The CASABLANCA CONFERENCE (codenamed SYMBOL) was held at the Anfa
French Morocco from January 14 to 24, 1943, to
plan the Allied European strategy for the next phase of
World War II
World War II .
In attendance were United States President
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt and
British Prime Minister
Winston Churchill . Also attending and
Free French forces
Free French forces were Generals Charles de Gaulle
Henri Giraud ; they played minor roles and were not part of the
military planning. Premier
Joseph Stalin had declined to attend,
citing the ongoing
Battle of Stalingrad
Battle of Stalingrad as requiring his presence in
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 what is, 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 would
be fought to their ultimate defeat.
* 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
Free French forces
* 2.4 Postwar northern Africa
* 3 See also
* 4 References and notes
* 5 Further reading
* 6 External links
DOCTRINE OF "UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER"
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 "unconditional
surrender" from General
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant who had communicated this
stance to the Confederate commander at Forts Donelson and Henry during
American Civil War
American Civil War .
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".
Behind the scenes, the United States and Great Britain 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 announcement . I tried to hide my
surprise. But I was his ardent lieutenant".
According to former U.S. ambassador to
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
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.
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
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".
There exists evidence that German resistance forces, highly placed
anti-Nazi government officials, were working with British
MI6 to eliminate Hitler and negotiate a peace with the
Allies. One such man was Admiral
Wilhelm Canaris , head of German
Abwehr . His persistent overtures for support from
the United States were ignored by Franklin Roosevelt.
TOPICS OF DISCUSSION AND AGREEMENTS
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
North-West 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 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 the Churchill approach for Europe.
Churchill, in turn, pledged more troops and resources to the Pacific
and Burma to reinforce positions held by
Chiang Kai-shek against the
Japanese. The United States would provide assistance to the British in
the Pacific by supplying escorts and landing craft.
* 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
* Josef Stalin and
Chiang Kai-shek would be fully apprised of the
conference agenda and resulting accords
LEADERSHIP OF FREE FRENCH FORCES
Leaders of the
Free French forces
Free French forces : GENERAL HENRI GIRAUD (L) and
GENERAL CHARLES DE GAULLE (R) at the
Casablanca Conference. In the
background are Roosevelt and Churchill
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.
The conference called for the official recognition of a joint
leadership of the
Free French forces
Free French forces by
Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle and Henri
Giraud. There was notable tension between the two men during the
talks. Roosevelt effected a public cordiality between them,
encouraging them to shake hands, demonstrating a mutual affability for
the photographers eager for a photo-op. Purportedly, the ritual
handshake was done with reluctance and so quickly, they had to pose
for a second shoot. During the conference both men limited their
interaction with one and other to formalities, each pledging their
POSTWAR NORTHERN AFRICA
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:
"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 bears to the whole of the North
African population.... 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."
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."
Roosevelt presented the results of the conference to the American
people in a radio address on February 12, 1943.
Casablanca directive the Allied strategic bombing directive issued
shortly after the
* List of
World War II
World War II conferences
REFERENCES AND NOTES
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
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, Chen, Peter C., "Casablanca
Conference, 14 Jan. 1943," retrieved August 27, 2012
* ^ A B http://www.nytimes.com, Middleton, Drew, On This Day,
"Roosevelt, Churchill Map 1943 War Strategy," January 24, 1943,
retrieved August 27, 2012
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
retrieved November 19, 2013
* ^ nytimes.com. Middleton, Drew, On This Day, "Roosevelt,
Churchill Map 1943 War Strategy," January 24, 1943, retrieved August
* ^ 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
* 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 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
* Farrell, Brian P. "Symbol of paradox: The
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.
* Howard, Michael. Grand Strategy, IV, August 1942–September 1943.
(1972). pp 239-88.
* Lacouture, Jean. De Gaulle: The Rebel, 1890–1944 (1990) pp
* 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
January 1943," Journal of Military History (1991) 55#4 pp 517–529 in