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Since the end of the Pacific War, scholars have commonly viewed the Battle of Midway as both a decisive battle, as well as the turning point, of that war. The historiography of Midway has evolved over time, yet the vast majority of research has sought to improve the common understanding of the tactical details of the battle itself. Few authors have questioned the assertion that Midway was either decisive, or at the least the turning point of the war. Scholarship based on newly discovered information has sought to overturn commonly held myths surrounding the battle. This study attempts to examine the broader implications of the battle within the context of the Pacific War by analyzing the affects that the battle had at the strategic and operational level decision making for both the Allies (and in particular the United States) and the Japanese. Analyzing these changes will either point towards the decisiveness of the battle, towards its validity as the turning point of the war, or finally as an important milestone in the long progression of the conflict.
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION * Primary Research Question * Secondary Research Questions * Significance * Assumptions * Limitations and Delimitations * CHAPTER 2 ANALYSIS OF MIDWAY LITERATURE * Evolution of Literature on Midway and Decisiveness * Evaluating the Literature on Japanese Strategy * Literature Evaluating the American Strategy * Conclusion * CHAPTER 3 MIDWAY’S DECISIVENESS * Evaluating the Impact of Midway on Japanese Strategy * Evaluating the Impact of Midway on Allied Strategy * Conclusion * CHAPTER 4 ALTERNATIVE CAMPAIGNS FOR THE TURNING POINT OF THE WAR * Literature Evaluating Alternate Strategic Turning Points in Pacific War * An Alternate Strategic Turning Point in the Pacific War * CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION