The Battle of Midway was a major turning point during World War II. It was a battle that ultimately altered Japanese plans and the fluctuation of power in the Pacific. The battle took place on a small island named Midway in the Pacific Ocean. At the time, this island was home to a United States base, but it offered the perfect location for Japan to station their own forces for an attack on Pearl Harbor.
Prior to the battle, U.S. Navy cryptanalysts had been working on cracking the Japanese communication codes. The cryptanalysts, who were stationed in Hawaii, known as Station Hypo, successfully broke the Japanese codes right before the battle. The success of the cryptanalysts not only confirmed the location but also gave them the exact date of the attack.
The Japanese attacked and severely damaged the U.S. base at Midway, using four aircrafts. However thanks to the work of the cryptanalysts, the U.S. carrier forces were already stationed and ready for battle on the island’s east side. Attacks from the U.S. forces continued for two days, forcing Japan to retreat and leading the U.S. to victory. This derailed the Japanese plans to take over the Pacific because winning the battle of Midway was a significant part of taking over the Pacific.
The victory shifted the balance of power in the Pacific and practically changed the outcome of World War II. The world would be very different today if Station Hypo did not crack the code that led the U.S. to win the battle.
[Source: Nationalww2museum.org; History Navy Mil]