History of the Second World War, Volume 3

It was not only the g Japanese carrier force m which suffered at Midway: while takingS avoiding action after sighting a US submarine two heavy cruisers— Mikuma and M ogam i—of the Support Force collided, and became a tempting target for the US aircraft. Right: the Mogami survived their attentions and in spite of severe damage was able to reach Truk. But the Mikuma (below left) was smothered with bombs and sunk after her speed had been further reduced by an engine-room explosion -petrol fumes from a crashed US dive- bomber had been sucked down into the starboard engine room and exploded, killing the crew there Eclipse of the Rising Sun A In one terrible five minutes Japans superiority in the Pacific was shattered forever. While all the Japanese defences were concentrating upon massacring the slow US torpedo-bombers 35 US dive-bombers arrived overhead and Soryu, and Kaga Akagi (seen here taking evasive action) were all reduced to blazing wrecks and had to be abandoned by their crews. Of the fleet carriers only Hiryu cruising separately, was able to launch a counterattack. [>But she did not last long —about ten hours later 24 US dive-bombers surprised her and she was hit four times one of the bombs blowing the forward lift bodily onto the bridge. She was abandoned and sunk by an attendant destroyer the next morning
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