediately. The first wave was a mix of Enterprise dive bombers with survivors from Yorktown, followed by the Hornet, which launched its own attack 30 minutes later at 1645.
The first group sighted the Hiro. The dive bombers turned southwest so they could approach with the sun. behind him, the two squadrons decided to concentrate on one ship each, Yorktown's bombers, much to his resentment, were selected to go for a battleship, while the 10 Enterprise dive bombers took the top prize of shooting down the carrier. 13 fighters were patrolling the combat air. The pilots were no doubt fatigued at this point and the clever tactic of approaching from the sun must have worked because for the second time this day the Japanese were taken by surprise, they did not see the Americans until they were practically on top of them and this perhaps highlights The Japanese's greatest weakness in carrier warfare: their lack of radar.
The Enterprise dive bombers began their attack at 1705. The aircraft carrier made a sharp turn to port, which diverted its aim and resulted in the first bombs missing their target, fortunately for the Americans the Yorktown planes saw this and diverted the moment Hideo had arrived the dive bombers They were able to land a devastating total of four hits all on the front of the Hiro the powerful explosions shattered the forward deck although the Hiryu had not been as filled with fully armed aircraft as her three sisters four bombs were enough to shatter this aircraft carrier slightly Armed, flight operations were out of order for the Hiro, the remaining intrepids went towards the battleship but failed. 15 minutes later, Hornet's group arrived.
They ignored the hero who saw that she was doomed and went for the cruisers, but it was in vain. They scored hits in total. The Americans lost only three aircraft in the attack. The four carriers were now out of operation. Incredibly, Yamamoto still believed he could snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. He still entertained the prospect that the halfway point could be taken and that the American force could be destroyed in a surface battle in 1915. Admiral Karita and his cruiser squadron were ordered to bombard and neutralize the halfway point. . The only hope now left for a victory was a night action between Yamamoto's battleships and heavy cruisers and the American aircraft carrier and cruiser force Nagumo, which had been seen as too passive, was relieved of his command and left a animal condo in charge for the next night battle;
However, by 11:30 p.m. Reality finally began to sink in and shortly after midnight he called off the bombing of Midway and ordered Karita to change course. Toward the northwest and join the main body orders were soon sent for a general withdrawal of all his forces and at 0-255 Yamamoto officially called off the operation halfway back to the scene of devastation, the Japanese aircraft carriers had been caught in the most vulnerable state. possible with fuel-laden and armed aircraft on board, as mentioned, each bomb hit was aggravated by the secondary explosions that took place inside the hangars, the fires were fueled and fueled by the filled attack aircraft, the bombs and torpedoes that had not been stored.
Fuel in the fuel lines and other flammable materials were safely found throughout the ship and efforts to successfully fight the fire were hampered for many reasons, one of them being the poor design of the Japanese aircraft carriers, which left them ill prepared to absorb the damage and continue fighting a second fire. Holes and telephone sprinkler systems were installed, but water mains were damaged during the attack, leaving the systems inoperable, and furthermore, Japanese fire control capabilities were simply poor, so the fire prevailed wildly. constant and, despite their best efforts, Japanese damage control equipment and training simply were not up to par. the task the fires could not be extinguished and this sealed the fate of the aircraft carriers sodium and kaga they were burning wrecks after much deliberation the decision was made to sink them the soryu sank in 1913 and lost 711 men the kaga sank in 1925 lost The largest number of personnel on all aircraft carriers lost 811 officers and men.
There are many doubts with the akagi, since she was the flagship of the kidobutai, but eventually she was also ordered to be scuttled. She sank the next morning taking 267 souls with her. The hiru suffered. The same fate the fires had spread and could not be contained and it soon became evident that she was doomed to failure. Admiral Yamaguchi, faithful to naval tradition, decided to go down with the ship after a sentimental farewell to the Yamaguchi and a select few stayed behind while the rest of the crew was transferred to a nearby destroyer at 05:10 on June 5. She was also sunk by a single torpedo, but incredibly did not sink until hours later in the morning.
It was enough time for a Japanese biplane to take this amazing photo. it's the huge hole in the front of the ship a part of the elevator has been blown into the front end of the island here's another classic shot of it where we can see that the ship is still on fire in the middle of the ship the heroes sank a few two hours later These photographs were taken around 09:15. 392 men were lost. The decisive phase of the battle was over, but fighting continued for the next two days, resulting in the sinking of the Japanese cruiser Makuma and Yorktown.
That's right, the stubborn aircraft carrier had not yet sunk at this point. I will start with the cruiser action if we remember that Admiral Karita, commanding Cruiser Squadron 7, had been tasked with bombing


. Yamamoto ordered this mission to be canceled 20 minutes after midnight on June 5, however the order was delayed. almost two hours before reaching karita at 0-2-30, at that time it was only 50 miles from the halfway point, regardless of whether it began its withdrawal by changing course towards the northwest, but during this a submarine was seen Evasive maneuvers were ordered and during the confusion the cruiser Mogami collided with her sister ship Makuma Mogami had her bow destroyed and was left behind as she had to limp back home at low speed The Makuma faithfully remained by her side as an escort for the rest. of the day they escaped air attacks by midway-based bombers, but the next day, June 6, they were repeatedly bombed, but this time from a carrier-based aircraft of task 416, five hits landed on mogami, Five on Kuma and one on a destroyer.
Despite collision damage and impacts, Mogami managed to escape. Although ironically it was the Makuma that succumbed to her injuries, American pilots took photographs of the mortally wounded ship, the destruction of the Makuma is clear, the ship sank in 1930 with great loss of life and up to 700 of her crew missing. obtained against the Americans on June 4, the Yorktown was abandoned but despite appearing to be about to capsize, it was found still afloat on the 5th with the battle practically won and the Japanese in retreat, the idea of ​​returning to it and towing it to port seemed a real possibility, so the next day, June 6, the destroyer Hammond brought a wildcat team aboard.
The destroyer remained moored alongside Yorktown to provide power. The team began to progress. Power was restored, the list was corrected and soon the Yorktown was being towed at three knots but lurking in the waters was the submarine i-168. She had been sent by Yamamoto to take down Yorktown. The submarine skillfully approached unseen and waited patiently for the perfect shot. Although there were five destroyers patrolling, no one saw the submarine. She approached and at 1500 meters she launched four torpedoes, the first hit the Hammond which split the ship in half and the second and third hit the Yorktown, the aircraft carrier was finished and the crew was finished.rescue evacuated the ship.
The following images tell the story of the Hammond. sinking here after breaking in half while under her deadly loads she exploded killing more of her survivors nearby in the water 84 of her crew went down with her even with four torpedo wounds the yorktown still took a while to sink and Before she did so she mounted on her back revealing the enormous torpedo wounds from the submarine attack of June 7th the distinguished ship the ship that had played such a fundamental role in the coral sea and halfway there she finally slipped under the waters in 0-500 57 men were lost so now we can go to the final losses of the battle Japan lost four aircraft carriers, a cruiser and 250 aircraft, but they didn't have a huge loss of pilots, only 121 airmen were lost that day, which really Japan lost 3,057 men to the Americans the costs had been relatively small for what they had achieved they had lost one aircraft carrier one destroyer and 144 aircraft total losses in men 362 There was no doubt that the Battle of Midway had been a decisive American victory.

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