Air-Sea Battle

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The sinking of the Chinese carrier was a great victory for the United States and became the high watermark of what the citizens of all the warring nations would calmly persevere. Social and traditional media was delivering an unrelenting stream of the horrors of war on a twenty-four hour basis. Large antiwar movements grew everywhere from Beijing to Washington DC. The pressure was on to end the war. US strategists looked at a map of the Western Pacific and saw their opportunities to do just that. Leveraging the thousand-island environment of the Philippines, a wide network of smaller dispersed bases and airfields, fresh carrier forces newly arriving in-theater and the alliance with Australia, the US was shaping the coalition that would spearhead the final assault at Chinese expeditionary forces.

The Chinese leadership and military were intent on holding out on their new possessions, to inflict one final great blow to American forces and then trust that the war-weary American public would force an end to conflict. It was well known for decades that the decisive battle would be the Chinese naval strike complex versus surged US carrier groups, and Chinese forces intended to win. It would be the greatest and most decisive battle in Chinese history.

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