The US' victory at Midway was due to a superior strategy and a very high level of tactical leadership.


Midway was "the most complete naval victory" since Lord Nelson's at Trafalgar, according to historian, Craig Symonds. However, if the Japanese had won at Midway, the US would still have won the war noting its industrial capacity to replace its carriers. For Japan defeat at Midway was a disaster. Holmes notes that the US Naval commanders not only displayed the ‘very highest quality of tactical wisdom’, but also provided good strategic leadership. At the tactical level, the US Naval commanders were given leeway and instructed to avoid exposing the fleet to attacks by overwhelming enemy forces unless greater damage could be inflicted on the enemy in the process: "the principle of calculated risk". The result was a notable victory at Midway for the US Navy. When reading this article consider Spruance’s high-end tactical leadership and whether the lessons could apply to today’s Air Force. Good reads on the topic can be found in Symonds', The Battle of Midway, and Parshall and Tully's, Shattered Sword.