World: Up Ag'in, Down Ag'in

For five months, since the Second Battle of the Philippine Sea, the Japanese had been busy repairing damaged warships. Soon, although their fleet had been permanently pared down, they might have enough patched-up battleships and carriers to offer a sizable threat to Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz' extending operations in the far western Pacific. Something had to be done.

To Japan's home waters Nimitz sent his mighty Fifth Fleet, under Admiral Raymond A. Spruance. The carriers cruised (by Jap admission) within 60 miles of Shikoku. Still the enemy fleet skulked in its bases.

If the Jap ships would not come out and fight,...

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