In the waning days of World War lithe public began to catch on to the fact that there is a lot more to a far-flung naval war than just the shooting. Newspapers began saying that the American answer to the most gigantic logistics problem in naval history—that of supplying provisions, fuel, ammunition, and repairs for warships far from bases and docking facilities—was the true "secret weapon" that upset Japanese strategy.
Though this many-edged weapon was many months in the forging, its plan was writ in the fire and chaos of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the dark months that followed it. During the desperate days when the Japanese tide was flooding southward through the Pacific, overrunning island after island, somebody foresaw the ebb of that tide and had the moral courage to prepare for it. The strategic pattern was clear. Jap-held islands would have to be recaptured, one by one; units of the Jap fleet would be engaged whenever and wherever they could be caught; and the enemy merchant fleet would be strangled so that it could not support the outposts of the new Empire of the Rising Sun.