The Info List - Casablanca Conference

The Casablanca
Conference (codenamed SYMBOL) was held at the Anfa Hotel in Casablanca, French Morocco, from January 14 to 24, 1943, to plan the Allied European strategy for the next phase of World War II. In attendance were United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Also attending and representing the Free French forces
Free French forces
were Generals Charles de Gaulle and Henri Giraud, though they played minor roles and were not part of the military planning. Premier Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
had declined to attend, citing the ongoing Battle of Stalingrad
Battle of Stalingrad
as requiring his presence in the Soviet Union. The conference agenda addressed the specifics of tactical procedure, allocation of resources, and the broader issues of diplomatic policy. The debate and negotiations produced what was known as the Casablanca Declaration, and perhaps its most historically provocative statement of purpose, "unconditional surrender". The doctrine of "unconditional surrender" came to represent the unified voice of implacable Allied will—the determination that the Axis powers
Axis powers
would be fought to their ultimate defeat.


1 Casablanca

1.1 Doctrine of "unconditional surrender"

2 Topics of discussion and agreements

2.1 European invasion 2.2 Logistical issues 2.3 Leadership of Free French forces 2.4 Postwar northern Africa

3 See also 4 References and notes 5 Further reading 6 External links

Declaration[edit] Doctrine of "unconditional surrender"[edit] The conference produced a unified statement of purpose, the Casablanca Declaration, which announced to the world that the Allies would accept nothing less than the "unconditional surrender" of the Axis powers. Roosevelt had borrowed the term from General Ulysses S. Grant, who had communicated this stance to the Confederate commander at Fort Donelson and Fort Henry during the American Civil War.[1][2] In a February 12, 1943 radio address, Roosevelt explained what he meant by unconditional surrender: "we mean no harm to the common people of the Axis nations. But we do mean to impose punishment and retribution upon their guilty, barbaric leaders".[3][4] Behind the scenes, the United States and United Kingdom were not, however, united in the commitment to see the war through to Germany's capitulation. Some source material contradicts the official, reported accord between Churchill and Roosevelt, indicating Churchill did not fully subscribe to the doctrine of unconditional surrender. New York Times correspondent Drew Middleton, who was in Casablanca
at the conference, later revealed in his book, Retreat From Victory, that Churchill had been "startled by the [public] announcement [of unconditional surrender]. I tried to hide my surprise. But I was his [Roosevelt's] ardent lieutenant".[5][6] According to former U.S. ambassador to Moscow
Charles Bohlen, "Responsibility for this unconditional surrender doctrine rests almost exclusively with President Roosevelt". He guessed that Roosevelt made the announcement "to keep Soviet forces engaged with Germany on the Russian front, thus depleting German munitions and troops" and secondly "to prevent Stalin from negotiating a separate peace with the Nazi regime".[5][6] That the war would be fought by the Allies until the total annihilation of enemy forces was not universally welcomed. Diplomatic insiders were critical that such a stance was too unequivocal, and inflexible, canceling out any opportunity for political maneuvering, and morally debilitating to French and German resistance groups.[7] The British felt that arriving at some accommodation with Germany would allow the German army to help fight off the Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe. To Churchill and the other Allied leaders, the real obstacle to realising this mutual strategy with Germany was the leadership of Adolf Hitler. Allen Dulles, the chief of OSS intelligence in Bern, Switzerland, maintained that the Casablanca Declaration was "merely a piece of paper to be scrapped without further ado if Germany would sue for peace. Hitler had to go".[8] There exists evidence that German resistance forces, highly placed anti-Nazi government officials, were working with British intelligence, MI6, to eliminate Hitler and negotiate a peace with the Allies. One such man was Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of German intelligence, the Abwehr. His persistent overtures for support from the United States were ignored by Roosevelt.[9][10] Topics of discussion and agreements[edit] European invasion[edit] Roosevelt, with advice from General George C. Marshall, the U.S. Army Chief of Staff, lobbied for a cross-Channel invasion of Europe. Churchill, with advice from the British Chiefs of Staff, led by General Sir Alan Brooke, the Chief of the Imperial General Staff (CIGS, the professional head of the British Army), felt the time was not opportune, and favored an Allied assault on the island of Sicily followed by an invasion of mainland Italy. The British argument centred on the need to pull German reserves down into Italy
where, due to the relatively poor north-south lines of communication, they could not be easily extracted to defend against a later invasion of northwest Europe. Additionally, by delaying the cross-Channel landing, it would mean that any invasion would be against a German army further weakened by many more months fighting on the Eastern Front against the Red Army. Throughout the conference, Roosevelt's attention was prominently focused on the Pacific War
Pacific War
front and he faulted the British for what he felt was not a full commitment against Japanese entrenchment. The Italian strategy was agreed upon, a compromise between the two leaders, Roosevelt acceding to Churchill's approach for Europe. Churchill, in turn, pledged more troops and resources to the Pacific and Burma to reinforce positions held by Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
against the Japanese. The United States would provide assistance to the British in the Pacific by supplying escorts and landing craft.[11] Logistical issues[edit]

Next phase of European war All possible aid would be provided to the Russian offensive Assessment of U-boat
danger in the Atlantic Disposition of ships, planes, troops in the various theatres of war Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
and Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
would be fully apprised of the conference agenda and resulting accords

Leadership of Free French forces[edit]

Leaders of the Free French forces: General Henri Giraud
Henri Giraud
(L) and General Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle
(R) at the Casablanca

Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle
had to be forced to attend, and he met a chilly reception from Roosevelt and Churchill. No Frenchmen were allowed to attend the military planning sessions.[12][13] The conference called for the official recognition of a joint leadership of the Free French forces
Free French forces
by de Gaulle and Henri Giraud. There was notable tension between the two men, who limited their interactions to formalities like pledging their mutual support.[14] Roosevelt encouraged them to shake hands for the photographers eager for a photo opportunity, but the ritual handshake was done with reluctance and so quickly, that they purportedly had to pose for a second shot. Postwar northern Africa[edit] During the Conference, Roosevelt spoke with the French resident general at Rabat, Morocco, about postwar independence and Jewish immigrants in North Africa. Roosevelt proposed that: "[t]he number of Jews engaged in the practice of the professions (law, medicine, etc.) should be definitely limited to the percentage that the Jewish population in North Africa
North Africa
bears to the whole of the North African population.... [T]his plan would further eliminate the specific and understandable complaints which the Germans bore towards the Jews in Germany, namely, that while they represented a small part of the population, over 50 percent of the lawyers, doctors, schoolteachers, college professors, etc., in Germany were Jews."[15][16] This disposition of the Jewish population harkened back to a mindset communicated in earlier years to Roosevelt by the American ambassador to Germany, William Dodd (1933–37). Dodd had appraised Germany's repression of Jews, and writing to Roosevelt, he said: "The Jews had held a great many more of the key positions in Germany than their number or talents entitled them to."[17] Roosevelt presented the results of the conference to the American people in a radio address on February 12, 1943. See also[edit]

Atlantic Charter Casablanca
directive the Allied strategic bombing directive issued shortly after the Casablanca
Conference. List of World War II
World War II

References and notes[edit]

^ https://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/big/0114.html, Middleton, Drew, On This Day, "Roosevelt, Churchill Map 1943 War Strategy," January 24, 1943, retrieved August 27, 2012 ^ http://avalon.law.yale.edu/wwii/casablan.asp, Yale Law School, "The Avalon Project: The Casablanca
Conference: 1943," retrieved November 19, 2013 ^ http://www.avalon.law.yale.edu, Yale Law School, "The Avalon Project: The Casablanca
Conference: 1943," retrieved August 27, 2012 ^ http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/policy/1943/430212a.html, "Casablanca Conference," Radio address, February 12, 1943, (The Public Papers of F.D. Roosevelt, Vol. 12, p. 71), retrieved November 19, 2013 ^ a b http://www.ww2db.com Archived 2009-04-16 at the Wayback Machine., Chen, Peter C., " Casablanca
Conference, 14 Jan. 1943," retrieved August 27, 2012 ^ a b https://www.nytimes.com, Middleton, Drew, On This Day, "Roosevelt, Churchill Map 1943 War Strategy," January 24, 1943, retrieved August 27, 2012 ^ http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/roosevelt-and-churchill-begin-casablanca-conference, This Day In History, "Roosevelt And Churchill Begin Casablanca Conference," retrieved November 19, 2013 ^ Vaughan, Hal, "Sleeping With The Enemy, Coco Chanel's Secret War," Alfred A. Knopf, 2011, p. 178 ^ http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org, "Admiral Wilhelm Canaris 1887-1945," Canaris worked with Roosevelt's Balkan representative in Instanbal, former Pennsylvania governor, George H. Earle who communicated with Roosevelt through diplomat pouch; retrieved August 28, 2012 ^ http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/casablanca_war_conference.htm, retrieved November 19, 2013 ^ nytimes.com. Middleton, Drew, On This Day, "Roosevelt, Churchill Map 1943 War Strategy," January 24, 1943, retrieved August 27, 2012 ^ Jonathan Fenby, The General: Charles De Gaulle and the France he saved (2010) pp 195-201 ^ Michael Howard, Grand Strategy, IV, August 1942–September 1943 (1972) pp 279-81. ^ Rick Atkinson, An Army at Dawn ^ Manfred Jonas, Harold D. Langley, and Francis L. Lowenheim, eds., Roosevelt and Churchill: Their Secret Correspondence, New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., Saturday Review Press, 1975, p. 308. This quote is taken from a conversation memorandum prepared by Captain John L. McCrae, Roosevelt's naval aide. ^ "The American Experience.America and the Holocaust.Teacher's Guide - PBS".  ^ Larson, Erik, "In the Garden of Beasts," Crown, 2011, p. 39

Further reading[edit]

Appleby, Simon. "SYMBOL: Churchill, Roosevelt, and the Casablanca Conference, January 1943." (PhD Dissertation, University of Cambridge 1998) online. 73pp; with bibliography pp 64–72. Armstrong, Anne. Unconditional surrender: the impact of the Casablanca policy upon World War II
World War II
(Rutgers University Press, 1961). Chase, John L. " Unconditional surrender
Unconditional surrender
reconsidered." Political Science Quarterly 70.2 (1955): 258-279. JSTOR Churchill, Winston S. Memoirs of the Second World War, An abridgement of the six volumes Chapter 20 The Casablanca
Conference page 664 Farrell, Brian P. "Symbol of paradox: The Casablanca
Conference, 1943," Canadian Journal of History, (April 1993) 28#1 pp 21–40 Feis, Herbert. "Churchill Roosevelt Stalin The War They Waged and the Peace They Sought A Diplomatic History of World War II" (1957) Funk, Arthur Layton. "The" Anfa
Memorandum": An Incident of the Casablanca
Conference." Journal of Modern History (1954): 246-254. JSTOR Howard, Michael. Grand Strategy, IV, August 1942–September 1943. (1972). pp 239-88. Lacouture, Jean. De Gaulle: The Rebel, 1890–1944 (1990) pp 416-29. Miller Jr, John. "The Casablanca
Conference and Pacific Strategy." Military Affairs 13.4 (1949): 209-215. JSTOR Stoler, Mark. Allies and Adversaries: The Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Grand Alliance, and U.S. Strategy in World War II
World War II
(2006) excerpt and text search Wilt, Alan F. "The Significance of the Casablanca
Decisions, January 1943," Journal of Military History (1991) 55#4 pp 517–529 in JSTOR

External links[edit]

Conference of 1943 United States Department of State Foreign Relations of the United States. The Conferences at Washington, 1941–1942, and Casablanca, 1943

Preceded by Cherchell Conference October 21–22, 1942 World War II
World War II
Conferences Casablanca
Conference January 14–24, 1943 Succeeded by Washington Conference (1943) May 12–17, 1943

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