The Decision Is Changed
The Battle of Midway was, in the Pacific, what the Battle of Britain had been in stopping the Germans on the Channel and what Stalingrad was to become in the war on the Russian Front. It was, as Admiral King has written, "the first decisive defeat suffered by the Japanese Navy in 350 years. Furthermore, it put an end to the long period of Japanese offensive action, and restored the balance of naval power in the Pacific."
On that day, Hopkins wrote to Churchill:
This note will, I hope, reach you by the hand of Franklin Roosevelt, Jr., who is leaving today to join his destroyer.
From the last 48 hours we have had our minds on the Jap attack on Midway and Dutch Harbor. Our reports this morning are quite good. Whether the beating they have taken is going to force them to withdraw we do not know, but it rather appears so. When you add this to the Coral Sea business, it will change the relative value of our naval forces in our favor very substantially.
The Japs simply cannot stand the attrition and I am sure we can beat them down gradually in the air and on the sea until finally they must collapse. This does not mean there will not be bad news in the Pacific. I think there will be plenty of it, but I am sure their days of pushing around there with impunity are over.
The Molotov visit went off well. I liked him much better than I did in Moscow. Perhaps it was because he wasn't under the influence of Uncle Joe! At any rate, he and the President had very direct and straightforward conferences.
We are disturbed here about the Russian front and that anxiety is heightened by what appears to be a lack of clear understanding between us as to the precise military move that shall be made in the event the Russians get pushed around badly on their front.
The full implications of Arnold's visit are still being analyzed here