I was a bit disappointed at the number of inaccuracies in that video, considering it’s from a channel called “history buffs”.
Nagumo didn’t keep half of his planes loaded with anti-ship weapons because of Japanese doctrine, this was a verbal order from Yamamoto, in case the American carriers appeared sooner than expected. His order was to have half his force to use against enemy ships. His choice was to switch the weapons on the planes on his hangars for another strike against Midway, and to then arm the returning planes with anti-ship weapons. Also, note that dive bombers were armed on the deck, it was the torpedo bombers which had to be armed in the hangar with either a HE bomb or a torpedo.
No, the issue wasn’t that the American planes were ordered to head towards the enemy as soon as possible, the issue was the opposite. All planes had to assemble around the carrier after launch, which burned precious fuel, so the fighters that took off first didn’t have the range to get to the US carriers. Yorktown sent their planes as they took off (faster planes took off later to catch up to the slower attack aircraft), later rendezvousing on course. This worked much better and Yorktown’s squadrons had escort from VF-3, with famous Jimmy Thatch in command. Added to this, there’s the thing that Waldron from VT-8 went on his own with his squadron, as Hornet’s air group took the wrong direction (Hornet’s flight to nowhere) and that’s another reason he had no fighter escort. VT-6 was the one that didn’t have escort because the fighters almost ran out of fuel and went back to the carrier.
And I’m disappointed that he went for the “decks full of planes myth”, because that’s a serious inaccuracy, and even this movie avoided it. No, the Japanese strike group was never spotted. It was still in the hangars, probably ready to be spotted, but at best half an hour away from being able to take off. The only planes on deck would have been a few CAP fighters taking off and landing. Also Enterprise’s aircraft didn’t find the sky “full of flak”. Akagi and Kaga were caught completely off guard and would have barely put up any AA as their guns were trained at low altitude. Most of the AA would have been from the 25 mm AA guns. The attack on Soryuu, and later on Hiryuu would have faced some more serious AA, but still very limited. Japanese carriers had some 6 twin large AA guns, which would fire at best every 6-8 seconds, so there wouldn’t be that much flak. Unlike American carriers, they didn’t have any escort ships nearby, these operating as pickets a few miles away, so they wouldn’t contribute to the AA. The only ship close to the carrier would be the plane guard destroyer to pick up pilots from planes that may crash into the sea when taking off or landing.
The B-17s he mentions are B-26 Marauders, which would have been torpedo bombing, even if the movie showed them level bombing (another mistake). B-17s took part in the attacks but none were shot down as they flew too high.
Also, I wish he had clearly stated what I consider one of the biggest mistakes in the movies, the idea that the Americans were outnumbered and fighting against overwhelming odds. No, the Americans had almost parity in carrier aircraft (as American CVs carried larger air groups), and once you considered the planes for Midway, the Americans had almost some 100 more aircraft. And of course they knew this. They wouldn’t have sent their carriers into a suicide mission otherwise. Nimitz indeed ordered that the American carriers were to engage Japanese carriers without putting themselves at extreme risk. They knew the odds, and they knew they weren’t bad.
Lastly, I believe it’s important to mention how horribly inaccurate the movie is visually. The planes don’t fly like WW2 planes at all, the AA is extremely exaggerated. The formations the ships sail in are completely wrong, the aircraft formations are wrong as well.