The Battle of Midway is often referred to as the "turning point" of the war in the Pacific. Six months after the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese Imperial Navy was preparing to deliver a decisive blow that would destroy the U.S. Navy and leave Japan the uncontested power in the Pacific. The Japanese set a trap near the island of Midway hoping to catch what was left of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Unbeknownst to the Japanese, the American cryptanalysts had cracked the Japanese naval codes. Using this intelligence, American commanders laid a counter trap for the Japanese. A large naval battle ensued June 4-6, 1942. Through surprise and the effective use of carrier based air power, the U.S. Navy won one of the most important battles of the war. In the end, operational initiative passed from the Japanese to the Americans -- thus turning the tide of the war in the Pacific and enabling Allied forces to go on the offensive.

The Tide Turns, a symposium hosted in partnership with the MacArthur Memorial and the Hampton Roads Naval Museum was held on June 2, 2017 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, and featured lectures by experts on the Battle of Midway, book signings, and commemorative exhibits. Watch the program, recorded by C-SPAN, below:


Walter Borneman

Elliot Carlson

Dr. Timothy Orr

Anthony Tully

Walter R. Borneman writes about American military and political history. His work has appeared in the New York TimesWashington PostWall Street Journal, and on He is the author of the national bestseller: The Admirals: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King, which won the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature.

Elliot Carlson is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter, editor, and staff writer for such newspapers and magazines as the Wall Street JournalNewsweek, and the Honolulu Advertiser. A graduate of the University of Oregon and Stanford University, he is the author of Joe Rochefort's War and an expert on cryptanalysis and intelligence.

Timothy Orr holds a Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University and is currently an Associate Professor of History at Old Dominion University. An expert on military history and the experiences of aviators in the Battle of Midway, Dr. Orr is the author of the upcoming book: Never Call Me a Hero: An Autobiography of a Battle of Midway Dive Bomber Pilot.

Anthony Tully is an expert on the Japanese Navy and the co-author of Shattered Sword -- a work that documents the Japanese perspective of the Battle of Midway. He is a frequent contributor to journals and periodicals on matters both nautical and topical, and has been published in the U.S. Naval War College Review, the Naval Institute's Proceedings, Naval History, and Warship International.