The Casablanca Conference: January 1943

The Casablanca Conference: January 1943
The Casablanca Conference: January 1943
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During the first month of 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British prime minister Winston S. Churchill met at the Anfa Hotel in Casablanca in French Morocco for a ten-day conference to plan the next stages of the war against the Axis. Accompanied by the French generals Charles de Gaulle and Henri Giraud, the two leaders and the Combined Chiefs of Staff mapped out the grand strategy for both the European and the Pacific theaters. (Soviet premier Joseph Stalin was invited but unable to attend because of the ongoing Battle of Stalingrad.) Held just two months after the Anglo- American landings in French North Africa and known as the Casablanca Conference, the meeting lasted from January 14 to 24 and addressed several key issues of the conflict, such as the opening of a second front in France (the decision was made at Casablanca to first invade Sicily and then the Italian mainland in order to drive Italy out of the war), the German U-boat threat on convoys in the Atlantic, and Roosevelt and Churchill's decision to pursue the unconditional surrender of the Axis powers.

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

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