The attack on Midway was conceived in a similar vein to the attack on Pearl Harbor, primarily aiming to cripple the US Pacific Fleet and establish a defensive perimeter on Midway. A formidable Japanese fleet comprised of multiple groups was assembled for the attack on Midway, whilst a separate fleet sailed north for a simultaneous assault on the Aleutian Islands. The Japanese planned to launch an assault on Midway with planes from the four aircraft carriers in the forward strike group. It was assumed that American naval forces in the area would then launch a counterattack and could subsequently be engaged by the Japanese battleship group following behind the aircraft carriers. Unbeknownst to the Japanese, the Americans were aware of the upcoming attack thanks to their ability to decrypt Japanese naval communications. Additionally, the Japanese battleship group was hundreds of miles behind the carrier group, rendering it useless once contact was made with the US Navy on 4 June.
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