War II, Phase II

The second six months of war last week began for the U.S. at the point where the first six months should have started. The loss of the Philippines, of Guam and Wake, had not been undone. But Midway was what Pearl Harbor should have been. The two canceled out. In three days of concentrated destruction off Midway, the U.S. had restored the balance of Pacific naval power. Thus for the U.S. began Phase II of the war.

The signs of Phase II were everywhere apparent. In one day came news that a fourth U.S. expeditionary force—"the greatest American convoy that...