The Battle of Midway was a crushing US victory over the Empire of Japan that, at face value, appears to be due to good SIGINT and a huge amount of luck by the Americans.
In particular, the piecemeal way in which the US dispatched numerous small raids of aircraft to harass the Japanese carriers complicated and frustrated said carriers' standard operations - to the point where, at the time the main US airstrike arrived, those carriers were in arguably their most vulnerable configuration with fuel lines, ordnance, and fully-loaded planes scattered across their decks.
The end result was that rather than the Americans having to sink the enemy carriers by a large weight of bombs and torpedoes - something they may not have been able to accomplish even with their large numbers in that decisive airstrike - all they had to do was touch off some of the highly explosive and/or flammable materials on the carrier decks, which then created massive chain reactions of destruction that ultimately doomed those carriers. In effect the Japanese built themselves four carrier-shaped funeral pyres, and all the US had to do was light them.
What I am most interested in is the American tactic I mentioned above - sending in multiple small waves of bombers and torpedo bombers. On the surface this appears to be nothing more than a dreadful and foolish waste of men and materiel, as none of those small waves were able to score any hits and all of their aircrews were lost - yet these failed attempts had the result of keeping the Japanese under constant attack, which effectively set them up for that final, critical airstrike.
The sources that I have access to (Wikipedia and YouTube, which I admit are limited) make no comment about this tactic - in particular, whether it was deliberate on the part of the US, or whether it (like McClusky's decisions that day) was simply happenstance. In other words:
- did the Americans deliberately choose to stage and stagger those waves of aircraft with the objective of keeping the Japanese under constant pressure, with the intention of delivering the final, decisive, planned blow by that final massed airstrike;
- or, did they simply throw "everything and the kitchen sink" at the IJN battle group, judging that sooner or later one of those minor strikes should yield a carrier sinking (which failed to happen, despite probability) - thus meaning the entire battle was effectively won by the fact that the US got incredibly lucky with timing?