Could Japan have won the Battle of Midway? How would that affect World War II?
It is debated whether they could have taken the island (it was quite heavily defended, and the actual invasion force for the island was not all that strong), but the real goal, of course, was destroying the American carriers. A total wipeout of the American carriers with no Japanese carrier losses was very unlikely, but not impossible, as both sides made lots of mistakes and the outcome was heavily influenced by luck. If the Japanese make implausibly few (but not impossibly few) mistakes and the breaks go their way to an implausible (but again not impossible) degree, you get a totally different outcome. As for the effect on the war, not much; the Japanese didn't have enough replacements for the carrier aircraft they would have lost even in a total victory, and their fuel situation was also becoming critical, meaning they couldn't have done much more with their carriers until they rebuilt fuel reserves even if the carriers had all survived (helpful as it would have been for the Japanese to send the Kido Butai to Guadalcanal, for example, they definitely didn't have the fuel for that kind of operation). The Americans having fewer aircraft carriers and having to be a bit cautious about remaining Japanese strength would have slowed their eventual offensives a little bit, but not very much.
USN would send their subs to target the IJN oilers as they sailed back to Japan.
What they had was a totally inadequate system for training replacements, and a rigid unwillingness to break up air groups.Is it true that the IJN had a pilot shortage,even before Midway,win or lose?
Yeah, at worst, it butterflies away the Solomons, and Nimitz just kicks off his offensive in the Gilberts and Marshalls instead when the Essexes and Independences start arriving in force in late '43, and IJN air crews end up just getting chewed up there instead.Yes they could have won, long term it won't make a lick of difference, see this video (you can start watching about 26 minutes in):
Interesting to think what would have happened had the Enterprise dive bombers not have the good fortune of spotting the Arashi and using her as a guide to the Kido Butai.
Japan will still run out of carriers (and their pilots pretty fast) to say nothing of merchant man losses to USN submarines.The IJA takes over New Guinea and the Solomons, resulting in the isolation of Australia and thus better acquisition of NEI oil. Between this and the American public's reaction to the defeat, President Roosevelt will be forced to adopt a Japan-First Strategy, at least for a time, and this will result in the abandoning of TORCH as American naval assets are transferred to the Pacific. Possible from here the USSR could collapse in 1942/1943, with all the implications from that. Back in the Pacific, the USN will find itself in an absolute slugging match for the Solomons come late 1943 when they finally have enough carriers; the IJN has enough to match them and has the benefit of land based air. 50/50 the U.S. wins here but the casualties will be heavy but they'll finally win it for good in the first half of 1944.
From there, we then see a gradual campaign against the Japanese in the rest of the Pacific that will be an extremely bloody affair, given greater time for the Japanese to build up and strengthen their defenses. My take? Japan pulls off a Versailles style peace sometime in 1946 or so, retaining their "Core Empire" of the Home Islands, Formosa, Karafuto, Korea, Manchuria and the Kuriles. Whether Germany survives or not depends on what happens with the USSR, in my estimation.
By 1945, the Japanese were prepared to accept Versailles style limitations, so it wouldn’t surprise me they would lose offensive capabilities for a generation or so.They'll lose badly enough that the Japanese Empire is toast. Not to mention any offensive military capability.
They were? I generally hear that their proposed terms up until the bombs falling/USSR invasion (not getting into that one) would have been more appropriate for the victors.By 1945, the Japanese were prepared to accept Versailles style limitations, so it wouldn’t surprise me they would lose offensive capabilities for a generation or so.
By the Summer of 1945, they were hoping to keep the “Core Empire” intact and avoid an occupation/retain the existing institutions. They were likewise open to military limitations, with the expectation they could toss them out after a few years like the Germans did.They were? I generally hear that their proposed terms up until the bombs falling/USSR invasion (not getting into that one) would have been more appropriate for the victors.
USN Submarines performed poorly at Midway - 1 Skipper was beached he was so docile (even if he did cause 2 IJN Heavy Crusiers to collide when they spotted him in the dark) - another did attempt to engage a carrier but was suppressed by escorts - so I do not share your optimism regarding the sinking of Oilers.USN would send their subs to target the IJN oilers as they sailed back to Japan.
Good luck trying to get back.
Overall, a Japanese victory at Midway doesn't do much.
It only encourages the US to step up their game and strike back, except the US are now harder, faster, and stronger than they were at Pearl Harbor.