On December 7th 1941 the Japanese kicked off their pacific campaign by bombing Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Their goal was total domination of the pacific and control of all the natural resources of southeast Asia. They went on to attack the Philippines, Guam, Wake Island, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. They were determined to extend their empire further and destroy anything that stood in their way. The Japanese viewed American aircraft carriers in the pacific as a threat to their further advancement. The decision was made to eliminate this threat preemptively.
The Battle of Midway took place in 1942, just six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor. This major naval and arial battle was fought at the Midway Atoll off the coast of Hawaii in the heart of the pacific ocean. The United States Army arrived with 360 aircraft vs Japan’s 276. A number of submarines and destroyers were also engaged in the fight on both sides. One month earlier, during the Battle of the Coral Sea, Japan had one aircraft carrier sunk and another fleet carrier severely damaged. This put the Japanese at a disadvantage and ultimately the United States was able to overpower them and win the battle.