Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Department of bad predictions

Today marks the anniversary of the of the Battle of Tsushima (1905). In the Empire of Japan it was celebrated as Navy Day from 1906-1945.

In 1942 the official proclamation was justifiably triumphant. Japan had just completed six months of conquest that were unrivaled in history.

Today Britain's control over the seas has vanished, thanks to the work of the German and Italian submarines and more the work of the Japanese Navy. Britain's auxiliary, the United States, has likewise had her navy practically destroyed by the Japanese navy. As a result, Japan stands today as the premier naval power of the world. It may well presage the rise of Japan in the future history of the world to a position comparable to that which Britain has occupied in the past
Left unmentioned were the Doolittle raid on Tokyo and the Battle of Coral Sea. The "practically destroyed" US Navy was not yet ready to concede global supremacy to the Imperial Japanese Navy.

Also on this date in 1942, the USS Yorktown, badly damaged at Coral Sea, entered Pearl Harbor. Three days later, patched up and resupplied, she would leave Hawaii to rendezvous with Enterprise and Hornet near Midway.

Japan's global naval supremacy was about to come to an early, shattering end.

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