Technology, Strategy And Leadership In The Movie 'Midway'
1173 Words5 Pages
In examining the film “Midway” on the basis of that which has been learned in this course, factors relevant to technology, strategy and leadership all emerge as crucial to the successful deployment of sea power. In this regard, this response makes use of three specific concepts so as to demonstrate the film’s insights into sea power. First, and pertaining to leadership, it examines the gamble made by Admiral Nimitz, at Midway, so as to demonstrate that fleet asset usage lies at the core of successful sea power project. Second, and in terms of strategy, it demonstrates, through an example of Yamamoto’s flawless planning, that even the best laid plans can go awry when an exogenous variable, like the Americans’ deciphering of Japanese codes, is at play in a given battle space. Finally, in terms of technology, the essay concludes by discussing the breaking of these codes, and the important role which naval intelligence continues to play in the context of even today’s fleet’s sustainability and power projection abilities.
Leadership in “Midway”
Beginning with the question of leadership, as it is shown in the film, Admiral Chester Nimitz is portrayed as taking a high-risk high-reward gambit in the context of the US Navy’s WWII Pacific operations. Indeed, and in a context where the Americans were vastly outnumbered by the Japanese fleet, and wherein Midway itself represented a critical piece of ocean space in the context of the Pacific war’s grand strategic portrait, Nimitz was willing to believe in his sailors, and take the steps necessary to make the most of a difficult situation. Given that America had recently broken Japanese cryptography pertaining to its naval communications, Nimitz had a clear advantage over Yamamoto, in spite o...
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...mamoto’s fleet, technology-driven intelligence acted as the force which linked tactics to strategy, and which thus served the important purpose of bridging the gap between a grand strategic context devoid of significant American opportunities and a micro-level strategic context in which America could saliently enhance the outcomes which its fleet would ultimately achieve.
In the end, “Midway” clearly demonstrates the manner in which sea power is mediated by human variables, like leadership and strategy, as well as technological ones like SIGINT. With this in mind, the ultimate result of the battle is perhaps more attributable to these factors than it is to the actual nature of the naval assets deployed for the battle. Indeed, and while relative parity existed in terms of the nature of the two fleets, despite a Japanese quantitative advantage, these human