China had been at war with Japan for longer than the USA, with their conflict starting in the mid - 1930s. Throughout this conflict the Japanese had been able to conquer the coast and proceed to work inland over the course of the next few years, with the Chinese armies launching only small attacks in the face of a mighty opponent.

After the Pearl Harbor attack the Chinese armies united under the Pacific Commander and a change in strategy gradually began to occur where the Chinese held down the Japanese long enough to build armies capable of taking back the cities.