Midway, the 2019 movie
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  1. #1
    Senior Administrator huub vink's Avatar
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    Midway, the 2019 movie

    Last week I watched the movie Midway. After I had seen the trailer, I already had a headache from the computer animated aircraft and effect. However when I watched the complete movie, I thought it wasn't that bad.

    It gave a reasonable accurate historical overview of events. And I like the fact that for once the Japanese pilots weren't wasting their ammon, shooting at civilians in the streets of Honolulu, during the Pearl harbour attack. But limited themselves to military targets. Which is of course more logical and most likely historic accurate.

    But computer animated aircraft in a movie still isn't my thing. And a complete Japanese fleet on a single square mile is and carriers as manouvrable as speedboats of course nice for the images, but not that realistic.

    Have you seen the movie as well? And what is your opinion?

    Cheers,
    Huub





    My own computer animated images

  2. #2
    I liked it, well made movie, they took the time to research and do it right, of course it's Hollywood and isn't 100% accurate, but it's close, I would recommend it. Is that screenshot FSX ?, I like that addon, how to get it ??

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    Senior Administrator huub vink's Avatar
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    As this is the FS2004 forum the images are from FS2004. The Dauntless is the FDG2 model which was made available as donationware. It can be found here: http://www.sim-outhouse.com/sohforum...s.php?catid=67 (You have to scroll down a bit).

    Vertigo studios did a nice Dautless for FSX: https://www.vertigostudios.co.uk/sbd/

    The scenery is the Midway scenery by Yanco. (At least he did the models, I don't know whether he also compiled the packages). I'm not sure whether the complete package with all updates still exists for FS2004. A part of the Japanese fleet can be found at simviation. A part has been compiled for FSX and is also available at simviation. (Just do a search on "Midway").

    Cheers,
    Huub







    There is enough available to make your own movie........

  4. #4
    Wow, I like that PBY too, nice shots.

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    SOH-CM-2020 Mick's Avatar
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    I enjoyed the movie despite its flaws.

    One of them is something Huub must have missed; perhaps he had gone to the kitchen for popcorn: Japanese pilots shooting at civilians in the streets of Honolulu, twisting and turning below rooftop height. That was one of the worst bits. And while on the subject of the Pearl harbor attack, one could easily get the impression that the entire raid was carried out by Zeros with guns and Kates with torpedoes, and that the only bomb dropped in the entire raid was the one that hit the Arizona.

    After that shaky start I thought the movie got better as it went along. My other big objection was the way they portrayed Dick Best as a wild and crazy madman, a real loose cannon. I have read extensively on the Battle of Midway and the Pacific War in general and I have never seen Best described that way, and I find it extremely difficult to imagine someone like that being assigned as a squadron's flight officer and then promoted to executive officer at any time, but especially in the pre-WW2 Navy. Maybe I missed something in my readings, but I have the impression that the film's portrayal of Best is a travesty, a slander on an honorable officer and a genuine hero.

    I wished they'd included the Battle of the Coral Sea, like the TV version (but not the theatrical version nor the DVD) of the 1976 Midway movie. In the new one Coral Sea was barely mentioned, just a few lines of dialog - just enough to reveal that the scriptwriters didn't have the foggiest hint of a clue as to what the Battle of the Coral Sea was about.

    On the other hand, once the Japanese finished their raid and left Pearl Harbor, the film seemed to follow the history as well as any Hollywood movie and better than most. It fell into dramatic license again during the attack on the Japanese carriers, depicting the American dive bombers dropping their bombs from barely masthead height and pulling out of their dives below deck level. I doubt very much that they got that low, and if they did I don't think they could've survived their own bomb blasts.

    On the positive side, I was pleased that the filmmakers took the opportunity presented by computer graphics to show, for one of the first times in the gazzillion WW2aviation movies I've seen, aircraft of the correct types and variants in their correct colors and markings. That almost made up for the bizarre depiction of the Pearl Harbor raid and the slander of Richard Best. Almost.

    So the film wasn't what it could have been, but it was enjoyable, and it was a lot better than the old 1976 Midway movie. I liked enough to keep a copy for my film library, which means that I think I'll probably want to watch it again some time in the future.

  6. #6
    SOH-CM-2020 Mick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by huub vink View Post
    As this is the FS2004 forum the images are from FS2004. The Dauntless is the FDG2 model which was made available as donationware. It can be found here: http://www.sim-outhouse.com/sohforum...s.php?catid=67 (You have to scroll down a bit).
    Vertigo studios did a nice Dautless for FSX: https://www.vertigostudios.co.uk/sbd/
    The scenery is the Midway scenery by Yanco. (At least he did the models, I don't know whether he also compiled the packages). I'm not sure whether the complete package with all updates still exists for FS2004. A part of the Japanese fleet can be found at simviation. A part has been compiled for FSX and is also available at simviation. (Just do a search on "Midway").
    Cheers,
    Huub
    There is enough available to make your own movie........
    Nice screenies! The SBD's are in the markings of the Battle of the Coral Sea, but the PBY is in Midway-era markings. (Navy markings changed a lot in the few weeks between the battles.) If I recall correctly, Yanko also modeled Coral Sea.

  7. #7
    Senior Administrator huub vink's Avatar
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    Mick,

    Thanks for your comments, very good review, and I fully agree with you. I most probably missed the civilians, because I thought there were shooting at the Naval HQ. The attack on Pearl Harbor was at least more realistic than in the movie Pearl Harbor . Flying at mast height with an aircraft which is more manoeuvrable than an aircraft in slew mode in FS9, is typical computer graphics in combination with Hollywood movies. They simply want to pack too much action in one shot. The majority of the the Kates flew indeed with bombs and all Vals had bombs as well.

    You are correct that the Battle of the Coral sea, should have been in the movie. It would have made more a logical connection between Pearl and Midway. However one of the stronger points in my opinion was that the unavoidable drama in this kind of movie, was not really interfering with the historical events.

    Cheers,
    Huub

    @jymp: The PBY is a update by shessi of the Alphasim Catalina, which became freeware. Its available in the library here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mick View Post
    Nice screenies! The SBD's are in the markings of the Battle of the Coral Sea, but the PBY is in Midway-era markings. (Navy markings changed a lot in the few weeks between the battles.) If I recall correctly, Yanko also modeled Coral Sea.
    The screenshots in the first post of this thread shows the marking by the time of Midway (After 15 May 1942). However they depict an aircraft from the Saratoga, which was under repair during the Battle for Midway, when my memory is still correct.

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    Was the Japanese AA really that good?? I mean, against the SBDs. I saw three SBDs diving straight down in a scattered group get hit square on by Japanese AA fire within as many seconds, as in an arcade game. Info I've seen indicates the Japanese fighters at Midway left the SBDs nearly completely alone while they were forming up for their dives - only one or two SBD crews reported fighters turning up just before their dives started, and that was for the whole squadron. Either Gallaher or Best - I think - was able to string their guys out in their best pre-war diving formation before heading down. Also very few of the bombers reported serious AA until they had finished their dives. Adm Kusaka on Akagi reported the SBDs looked like a "row of tiny black beads dropped from a string." He had a great view, too, since they were coming right at him. That sounds like a line-astern squadron dive, not a free-for-all. SBD pilots did report significant AA fire not so much from the carriers but from their escorts after completing their dives, and a number were shot down by Japanese fighters. At least one BB fired its main armament into the water ahead of some of the escaping SBDs in a vain attempt to run them into a water column.

    The Zeros were practically all just above the water after having finished off the last of the TBDs and so could not interfere in any way with the diving SBDs. Some of the Japanese CAP had landed on their carriers, refueled and rearmed and were just beginning to take off when the American dive bombers showed up. The Zeros near the water were low on ammo and fuel but still managed to give the SBDs a run for their money until their time came to ditch (the Zeros).

    It makes sense few of the Zeros would show up to bother the SBDs before their dives - with the exception of the B-17 attack earlier in the morning, every other attack the Japanese faced had ranged from low to mid-level. Little attention seemed to have been paid to the upper air.

    There WAS at least one SBD crew captured by the IJN and hauled aboard a destroyer, exactly as shown in the film. The USN didn't find out about the manner of their fate until after the war. I'd guess the conversation depicted was possible, but not likely.

  9. #9
    Senior Administrator huub vink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSI01 View Post
    Was the Japanese AA really that good??............................
    Its a questions which is asked more often:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistoria...tiair_in_wwii/

    Cheers,
    Huub

  10. #10
    Here is my review that I posted to my Facebook friends back in December:

    The Miracle at Midway...
    Earlier this week I saw the movie "Midway", the story of our Navy's turning-point victory against the Japanese in June 1942. Being a history geek in general and especially in WWII carrier aviation, I was looking forward to seeing the film and hoped I would not be disappointed. Happy to say it lived up to my expectations and then some. The movie starts in Tokyo in 1937 with a conversation between Navy intelligence officer Ed Layton and Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto, the architect of the Pearl Harbor attack and later commander of the Japanese fleet. After Pearl Harbor Layton is now serving as intel officer to US Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Chester Nimitz (played by Woody Harrelson who does a pretty good job) and having a hard time convincing the admiral of Yamamoto's plans for attacking Midway Island. The story shifts to the carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6) and the men of Scouting Squadron 6 (VS-6) with two of the main characters being commanding officer Wade McClusky and his executive officer, Dick Best. When the "Big E" enters combat there's enough explosions, flak and tracer fire to satisfy any action movie fan. Never having made a dive-bombing attack against an enemy carrier I don't know how the volume of anti-aircraft fire in the movie compares to how it was in real life but the movie reminded me of the Imperial storm troopers' inaccurate gunfire in the "Star Wars" movies. Hey, no problem, it's Hollywood and you have to kick up the intensity a bit. Hollywood also showed up in some of the aviation scenes, such as Dick Best's dead-stick (no engine) landing aboard Enterprise. No Naval Aviator in his right mind would intentionally drop below the carrier's flight deck to pop up to a spectacular arrested landing, but Dick Best pulls it off. I'll give the producers a pass on that one because the rest of the "airdale" (aviation) stuff on both the US and Japanese carriers is pretty well done. I especially liked that the producers included the US planes' rear gunners among the developed characters. These guys were fearless enlisted sailors who flew in the dungarees they wore every day and did their best to swat any attacking Japanese Zero fighters, and they are seldom given credit for their bravery. Whether you see the movie or not, google search "Bruno Gaido", the gunner played by Nick Jonas. The historic events of June 4, 1942 are well covered in the flick, starting with the ineffective US attacks in the early morning and then the 10:30 am dive-bombing that turned three of the four Japanese carriers into blazing wrecks. I believe history was well-served with this movie in spite of the Hollywood embellishment in some of the scenes, and it gets "two thumbs up" from Jerry.

  11. #11
    Senior Administrator huub vink's Avatar
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    I thought Woody Harrelson was quite an unexpected choice for the role of Admiral Nimitz, but I agree he did it quite well.

    It must be hard to make an historical correct movie, which is also attractive for a large public. This is most likely the reason why the movie was very much focused on the Enterprise. However due to this, the role of the Yorktown and its aircrews was hardly mentioned.

    The movie fails to provide an answer on the question why the crypt analyst Joseph Rochefort was treated this odd. His works definitely played a vital role, however in return he was awarded the command of a floating dock at San Francisco.....

    Cheers,
    Huub

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    Huub there is an excellent book in circulation called "Joe Rochefort's War" that describes his pre-WWII activities in the Navy and what happened to him post-war as well. Most folks don't know he falsified his age to join the Navy in WWI as an enlisted man. His becoming an officer after that made him a "mustang" (enlisted to officer) in the Navy and command and promotion for men like that was as a result somewhat limited. He also had a reputation for attempting to avoid a confrontation if he could but if forced into a corner, or defending a subordinate who he knew was doing a good job and delivering quality work, would cross a higher-up's bow if he believed he was right. During the 20s and 30s he made a number of very influential enemies (the Redman brothers (with connections to influential admirals), and one or two others as well) who went out of their way to make life miserable for him. His combination of scrapping when many others would not - and fencing with admirals' "fair-haired boys" resulted in a lot of people looking for ways to hose him after Midway. He requested command of a ship after the battle but as you said wound up building and then testing the Navy's first ABSD (Advanced Base Sectional Dock) - a traveling sectioned drydock that, once assembled, could lift pretty good-sized ships and gave the Navy an advanced repair capability in more forward areas than it normally had access to. He reported to Adm Ben Moreel, in what used to be the Bureau of Yards and Docks (when I left my association w/the Navy in 2010 it was Naval Facilities Engineering Command). Moreel was the Navy's first Seabee, by the way, another unconventional thinker. The BYD was the originating command for the ABSD, not the old Bureau of Ships.

    He actually enjoyed his work on the ABSD and was involved in a number of very important studies that were undertaken at the orders of FADM E.J. King re: the state of Japanese industry and warmaking capabilities toward the end of WWII - at least their material ability to continue the war.

    Like many code breakers he enjoyed crossword puzzles, anagrams and complex math problems. I may be wrong but I think he was also one of the guys who broke the US State Dept's "Purple Code" in the 20s because they were bored stiff at their own jobs and needed some practice to stay in shape! There was also a VERY formidable civilian female presence in the codebreaking office who was proficient in Japanese and actually taught most of America's wartime naval codebreakers their jobs. Much of what happened at Midway is to her credit.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by huub vink View Post
    Mick,

    Thanks for your comments, very good review, and I fully agree with you. I most probably missed the civilians, because I thought there were shooting at the Naval HQ. The attack on Pearl Harbor was at least more realistic than in the movie Pearl Harbor . Flying at mast height with an aircraft which is more manoeuvrable than an aircraft in slew mode in FS9, is typical computer graphics in combination with Hollywood movies. They simply want to pack too much action in one shot. The majority of the the Kates flew indeed with bombs and all Vals had bombs as well.

    You are correct that the Battle of the Coral sea, should have been in the movie. It would have made more a logical connection between Pearl and Midway. However one of the stronger points in my opinion was that the unavoidable drama in this kind of movie, was not really interfering with the historical events.

    Cheers,
    Huub

    @jymp: The PBY is a update by shessi of the Alphasim Catalina, which became freeware. Its available in the library here.



    The screenshots in the first post of this thread shows the marking by the time of Midway (After 15 May 1942). However they depict an aircraft from the Saratoga, which was under repair during the Battle for Midway, when my memory is still correct.
    I agree, it's a movie so we knew what was coming, just glad this one was about 75% ? somewhat correct with about 25% Hollywood baloney, many folks know their history a lot more than they think. but they want it to be entertaining to the average movie goer. Huub are there any FSX or even P3D Pacific planes ships addons avail. ?

  14. #14
    SOH-CM-2020 Mick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSI01 View Post
    Huub there is an excellent book in circulation called "Joe Rochefort's War" that describes his pre-WWII activities in the Navy and what happened to him post-war as well. Most folks don't know he falsified his age to join the Navy in WWI as an enlisted man. His becoming an officer after that made him a "mustang" (enlisted to officer) in the Navy and command and promotion for men like that was as a result somewhat limited. He also had a reputation for attempting to avoid a confrontation if he could but if forced into a corner, or defending a subordinate who he knew was doing a good job and delivering quality work, would cross a higher-up's bow if he believed he was right. During the 20s and 30s he made a number of very influential enemies (the Redman brothers (with connections to influential admirals), and one or two others as well) who went out of their way to make life miserable for him. His combination of scrapping when many others would not - and fencing with admirals' "fair-haired boys" resulted in a lot of people looking for ways to hose him after Midway. He requested command of a ship after the battle but as you said wound up building and then testing the Navy's first ABSD (Advanced Base Sectional Dock) - a traveling sectioned drydock that, once assembled, could lift pretty good-sized ships and gave the Navy an advanced repair capability in more forward areas than it normally had access to. He reported to Adm Ben Moreel, in what used to be the Bureau of Yards and Docks (when I left my association w/the Navy in 2010 it was Naval Facilities Engineering Command). Moreel was the Navy's first Seabee, by the way, another unconventional thinker. The BYD was the originating command for the ABSD, not the old Bureau of Ships.

    He actually enjoyed his work on the ABSD and was involved in a number of very important studies that were undertaken at the orders of FADM E.J. King re: the state of Japanese industry and warmaking capabilities toward the end of WWII - at least their material ability to continue the war.

    Like many code breakers he enjoyed crossword puzzles, anagrams and complex math problems. I may be wrong but I think he was also one of the guys who broke the US State Dept's "Purple Code" in the 20s because they were bored stiff at their own jobs and needed some practice to stay in shape! There was also a VERY formidable civilian female presence in the codebreaking office who was proficient in Japanese and actually taught most of America's wartime naval codebreakers their jobs. Much of what happened at Midway is to her credit.
    Thanks for the information! I was familiar with the sad story but not in such detail as you provided. I must find a copy of "Joe Rochefort's War."

    I have a bit to add about the Advanced Base Sectional Docks. Design work on the ABSD started immediately after the Naval Treaty of 1922 included a prohibition against building or improving bases in the Pacific, and since our bases at Guam and the Philippines were severely undeveloped, that left the Navy with no practical way to support the fleet as it would fight its way across the Pacific in the event of war with Japan. Although ABSD-1 wasn't completed and deployed until 1943, three similar predecessors were completed in the inter-war period, one of them being lost at Cavite at the very beginning of the war. In the estimation of John Kuehn, author of "Agents of Innovation, the General Board and the Design of the Fleet That Defeated the Japanese Navy," it would have been impossible for the Navy to fight the Pacific War without these mobile facilities because Pearl Harbor, the only developed US naval base in the pacific, was just too far away from the western Pacific to effectively support the fleet.

    Rochefort's assigment to command an ABSD wasn't as glamorous as a cruiser or battleship command, but it was arguably more important to the Navy's success in the Pacific War.

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    Rochefort was at one time assigned to the USS Indianapolis, I think as a LT in the Comm office or on an Admiral's (Sims or Reeves, I think) staff. That book I mentioned has a photo of him at a dominoes session aboard the ship.

    Stumbling upon the entrance to, and then actually entering, the abandoned former FRUPAC office in the basement of HQ NAVSTA Pearl Harbor one Friday afternoon started a fascination for this battle that has never abated. The outlines of the IBM processing machines and other desks and devices they had in that office were still on the floor. The room had not been disturbed in a long time and standing there in the poorly-lit space you could only imagine what was said and what was decided in that little place. People on both sides died because of decisions made with information provided through those in that room, and the fate of two nations hinged on that information. Unforgettable.

  16. #16
    I have always thought that the battle being referenced to as the "Miracle" downplays a lot of good things that the US did to make that battle a gamble, but one at very good odds.

    The level of strategic intelligence made it an ambush with the odds of 4 vs 3+ a land base.
    Add to that the PBYs that provided such magnificent coverage options, the likes of which the IJN could not come close to matching that far from friendly bases, I have always seen it as the US had far better odds going in than is usually credited.

  17. #17
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    Id like to think of it as more of a calculated risk than a gamble. Given the amount of enemy mail the Americans were reading, that is.

  18. #18
    SOH-CM-2020 Mick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSI01 View Post
    Id like to think of it as more of a calculated risk than a gamble. Given the amount of enemy mail the Americans were reading, that is.
    Yes, "calculated risk" is a phrase that Nimitz used, and I believe he got it from King. They weren't reading Japanese communications like an open book, but they were picking up enough clues to make some pretty good analysis.

  19. #19
    Senior Administrator huub vink's Avatar
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    It was definitely based on good work from the intelligent guys and a brave admiral who dared to trust on this his intelligence guys.

    But like in most battles there was also quite some luck. The fact the Japanese reconnaissance flights didn't discover the American fleet is most likely the most important one. During the battle the American bombers arrived exactly at the moments the Japanese carriers were most vulnerable, which was quite lucky as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by jymp View Post
    Huub are there any FSX or even P3D Pacific planes ships addons avail. ?
    When you do a search in "carrier" in our library you will find quite some landable ships. As said at simviation there is an FSX version available from the Japanese fleet, as seen in my screenshots. Just do a search on "midway" and you will be able to find it.

    Cheers,
    Huub

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