The Arcadia Conference: December 1941–January 1942

The Arcadia Conference: December 1941–January 1942
The Arcadia Conference: December 1941–January 1942
USA Price: 
Digital Download
GPO Stock Number:

Two weeks after the United States entered World War II, the Arcadia Conference (also known as the First Washington Conference) was held in Washington, DC, from December 24, 1941 to January 14, 1942. Working together with senior military leaders from the United States and Great Britain, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill made the initial crucial decisions for the combined war effort at this important meeting. One of these established the Combined Chiefs of Staff, comprising the high-ranking officers who would become the US Joint Chiefs of Staff and their British counterparts. It was this consultative body of top military leaders that would refine the Allied military strategy and approve all significant military decisions for the duration of conflict. The most consequential decision reached at Arcadia was that of “Germany first,” making the defeat of Germany the prime Allied objective. Additionally, plans to invade North Africa, which would come to fruition in November 1942 with Operation Torch, were extensively studied and discussed.

Arcadia was the first in a series of high-level conferences held by the US and British leaders in Washington, DC; Casablanca; Quebec; Cairo; Tehran; Malta; Yalta; and Potsdam to formulate the Allied grand strategy. At the Tehran, Yalta, and Potsdam conferences, the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin was also in attendance and played an important role.

Agency Website:

Table of Contents

Part I: Minutes of the Conferences

List of Papers

Part II: Approved Documents

Product Details

Joint History Office
Back to Top