“Midway was merely a convenient target chosen by Yamamoto to draw the Americans out, and both sides’ objectives were attritional attempts to degrade their opponents’ carrier units. Nevertheless, the result created space for the Americans to begin their cautious advance back across the Pacific. This started with Guadalcanal and proceeded along two axes. Nimitz would command the larger and predominantly naval effort across the central Pacific, and island fortresses such as Saipan and Iwo Jima would soon go down in military legend. To the south, General Douglas MacArthur led a campaign across New Guinea and the Philippines, with a more land-based focus. Notwithstanding that, it was off Leyte Gulf in the Philippines in October 1944 that the Imperial Japanese Navy suffered a fatal blow in the largest naval battle in history, during which four carriers and three battleships were lost.”

Charles River Editors, The Greatest Battles in History: The Battle of Midway
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