Course of History

The Casablanca War Conference

The Casablanca War Conference

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The Casablanca War Conference was held between January 14th and January 29th 1943. The meeting in Casablanca, French Morocco, was between Winston Churchill, the British war leader, and F D Roosevelt, the American president. The other major war leader, Joseph Stalin, was not invited to Casablanca as neither Churchill or Roosevelt had on the agenda anything to do with the Eastern Front. This failure to invite Stalin did a great deal to confirm in Stalin's mind, his belief that war plans were being made without his participation and behind his back - and he did not agree with this. This suspicion between the Allies continued for the following years in World War Two - and after in the so-called Cold War.

What was decided at Casablanca did only affect the war in Western Europe. Churchill and Roosevelt agreed on an increase in the American bombing of Germany and the transfer of British military resources to the Far East once Italy had been defeated.

Roosevelt issued a statement that called on the unconditional surrender of the Axis forces - this was backed by Churchill.

The meeting at Casablanca did cause friction between Churchill, Roosevelt and the Free French. Charles de Gaulle, the accepted leader of the Free French, knew nothing of the meeting in Casablanca before it happened despite the fact that it was being held on French territory. He also objected to receiving an invitation to the meeting - as it was being held in part of France, he felt that he had an automatic right to be there. De Gaulle was not briefed about the planning for the meeting because it would have increased the security risk if more and more people knew about the meeting. Such an explanation did little to pacify de Gaulle or to ease the relations between himself and Churchill and Roosevelt.

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