thank you for your long answer.
With respect, I won't answer to your kind words such as "you need to do some research before saying things like that", " you are mistaken", etc. English is not my native langage and I sometimes fail to understand somes shades of meaning. Such words in French would be quite rude or unpolite and I want to keep this discussion pleasant and open-minded.
I wrote quickly, from memory, and did not take the time to check the facts. Indeed allied opposition at Kota Bharu and Rabaul was stronger than I wrote. My bad. However, I still fail to see some of your points.
You wrote : "The assaults that were delivered were against enemies more experienced, better equipped and more numerous than the defences that existed at Midway at that time. US armed forces on the ground were extremely weak, and quite unready for ground combat. (...) in the case of Rabaul, ther are some very interesting comparisons that can be made. The harbour defences at rabaul were superior to the shore based defences at Midway, the ratio of troops about the same, and the frontages actually smaller. The Australians were experienced troops, but were simply unable to withstand the assault"
It's the first time I read that the USMC soldiers (including raiders) were "very weakk, and quite unready for ground combat". Please forgive me if I am a bit sceptical. As far as I see things, the USMC is a prestigious elite corps whose members are said to be very good soldiers. IMHO the difficulties encountered by the Japanese during the invasion of Wake shows how good the Marines were early in the war.
While Australian soldiers gained an excellent reputation in North Africa the NG, please note that the 2/22nd Bn has no experience of combat. As 2/22nd Battalion | Australian War Memorial tells us, the unit was raised in July 1940 and did not leave Australia before going to Rabaul. Hence I do not understand why you say that the Australian were "experienced" and why you rate them superior to the marines.
You probably did not miss that of the 1400 defender of Rabaul, only 700 were regulars (2/22). As Lark Force - Lost Lives - The Second World War and the islands of New Guinea shows, the other infantryman were New Guinea Volunteer Rifles, who lacked adequate training and weapons. I guess you have also noted that the harbour defences at Rabaul were made of 2 old 6" guns which were hardly "superior to the shore based defences at Midway".
You also wrote : " The 3rd Battalion, 144th Infantry Regiment, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Kuwada Ishiro, was held up at Vulcan Beach (but did get ashore) by a mixed company of Australians from the 2/22nd and the NGVR, but elsewhere the other two battalions of the South Seas Force were able to land at unguarded locations and began moving inland". That valids my arguments : the Japanese lacked firepower, etc. in amphibious assauts. Their landings succeeded because they quickly landed troops on undefended beaches then moved toward the enemy.
In your second message, you express the opinion that the Chinese soldier of 1937 is superior to the USMC of June 42. My opinion is that marines have better training, morale, weaponry, doctrine and leadership than the Chinese infantryman. Chinese units were notoriously unreliable and their real strengh was often inferior to their theorical strengh. China was at this stage a failed state and corruption was endemic. Some generals were known to sell the equipement of their troops to make some money.
You wrote "As would be the case for Midway. The invasion points would be defended by two companies, against two full reinforced regiments....roughly 5500 men to 300". Please let me ask how you make your calculation because it may be of interest. As far as I understand things, Midway islands are pretty small. Every man in the island would quickly be able to engage the enemy. For the attackers, it's another story because they probably don't have enough landing crafts to bring 5.500 men at once. They would have to make several trips with less and less crafts as time goes because of battle damage, groundings on reefs, mechanical failures, etc.
May I ask your sources relative to "There were no mines, and no significant hardening of the beach defences" ?
My sources (SS, but also http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/usmchist/midway.txt and Midway Islands' Undaunted Defenders ? May '96: World War II Feature) say the contrary :
"the extremely extensive system of obstacles, mines, and
demolitions projected by Colonel Shannon was brought to final completion.
By now Sand Island was surrounded with two double-apron tactical wire
barriers, and all installations on both islands were in turn ringed by
protective wire. Antiboat mines made of sealed sewer pipe, and obstacles
fashioned from concertina-ed reinforcing-steel lay offshore. The beaches were
sown with home-made mines consisting of ammunition boxes filled with dynamite
and 20-penny nails; although electric detonation was planned, every such mine
also had a bull's eye painted on an exposed landward side, so that it could be
set off locally by rifle fire. Cigar-box antitank mines were filled with
dynamite to be fired on pressure by current from flashlight batteries, and
whiskey-bottle molotov cocktails of high-octane gasoline and fuel oil stood
ready at every position."
"Barbed wire sprouted along Midway's coral beaches. Shannonbelieved that it would stop the Japanese as it had stopped theGermans in World War I. He ordered so much strung that one Marine exclaimed: "Barbed wire, barbed wire! Cripes, the old manthinks we can stop planes with barbed wire!" The defendersalso had a large supply of blasting gelatin, which was used tomake anti-boat mines and booby traps. "
You believe that the island would be devastated by air strikes and naval gunfire : "An idea of the vulnerability of the atoll to bombardment can be found in the accounts of the bombardments carried out in December, as part of the Pearl harbour attacks." While I don't say that Midway is immune to air and naval attacks, I am not so optimistic.
First, we cannot know how many Japanese planes would be available after the carrier battle. May be none, as what happened, if the carriers are sunk, damaged or in poursuit of the US Fleet. We cannot know neither how many ships would perform NGFS since many of them would be with the main fleet, seeking battle with the USN.
Then, accuracy of gunfire and air strikes would be IMHO very low. The first salvoes or bombes could be aimed accurately but the following ones would probably not because of dusk and smoke.
Anyway, we should not forget that the initial strike on Midway was not considered sucessfull since 25-30 planes (number depends on sources) were lost and a second strike judged necessary. According to Midway under Japanese air attack-4 June 1942 "On Midway itself, twenty men had been killed. Camouflage had effectively protected the 5-inch coastal guns, and much of the damage to installations was repairable".
Let me add a few points if you don't mind. According to http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/usmchist/midway.txt there was only 2.500 assaut troops (the rest probably being reinforcements and garrison) and their landing on Midway was problematic :
"The actual landing on Midway was to be accomplished by approximately
1,500 Special Naval Landing Force troops who would storm Sand Island; and by
1,000 Army troops of the Ikki Detachment, to land on Eastern Island.
Summarizing the enemy landing plan, Captain Toyama stated:
We were going to approach the south side (of Midway), sending out landing
boats as far as the reef. We had many different kinds of landing boats but did
not think that many would be able to pass over the reefs. If they got stuck
the personnel were supposed to transfer to rubber landing boats. We had plenty
of equipment for a three months' occupation without help, but were not sure of
Assault elements in the landing would be backed up by the 11th and 12th Construction
Battalions plus miscellaneous base-development detachments."
As you see, landing assaut troops, then reinforcements and supply would be very difficult.
By the way, I repeat my argument over the possible loss of ships to air, submarine and PT attacks before and during the landing, meaning less troops and less landing crafts for the operation.