USS Yorktown Hit By Torpedo

Warning: Contains spoilers for the movie Midway

Just in time for Americans to officially remember veterans of World War II and other conflicts on Veterans Day 2019, a film about a key battle in the Pacific theater is opening in movie theaters.

Director Roland Emmerich’s new movie Midway, out Friday, is based on the true story of the battle of Midway Island. Fought June 4 through 7, 1942, the U.S. victory at Midway is considered by many the moment when the U.S. regained its military dignity six months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

This new movie is has been cast by its creators as an attempt to restore cinematic dignity to the historic battle; another Hollywood film called Midway came out in 1976, but has been criticized for casting actors much older than those who fought the battle, putting events out of sequence and recycling footage from earlier movies about the war. So the filmmakers wanted to give this major turning point in World War II the major motion picture it deserved.

“The Pacific campaign is long and complicated, and gets overshadowed, in our attention, by what was happening in with the Nazis in Europe,” says screenwriter Wes Tooke. “But it’s an amazing comeback story. I hope that the movie relaunches an interest in learning about Midway.”

Here’s what to know about the importance of the real Battle of Midway in World War II.

Where Is Midway and Why Fight There?

The Midway Islands are an unincorporated U.S. territory about halfway between Asia and North America. The islands are part of the Hawaiian archipelago, located northwest of Honolulu, but not part of the state of Hawaii. The U.S. annexed Midway in 1867, and the Navy took it over in 1903, and in 1940, ramped up the construction of an air and submarine base there. (The 2019 movie was shot at Hawaii’s Hickam Air Force Base and in Montreal.)

After Pearl Harbor, the Japanese went about carving out a huge empire in the Pacific in Indochina, Burma, the Philippines and various island possessions. “It was an unstoppable parade of Japanese victories,” says Rob Citino, Senior Historian at the National WWII Museum, who was not involved in the film.

In early 1942, U.S. Navy cryptanalysts had learned the Japanese were planning a big attack in the Pacific at a place codenamed AF, but were trying to figure out where, …read more

Source:: Time – Entertainment


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The Real World War II History Behind the Movie Midway

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