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Individuals Matter: How the Battle of Midway Turned on Local Decisions

Virtual Date With History

Thursday, July 23rd
7:00 PM Online via Zoom
Free Event but Registration Required


The Battle of Midway is considered by many historians to be a major turning point in the Pacific Theater of World War II. The Japanese fleet suffered the loss of four aircraft carriers and over one hundred trained pilots, devastating their navy and forcing them to shift their strategy from offense to defense. While these major figures are important, much of the significance of the Battle of Midway lies in the critical decisions made by ordinary, individual people in the heat of the battle. Join historian Karl Zingheim of the USS Midway Museum in San Diego, California as he unpacks how the Battle of Midway acts as a rare example in the mechanized age of how the course of a battle can be decided by the choices of individual people who are put on the spot.

Meet The Speaker: Karl Zingheim is the staff historian for the USS Midway Museum in San Diego, and an adjunct professor of Military History at San Diego State University. A 1986 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he served with the amphibious forces both afloat and in an instructional capacity ashore. Shortly after his tours of duty, he became an early advocate for the establishment of a naval museum aboard a retired aircraft carrier in San Diego. His service on behalf of the Midway Museum includes development of interpretive programs, onboard tours, education initiatives, and community outreach. Additionally, he is a founding member of the Western Naval History Association.


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