Casablanca Conference

U.S. State Department (January 24, 1943)

Murphy-Giraud conversation, morning

United States France
Mr. Murphy General Giraud

Giraud expressed willingness to co-operate with de Gaulle but not to work under him.

Hopkins-Macmillan conversation, morning

United States United Kingdom
Mr. Hopkins Mr. Macmillan
Mr. Murphy

Macmillan brought news that de Gaulle insisted on the dominant role in the French movement. After conferring with Roosevelt, Hopkins informed Macmillan that it was up to Churchill to bring de Gaulle to a meeting with Giraud.

Roosevelt-Giraud conversation, 11:05 a.m.

United States France
President Roosevelt General Giraud

The conversation appears to have been given over in large measure to a discussion of two memoranda concerned with the political relationship between Giraud and the Anglo-American authorities and with the rearmament of French military forces in North Africa.

Roosevelt-de Gaulle conversation, 11:40 a.m.

United States United Kingdom France
President Roosevelt Mr. Macmillan General de Gaulle
Mr. Hopkins
Mr. Murphy
Lieutenant Colonel Roosevelt

Roosevelt sought unsuccessfully to persuade de Gaulle to accept the text of a draft joint statement or communiqué regarding his meetings with Giraud.

Roosevelt-Churchill meeting with de Gaulle and Giraud, about noon

United States United Kingdom France
President Roosevelt Prime Minister Churchill General de Gaulle
Mr. Hopkins Mr. Macmillan General Giraud
Mr. Murphy
Lieutenant Colonel Roosevelt

The principal subject of discussion was the joint statement to the press to be made by de Gaulle and Giraud. It appears to have been agreed that the two French leaders would prepare such a statement after Roosevelt and Churchill had left Casablanca.

Roosevelt-Churchill press conference, 12:15 p.m.

A parenthetical statement on the source text reads as follows:

This Press Conference was held jointly by the President and Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Great Britain, on the lawn at the rear of the President’s villa, which adjoined the Anfa Hotel, and which was part of the general term “Anfa Camp,” comprising the Hotel surrounded by 15 villas, which in turn was surrounded by barbed wire and troops.

The newspapermen – about 50 in number – sat cross-legged in front of the President and the Prime Minister, who were seated in chairs.

United States United Kingdom
President Roosevelt Prime Minister Churchill

Transcript of Press Conference

Casablanca, January 24, 1943.


The President: This meeting goes back to the successful landing operations last November, which as you all know were initiated as far back as a year ago, and put into definite shape shortly after the Prime Minister’s visit to Washington in June.

After the operations of last November, it became perfectly clear, with the successes, that the time had come for another review of the situation, and a planning for the next steps, especially steps to be taken in 1943. That is why we came here, and our respective staffs came with us, to discuss the practical steps to be taken by the United Nations for prosecution of the war. We have been here about a week.

I might add, too, that we began talking about this after the first of December, and at that time we invited Mr. (Josef) Stalin to join us at a convenient meeting place. Mr. Stalin very greatly desired to come, but he was precluded from leaving Russia because he was conducting the new Russian offensive against the Germans along the whole line. We must remember that he is Commander in Chief, and that he is responsible for the very wonderful detailed plan which has been brought to such a successful conclusion since the beginning of the offensive.

In spite of the fact that Mr. Stalin was unable to come, the results of the staff meeting have been communicated to him, so that we will continue to keep in very close touch with each other.

I think it can be said that the studies during the past week or ten days are unprecedented in history. Both the Prime Minister and I think back to the days of the First World War when conferences between the French and British and ourselves very rarely lasted more than a few hours or a couple of days. The Chiefs of Staffs have been in intimate touch; they have lived in the same hotel. Each man has become a definite personal friend of his opposite number on the other side.

Furthermore, these conferences have discussed, I think for the first time in history, the whole global picture. It isn’t just one front, just one ocean, or one continent – it is literally the whole world; and that is why the Prime Minister and I feel that the conference is unique in the fact that it has this global aspect.

The Combined Staffs, in these conferences and studies during the past week or ten days, have proceeded on the principle of pooling all of the resources of the United Nations. And I think the second point is that they have re-affirmed the determination to maintain the initiative against the Axis Powers in every part of the world.

These plans covering the initiative and maintenance of the initiative during 1943 cover certain things, such as united operations conducted in different areas of the world. Secondly, the sending of all possible material aid to the Russian offensive, with the double object of cutting down the manpower of Germany and her satellites, and continuing the very great attrition of German munitions and materials of all kinds which are being destroyed every day in such large quantities by the Russian armies.

And, at the same time, the Staffs have agreed on giving all possible aid to the heroic struggle of China – remembering that China is in her sixth year of the war – with the objective, not only in China but in the whole of the Pacific area, of ending any Japanese attempt in the future to dominate the Far East.

Another point, I think we have all had it in our hearts and heads before, but I don’t think that it has ever been put down on paper by the Prime Minister and myself, and that is the determination that peace can come to the world only by the total elimination of German and Japanese warpower.

Some of you Britishers know the old story – we had a General called U. S. Grant. His name was Ulysses Simpson Grant, but in my, and the Prime Minister’s, early days he was called “Unconditional Surrender” Grant. The elimination of German, Japanese and Italian warpower means the unconditional surrender by Germany, Italy, and Japan. That means a reasonable assurance of future world peace. It does not mean the destruction of the population of Germany, Italy, or Japan, but it does mean the destruction of the philosophies in those countries which are based on conquest and the subjugation of other people.

(this meeting is called the “unconditional surrender” meeting)

While we have not had a meeting of all of the United Nations, I think that there is no question – in fact we both have great confidence that the same purposes and objectives are in the minds of all of the other United Nations – Russia, China, and all the others.

And so the actual meeting – the main work of the Committee – has been ended, except for a certain amount of resultant paper work – has come to a successful conclusion. I call it a meeting of the minds in regard to all military operations, and, thereafter, that the war is going to proceed against the Axis Powers according to schedule, with every indication that 1943 is going to be an even better year for the United Nations than 1942.

The Prime Minister: I agree with everything that the President has said, and I think it was a very happy decision to bring you gentlemen here to Casablanca to this agreeable spot, Anfa Camp, which has been the center – the scene – of much the most important and successful war conference which I have ever attended or witnessed. Nothing like it has occurred in my experience, which is a long while – the continuous work, hours and hours every day from morning until often after midnight, carried on by the Staffs of both sides, by all the principal officers of the two nations who are engaged in the direction of the war.

This work has proceeded with an intensity, and thoroughness, and comprehensiveness, the like of which I have never seen, and I firmly believe that you will find that results will come from this as this year unfolds. You will find results will come from it which will give our troops, and soldiers, and fliers the best possible chance to gather new victories from the enemy. Fortune turned a more or less somber face upon us at the close of last year, and we meet here today at this place – we have been meeting here – which in a way is the active center of the war direction. We wish indeed it was possible to have Premier Stalin and the Generalissimo (Chiang Kai-shek), and others of the United Nations here, but geography is a stubborn thing; and the difficulties and the pre-occupations of the men engaged in fighting the enemy in other countries are also very clear obstacles to their free movement and therefore we have had to meet here together.

Well, one thing I should like to say, and that is – I think I can say it with full confidence – nothing that may occur in this war will ever come between me and the President. He and I are in this as friends and partners, and we work together. We know that our easy, free conversation is one of the sinews of war – of the Allied Powers. It makes many things easy that would otherwise be difficult, and solutions can be reached when an agreement has stopped, which would otherwise be impossible, even with the utmost goodwill, of the vast war machinery which the English-speaking people are operating.

I think that the Press here have had rather a hard, provoking time, because it isn’t possible to have everything organized at once when you throw yourselves on a shore. Some of our earliest and brightest hopes have not yet been fulfilled, and you gentlemen have no doubt felt baffled in the work you want to do, and therefore a trial is imposed upon you. I beg you to rise to the level of that; namely, not to allow the minor annoyances of censoring, et cetera, make you exaggerate these details. To keep your sense of proportion is a patriotic duty.

Tremendous events have happened. This enterprise which the President has organized – and he knows I have been his active Lieutenant since the start – has altered the whole strategic aspect of the war. It has forced the Germans to fight under the very greatest difficulties. And I think that it gives us in a very marked way the initiative. Once we have got that precious treasure into our hands, we must labor hard to keep it. Hitler said you never could tell what would happen, because he wasn’t dealing with competent military experts but with military idiots and drunkards. He said he didn’t know where he was, and that was a preliminary forecast of the explanation which he will no doubt offer to the Nazi Party for the complete manner in which he has been hoodwinked, fooled, and out-maneuvered by the great enterprise which was launched on these shores.

We are still in full battle, and heavy action will impend. Our forces grow. The Eighth Army has taken Tripoli, and we are following (Field Marshal Erwin) Rommel – the fugitive of Egypt and Libya – now wishing, no doubt, to represent himself as the deliverer of Tunisia. The Eighth Army have followed him a long way – 15 hundred miles – from Alamein where I last saw them, now to Tripoli. And Rommel is still flying before them. But I can give you this assurance – everywhere that Mary went the lamb is sure to go.

I hope you gentlemen will find this talk to be of assistance to you in your work, and will be able to build up a good and encouraging story to our people all over the world. Give them the picture of unity, thoroughness, and integrity of the political chiefs. Give them that picture, and make them feel that there is some reason behind all that is being done. Even when there is some delay there is design and purposes, and as the President has said, the unconquerable will to pursue this quality, until we have procured the unconditional surrender of the criminal forces who plunged the world into storm and ruin.

The President: I think – the Prime Minister having spoken of the Eighth Army – that you should know that we have had a long talk with General (Harold R. L. G.) Alexander, Admiral (Sir Andrew) Cunningham, (Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur) Tedder. (Lieutenant) General (Dwight D.) Eisenhower has been here, as has (Major) General (Carl) Spaatz – (Lieutenant) General (Mark W.) Clark too. We have had a pretty good picture of the whole south shore of the Mediterranean, at first hand.

This afternoon there will be given to each of you a communiqué from the Prime Minister and myself, which is really the formal document stating the history of this conference, and the names of all the people who have taken part; nothing very much in it in addition to what we have talked about as background for you all.

You will want to know about the presence of General (Henri Honoré) Giraud, and General (Charles) de Gaulle. I think that all that should be said at this time is that the Prime Minister and I felt that here we were in French North Africa and it would be an opportune time for those two gentlemen to meet together – one Frenchman with another Frenchman. They have been in conference now for a couple of days, and we have emphasized one common purpose, and that is the liberation of France. They are at work on that. They are in accord on that, and we hope very much that as a result of getting to know each other better under these modern, new conditions, we will have French armies, and French navies, and French airmen who will take part with us in the ultimate liberation of France itself.

I haven’t got anything else that relates to the United Staffs conference, but – it is purely personal – but I might as well give it to you as background. I have had the opportunity, during these days, of visiting a very large number of American troops – went up the line the other day and saw combat teams and the bulk of several divisions. I talked with the officers, and with the men. I lunched with them in the field, and it was a darn good lunch. We had to move the band, because it was a very windy day, from leeward to windward, so we could hear the music.

From these reviews we went over to a fort – I don’t know whether you can use the name or not – that is up to (Brigadier) General (Robert A.) McClure. Actually, it was at the mouth of Port Lyautey where the very heavy fighting occurred and where a large number of Americans and Frenchmen were killed. Their bodies, most of them, lie in a joint cemetery – French and American. I placed a wreath where the American graves are, and another wreath where the French graves are.

I saw the equipment of these troops that are ready to go into action at any time; and I wish the people back home could see it, because those troops are equipped with the most modern weapons that we can turn out. They are adequately equipped in every way. And I found them not only in excellent health and high spirits, but also a very great efficiency on the part of officers and men, all the way from top to bottom. I am sure they are eager to fight again, and I think they will.

I’d like to say just a word about the bravery and the fine spirit of the French whom we fought – many of whom were killed. They fought with very heavy losses, as you know, but the moment the peace came and fighting stopped, the French Army and Navy, and the French and Moroccan civil population have given to us Americans wholehearted assistance in carrying out the common objective that brings us to these parts – to improve the conditions of living in these parts, which you know better than I do have been seriously hurt by the fact that during the last two years so much of the output, especially the food output of French North Africa, has been sent to the support of the German Army. That time is ended, and we are going to do all we can for the population of these parts, to keep them going until they can bring in their own harvests during this coming summer.

Also, I had one very delightful party. I gave a dinner party for the Sultan of Morocco (Sidi Mohammed) and his son. We got on extremely well. He is greatly interested in the welfare of his people, and he and the Moroccan population are giving to us the same kind of support that the French population is.

So, I just want to repeat that on this trip I saw with my own eyes the actual conditions of our men who are in this part of North Africa. I think their families back home will be glad to know that we are doing all we can, not only in full support of them, but in keeping up the splendid morale with which they are working at the present time. I want to say to their families, through you people, that I am mighty proud of them.

This is not like a Press Conference in Washington. We have 200 to 250 that crowd into one rather small room, and it is almost impossible there to meet everyone personally. You are an elite group, and because it is not too big a group, the Prime Minister and I want to meet all of you.

One thing, before we stop talking – on the release date of this thing – sometimes I also am under orders. I have got to let General McClure decide the release date. There are certain reasons why it can’t be for a few days, but as I understand it, one of your problems is the bottleneck at Gibraltar. I think you have enough background to write your stories and put them on the cables, and General McClure will decide what the actual release date will be. I told him that it should be just as soon as he possibly could.

The Communiqué

Casablanca, 24 January 1943.

The President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Great Britain have been in conference near Casablanca since January 14. They were accompanied by the Combined Chiefs of Staff of the two countries, namely, for the United States:

  • General George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army
  • Admiral E. J. King, Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Navy
  • Lieut. General H. H. Arnold, Commanding U.S. Army Air Forces

and for Great Britain:

  • Admiral of the Fleet Sir Dudley Pound, First Sea Lord,
  • General Sir Alan Brooke, Chief of the Imperial General Staff,
  • Air Chief Marshal Sir Charles Portal, Chief of the Air Staff.

These were assisted by:

  • Lieut. General B. B. Somervell, Commanding General, Services of Supply, U.S. Army,
  • Field Marshal Sir John Dill, Head of the British Joint Staff Mission in Washington,
  • Vice Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten, Chief of Combined Operations,
  • Lieut. General Sir Hastings Ismay, Chief Staff Officer to the Minister of Defence,

together with a number of Staff Officers from both countries.

They have received visits from Mr. Murphy and Mr. Macmillan; from General Eisenhower, the Commander-in-Chief Allied Expeditionary Force in North Africa; from Admiral of the Fleet Sir Andrew Cunningham, Naval Commander Allied Expeditionary Force in North Africa; from General Spaatz, Air Commander Allied Expeditionary Force in North Africa; from General Clark, U.S. Army and from Middle East Headquarters, from General Sir Harold Alexander, Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder and Lieut-General F. M. Andrews, U.S. Army.

The President was accompanied by Mr. Harry Hopkins and was joined by Mr. Averell Harriman. With the Prime Minister was Lord Leathers, the British Minister of War Transport.

For ten days the Combined Staffs have been in constant session meeting two or three times a day, and recording progress at intervals to the President and the Prime Minister. The entire field of the war was surveyed theatre by theatre throughout the world and all resources were marshalled for the more intense prosecution of the war by sea, land and air. Nothing like this prolonged discussion between two Allies has ever taken place before. Complete agreement was reached between the leaders of the two countries and their respective Staffs upon the war plans and enterprises to be undertaken during the campaign of 1943 against Germany, Italy and Japan with a view to drawing the utmost advantage from the markedly favourable turn of events at the close of 1942.

Premier Stalin was cordially invited to meet the President and the Prime Minister, in which case the meeting would have been held very much farther to the East. He was, however, unable to leave Russia at this time on account of the great offensive which he himself, as Commander-in-Chief is directing.

The President and the Prime Minister realized to the full the enormous weight of the war which Russia is successfully bearing along her whole land front, and their prime object has been to draw as much of the weight as possible off the Russian armies by engaging the enemy as heavily as possible at the best selected points.

Premier Stalin has been fully informed of the military proposals.

The President and the Prime Minister have been in communication with Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. They have apprised him of the measures which they are undertaking to assist him in China’s magnificent and unrelaxing struggle for the common cause.

The occasion of the meeting between the President and the Prime Minister made it opportune to invite General Giraud to confer with the Combined Chiefs of Staff and to arrange for a meeting between him and General de Gaulle. The two Generals have been in close consultation.

The President and the Prime Minister and the Combined Staffs having completed their plans for the offensive campaigns of 1943, have now separated in order to put them into active and concerted execution.

24. 1. 43

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Roosevelt-Churchill dinner, 8 p.m. (Marrakech)

United States United Kingdom
President Roosevelt Prime Minister Churchill
Mr. Hopkins Sir Charles Wilson
Mr. Harriman Commander Thompson
Rear Admiral McIntire Mr. Martin
Captain McCrea Mr. Rowan
Colonel Beasley Captain Churchill
Vice Consul Pendar
Sergeant Hopkins

The conversation ranged over a number of topics including Morocco, the Arab problem, the de Gaulle-Giraud controversy, and the rebuilding of France.

Roosevelt-Churchill meeting, about midnight (Marrakech)

United States United Kingdom
President Roosevelt Prime Minister Churchill
Mr. Hopkins Mr. Martin
Mr. Harriman Mr. Rowan

The meeting was given over to the final revision of the joint messages from Roosevelt and Churchill to Stalin and Chiang.

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Sunday, 24 January

General Henri Giraud called at 11:05 and had an audience with the President until 11:40. Major General Charles de Gaulle had arrived while General Giraud was in conference with the President, and following General Giraud’s departure, went in to talk to the President, Mr. Hopkins, Mr. Murphy, and Mr. Macmillan.

While General de Gaulle was with the President, General Giraud returned, and a few minutes later the Prime Minister appeared.

These four, the President, the Prime Minister, General Giraud, and General de Gaulle then repaired to the lawn in the rear of the President’s villa where they posed for moving and still pictures. While the cameras “turned over”, the two generals shook hands.

Then Generals Giraud and de Gaulle bade farewell to the President and the Prime Minister and withdrew.

A few minutes after twelve, the President, with the Prime Minister seated at his left, invited the assembled newspapermen to sit down on the lawn and make themselves comfortable for the discussion which was to follow. It was a beautiful day, brilliant with sunshine, and with these two great men seated before them, the assembled correspondents heard a complete description of the purpose of bringing the British and American Chiefs of Staff together here in North Africa, together with the heads of their respective governments, and a general description of what had been accomplished.

Both the President and the Prime Minister reaffirmed the decision that no effort would be spared until the unconditional surrender of the Axis powers had been accomplished (The notes of this press conference have been recorded separately). When the discussion ended, the Prime Minister and the President asked the newspapermen to come up to shake hands, the President remarking that they should consider themselves an “elite group”, inasmuch as the great number of correspondents habitually attending routine press conferences in Washington precludes any thought of shaking hands.

Following the press conference, the President received General Charles A. Noguès, Resident General at Rabat, who had hurried down to Casablanca to say “au revoir” to the President upon being informed by telephone at 10:30 that the President’s departure was imminent.

At this time, the President also received Vice Admiral Michelier, the Commander-in-Chief of the French North African Fleet, who had called to pay his respects.

Heavy baggage, collected the night before, had been stowed in the planes and flown to Marrakech. The motorcade was waiting when the President departed from his villa at a few minutes past one o’clock in the afternoon, and at 1:25, the party was on its way to Marrakech, 150 miles almost due south of Casablanca, but well inland.

Besides his own immediate group, the President was accompanied by the Prime Minister, his son, Captain Randolph Churchill, Sir Charles Wilson, the Prime Minister’s aide, Commander Thompson, and his two private secretaries, Mr. Rowan and Mr. Martin.

At three o’clock, the cars were halted at the roadside for a basket lunch packed by the British consisting of several kinds of sandwiches, hard boiled eggs, and mincemeat tarts.

At 5:45, the party arrived at Marrakech, a very old Berber and Arab town, going directly to a large villa now occupied by the U.S. Vice Consul at Marrakech, Mr. Kenneth Pendar. This villa was placed at his disposal by the wife of the American millionaire, Moses Taylor. It was most beautiful, set in the midst of an olive grove. Its courtyards were filled with orange trees, flowers, and shrubs. There was a fountain or pool and inlaid marble floors all furnished in splendor befitting a Sultan.

The President and the Prime Minister, together with Admiral McIntire, Captain McCrea, and several others, ascended to the top of a 60-foot tower which crowned the villa, to view the sunset and the towering Atlas Mountains, many miles away, as the bells tolled from Mosque towers summoning the faithful to evening prayer.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The President and the Prime Minister were dinner guests of Mr. Pendar this evening, as were the following:

  • Sir Charles Wilson
  • Mr. Averell Harriman
  • Mr. Harry Hopkins
  • Admiral McIntire
  • Captain McCrea
  • Mr. Martin
  • Mr. Rowan
  • Commander Thompson
  • Colonel Beasley
  • Captain Randolph Churchill
  • Sergeant Robert Hopkins
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U.S. State Department (January 25, 1943)

President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill to Premier Stalin

Marrakech, January 25, 1943.

Most secret

President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill to Premier Stalin

1. We have been in conference with our military advisers and have decided the operations which are to be undertaken by American and British forces in the first nine months of 1943. We wish to inform you of our intentions at once. We believe these operations, together with your powerful offensive, may well bring Germany to her knees in 1943. Every effort must be made to accomplish this purpose.

2. We are in no doubt that our correct strategy is to concentrate on the defeat of Germany, with a view to achieving early and decisive victory in the European theatre. At the same time, we must maintain sufficient pressure on Japan to retain the initiative in the Pacific and Far East, sustain China, and prevent the Japanese from extending their aggression to other theatres such as your Maritime Provinces.

3. Our main desire has been to divert strong German land and air forces from the Russian front and to send to Russia the maximum flow of supplies. We shall spare no exertion to send you material assistance by every available route.

4. Our immediate intention is to clear the Axis out of North Africa and set up the naval and air installations to open:
a) An effective passage through the Mediterranean for military traffic; and
b) An intensive bombardment of important Axis targets in Southern Europe.

5. We have made the decision to launch large-scale amphibious operations in the Mediterranean at the earliest possible moment. The preparation for these operations is now under way and will involve a considerable concentration of forces, including landing craft and shipping in Egyptian and North African ports. In addition we shall concentrate hi the United Kingdom a strong American land and air force. These, combined with the British forces in the United Kingdom, will prepare themselves to re-enter the Continent of Europe as soon as practicable. These concentrations will certainly be known to our enemies, but they will not know where or when, or on what scale we propose to strike. They will therefore be compelled to divert both land and air forces to all the shores of France, the Low Countries, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, the heel of Italy, Yugoslavia, Greece, Crete and the Dodecanese.

6. In Europe we shall increase the Allied Bomber offensive from the U.K. against Germany at a rapid rate and, by midsummer, it should be more than double its present strength. Our experiences to date have shown that the day bombing attacks result in destruction and damage to large numbers of German Fighter Aircraft. We believe that an increased tempo and weight of daylight and night attacks will lead to greatly increased material and morale damage in Germany and rapidly deplete German fighter strength. As you are aware, we are already containing more than half the German Air Force in Western Europe and the Mediterranean. We have no doubt that our intensified and diversified bombing offensive, together with the other operations which we are undertaking, will compel further withdrawals of German air and other forces from the Russian front.

7. In the Pacific it is our intention to eject the Japanese from Rabaul within the next few months and thereafter to exploit success in the general direction of Japan. We also intend to increase the scale of our operations in Burma in order to reopen our channel of supply to China. We intend to increase our air force in China at once. We shall not, however, allow our operations against Japan to jeopardize our capacity to take advantage of every opportunity that may present itself for the decisive defeat of Germany in 1943.

8. Our ruling purpose is to bring to bear upon Germany and Italy the maximum forces by land, sea and air which can be physically applied.

25. 1. 43

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President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill to Generalissimo Chiang

Marrakech, January 25, 1943.

Most secret

We have been meeting in North Africa with our Chiefs of Staff, to plan our offensives and strategy for 1943. The vital importance of aiding China has filled our minds. General Arnold, the Commander of the U.S. Air Force, is already on his way to see you. We have decided that Chennault should be reinforced at once in order that you may strike not only at vital shipping routes but at Japan herself. Arnold carries to you our best judgment as to Burma. He will also advise you about our expanding operations in the South West Pacific and our developing offensive against Germany and Italy which will follow promptly after the destruction of the Axis forces in Tunisia.

We have great confidence in the 1943 offensives of the United Nations and want to assure you that we intend with your co-operation to keep the pressure on Japan at an ever-increasing tempo.

25. 1. 43.

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The President and the Prime Minister to the Combined Chiefs of Staff

Marrakech, January 25, 1943.

In cordially approving the Report of the Combined Chiefs of Staff drawn up after thorough examination of the problems, the President and the Prime Minister wish to emphasize the following points which should be steadily pressed in all preparations:

  1. The desirability of finding means of running the W.J. [JW?] Russian convoys even through the Husky period.

  2. The urgency of sending the air reinforcements to General Chennault’s force in China and of finding means to make them fully operative.

  3. The importance of achieving the favourable June moon for Husky and the grave detriment to our interests which will be incurred by an apparent suspension of activity during the summer months.

  4. The need to build up more quickly the United States striking force in the United Kingdom so as to be able to profit by favourable August weather for some form of Sledgehammer. For this purpose, not only the scales of initial equipment and monthly maintenance should be searchingly re-examined but the priorities of material and manpower shipments from the United States to Great Britain should be adjusted to the tactical situation likely to be presented at the target date.


25.1. 43.

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Monday, 25 January

At the last minute, as the President and his party left for the airport at 7:45 this morning, the Prime Minister, deciding to accompany him, got into the President’s automobile in bathrobe and slippers. Marrakech was the place where the trail split. Au revoirs were said.

At eight o’clock, the planes took off toward Bathurst, 1400 miles to the southward, crossing the Atlas Mountains in flight. In another hour, the planes flew through a pass at 9,000 feet and emerged finally over the endless wastes of sand first seen when flying up on 14 January.

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Brooklyn Eagle (January 26, 1943)

London press hails news of ‘momentous decisions’

Watch for big news

The Brooklyn Eagle is now receiving from United Press correspondents a series of dispatches of transcendent Importance which will be released for publication tomorrow. Watch for these dispatches. They will appear in all editions tomorrow. All major radio stations will make announcements at 10 p.m. tonight.

London, England (UP) –
Today’s newspapers, anticipating an important announcement on United Nations strategy and policy, displayed arch headlines as these over dispatches from their Washington and New York correspondents:

Biggest Talks of War.

United States Awaits News on Tiptoe.

Momentous Decisions by Allies.

Grand Strategy in 1943.

United States Expects News to Stir World.

Two newspapers published editorials on the general war situation.

The News Chronicle, Liberal Party organ, said:

The United Nations are waging at least four wars which in no sense are subject to common strategic direction.

The vast resources of the Allies can only be brought to bear with full effectiveness in terms of a fully concerted plan… individual interests must be subordinated to the supreme interest of winning the war as rapidly as possible.

The conservative Daily Mail said:

Formation of anything like a supreme war council would be warmly welcomed by Allied peoples. We have always taken the view that complete unity cannot be achieved until such a body has been set up. However, there is much to be done yet and coordinated policy would be but the first step toward doing it.

The Chicago Sun said today in a copyrighted dispatch from London that Gen. Charles de Gaulle, head of the Fighting French, and Gen. Henri H. Giraud, High Commissioner of French Africa, had reached an agreement. U.S. and British mediation aided in the agreement, the Sun said.

Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, replying in Commons to a question by Sir Thomas Moore, Conservative, said he understood suggestions for formation of a United Nations war council had been canvassed in the United States as well as in Great Britain but he had nothing to add to them.

Frederick S. Cocks, Labor, submitted a question to Eden for answer later whether he would make representations in order to improve the flow of political news from North Africa.

It had been expected there would be a bombardment of questions for Eden on the appointment of ex-Vichy adherent Marcel Peyrouton, as Governor General of Algeria, but members apparently awaited further news of the African political problem.

Eden last week had sidestepped questions regarding Peyrouton, asked him by opponents of the policy of including ex-Vichy men.

Axis radio stations continued broadcasting reports Prime Minister Winston Churchill had left London to confer with President Roosevelt.

Today’s Völkischer Beobachter, official newspaper of the Nazi Party, quoted by the Berlin radio, said “the meeting” was a sign of British embarrassment. The newspaper suggested questions to be dealt with probably would include “Russia’s attitude.”

Völkischer Beobachter said:

It can no longer pass unnoticed in London and Washington that Stalin makes no statements regarding post-war problems which are being ceaselessly discussed in his Allies’ camp. He merely contentedly acknowledges the fact that Britain is ready to deliver Europe to the Soviets, in which he sees welcome support of Bolshevism for a world revolution which it is Moscow’s aim to break loose, spread by the power of arms.

The British Premier is always forced to travel to Moscow or Washington while Stalin and Roosevelt calmly let the British come to them.

The United Press New York listening post recorded the following English-language voice broadcast by Berlin:

Churchill has left London to confer with President Roosevelt, it is learned.

Churchill intends to inquire into the view of the American government on Soviet aspirations in Europe so as to be able to pursue his own interest in that sphere accordingly.

Another topic of the conference is said to be the subject of setting up a council of war which would include Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin and Chiang Kai-shek.

Press Release
January 26, 1943, 10:00 p.m. EWT

Brooklyn Eagle (January 27, 1943)

Action will tell foe story of conference

By C. R. Cunningham

Algiers, Algeria (UP) –
Conviction grew today that the “unconditional surrender” pronouncement of President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill tells only a part – possibly not the most exciting part – of the story of their 10-day meeting at Casablanca.

Correspondents who attended the historic Roosevelt-Churchill press conference, which concluded the deliberations in the white-walled city on Africa’s west coast, believe that the official communiqué did not cover all the activity of those 10 days in the sun-drenched Moroccan port.

Rumors of what occurred at Casablanca have run a gamut to end all gamuts and none, thus far, has taken any form of authoritativeness. These rumors had it that Italian, Spanish and even Finnish and Turkish delegates had representatives at the meeting.

The rumors were that these representatives were invited not necessarily to join the United Nations but to become convinced of the might of the Allies. Then they could make their own choice.

Walter Logan, United Press staff correspondent also present at Casablanca during the meeting, reported having seen "consular baggage bearing Finnish labels.” G. Ward Price, London Daily Mail correspondent at Casablanca, reported:

It may be said that the statements made here are only a partial revelation. It is obvious there may be additional activities which are unrevealable and may even be denied in the interests of the common cause.

A welter of rumors

There was a welter of rumors regarding those who participated at one time or another in the meeting. The fact that correspondents were not permitted to go into any great deal of speculation as to the conferees aroused their suspicion.

First of all, it is not believed that President Roosevelt would have cared to take the risk of a 6,000-mlle airplane ride for nothing more than a “heart to heart” talk with Prime Minister Churchill.

Nor was it thought likely that he would embark on such a venture simply to review the events of 1942 or even to plan the events of 1943.

It was noted that the combined Allied chiefs of staff could have undertaken these tasks without the presence of either the President or the Prime Minister.

Air of mystery

What particularly aroused the interest of the correspondents was the complete air of mystery which surrounded the entire proceeding.

The records of the correspondents accredited to the North African field have been scrupulously studied and a considerable amount of confidence has been placed in them. However, in the Casablanca instance, they were given not the slightest inkling of what was taking place until after they arrived on the scene.

Casablanca was literally saturated with rumors. Crowded as it was with special anti-aircraft emplacements, special guards, Secret Service men and troops, almost any kind of report was passed avidly from person to person.

One of many reports

One of the most frequent of these reports was that the anti-aircraft batteries had orders not to fire on any planes – whether enemy or not – which might appear at certain hours of the day. The inference, of course, was that some sort of emissary from some belligerent state was expected.

The President and the Prime Minister met correspondents in the rear garden of a beautiful white villa – the North African “White House” – marked simply “Villa No 2.”

With Churchill sitting at his left, Mr. Roosevelt explained to war correspondents hastily flown in from the Tunisian front that he and Churchill had pledged themselves that peace would return to the world and that this peace could not come unless it was accompanied by the total destruction of the power of Germany and Japan to make war.

Demand foe surrender

The President told correspondents gathered at his feet in the velvety grass of the Villa’s rear garden that the keynote of the meeting had been taken from Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.

Gen. Grant, he said, was known as “unconditional surrender” and that was the purpose and purport of the present deliberations. He said that the meeting would be known as the “unconditional surrender” conference.

The Prime Minister, speaking a few minutes later, echoed Mr. Roosevelt’s statement and said that with unconquerable will America and Britain would pursue their purpose to its logical conclusion.

The correspondent listened as Mr. Roosevelt told of the plans of the United Nations to utilize every last resource of the world – if necessary – in order to carry out the extermination of Axis warpower as quickly as possible.

Stalin was invited

Joseph Stalin, the President revealed, had been invited to attend but replied that he was unable to leave Russia because he was directing the Soviet winter offensive.

Although the Russian leader was not able to be present, Mr. Roosevelt said, he and Churchill kept him fully informed of their discussions.

While he and Mr. Churchill were in almost constant conference, said Mr. Roosevelt, the British and American combined staffs proceeded on the principles and methods of pooling all the resources of the Allied nations.

Mr. Roosevelt said that all those participating in the discussions reaffirmed their determination to destroy the military power of the Axis while proceeding with their discussion of the Allies’ military operations for 1943.

The President said that all possible material would be sent to aid the Russian offensive, thereby cutting down German manpower as well as wearing out German material.

The United Nations, he said, would give all possible aid in the heroic struggle of China now in its sixth year and thereby end for all time the attempts of the Japanese to dominate the Far East.

He said that de Gaulle and Giraud had been in conference for a couple of days and that both were wholeheartedly bent on achieving the liberation of France. He said they were both in accord on that.

He said:

I saw a lot of American troops, the greater part of two divisions. I saw combat teams and had lunch with them in the field – and it was a darned good lunch. Then we drove to Port Lyautey where American and French troops were killed. I placed wreaths on the graves of the soldiers of both nations.

I saw the equipment our boys are using over here. They are the most modern weapons we can produce and our men are adequately equipped. They are healthy and efficient and eager to fight again. I think they will. I saw with my own eyes the actual condition of our men and I would like to have their families back home know of the support they are getting.

Mr. Churchill said the discussions were the most successful war conference he had ever participated in or had ever seen.

He expressed regret that Stalin and Gen. Chiang Kai-shek had not been able to be present but said they had both been kept fully informed on the discussions.

Mr. Churchill concluded that he and Mr. Roosevelt were more than determined that their designed purpose was the unconditional surrender of the criminal forces which have plunged the world into sorrow and ruin.

Those who took part

President Roosevelt then gave the correspondents the name, of those who participated in the discussions.

They were: Gen. Harold Alexander, British Middle Eastern commander; Adm. Sir Andrew Brown Cunningham, Lt. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Air Mshl. Arthur Tedder, Lt. Gen. Mark W. Clark, Maj. Gen. Carl Spaatz and others.

He said that he and Churchill felt that the occasion was an excellent opportunity for Gens. Charles de Gaulle and Henri Honoré Giraud to meet.

A complete agreement between de Gaulle and Giraud was reached during their conference, it was learned, and only a few small details need to be worked out before full collaboration is effected.

Late Sunday afternoon, de Gaulle and Giraud issued a communiqué saying “at the conclusion of their first conversation in North Africa, Gen. de Gaulle and Gen. Giraud have made the following joint statement:

We have met. We have talked. We have registered our entire agreement on the end to be achieved, which is the liberation of France and the triumph of human liberties by the total defeat of the enemy. This end will be attained by a union in war of all Frenchmen fighting side by side with all their allies.

Churchill carried King’s message to Roosevelt

London, England (UP) –
Prime Minister Winston Churchill had lunch with King George at Buckingham Palace just before he left for Africa and the King shook his hand, wished him good luck and gave him a personal message for President Roosevelt.

He flew to Casablanca in the same converted Liberator bomber of the Ferry Command and with the same pilot and crew that took him to Cairo and Moscow last August.

No acting President

Washington (UP) –
There was no “acting President” while President Roosevelt was in Africa.

The Constitution provides only that the powers and duties of the Presidency shall devolve on the Vice President in case of removal, death, resignation or the inability of the President to perform his duties and powers. Absence from the country has never been held legally to constitute an “inability,” so there was no necessity for delegation of powers to Vice President Henry A. Wallace.

Sets new precedents

Casablanca, Morocco (UP) – (Jan. 24, delayed)
President Roosevelt, who has probably broken more precedents than any other U.S. Chief Executive, added these to his record in connection with his North African meeting with Winston Churchill:

  1. He became the first President who ever left the United States while the nation was at war.
  2. He became the first President ever to fly while holding office.
  3. He became the first President since Abraham Lincoln to visit an actual theater of war.

Casablanca a hive of rumors, air batteries and Tommy guns

By Walter Logan

Casablanca, Morocco – (Jan. 20, delayed)
G-2 (Military Intelligence) called me to headquarters and told me I would be shot if I tried to go near a certain villa.

Later Logan found out why. The villa was the meeting place of President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

That was how thorough were the precautions taken to protect the President, Prime Minister and other dignitaries during their conference.

Planes of all types crowded the airports, guards were increased, new anti-aircraft batteries dotted the landscape and at night officers went on guard duty with Tommy guns.

Casablanca was a fountain of rumors. One of the most recurrent was that anti-aircraft gunners at the airports had been instructed not to fire on any planes under any circumstances at certain hours.

The meeting place itself was protected by armed guards patrolling a barbed-wire obstruction and the President was protected by his own bodyguard, armed with Tommy guns and two companies of troops.

Casablanca war plan maps Hitler’s doom with 1943 smash attack

Includes diplomatic pressure on neutrals – hint at efforts to reach Finland and Italy
By Joe Alex Morris, United Press Foreign Editor

London, England (UP) –
The ten-day meeting of President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill at Casablanca was believed today to have laid the basis of a master war plan for 1943 designed to bring about the “unconditional surrender” of Axis forces in Europe.

Despite huge obstacles – particularly the constantly intensifying Nazi submarine warfare – it appeared obvious today that Allied plans were blueprinted at Casablanca for the purpose of bringing offensive operations against Adolf Hitler and his allies to a climax within ten months.

It seemed equally obvious that official communiqués and reports have told only a small fraction of the decisions and events at Casablanca which some quarters believed may produce “tremendous events” in the near future.

In the Führer’s face

The Casablanca news broke on the Axis with the suddenness of a bombshell, exploding at the darkest moment of the war thus far for Germany and Italy.

There was confidence in Allied quarters here that Casablanca was only the beginning of an ever-accelerating series of surprises for the Axis.

Behind the generalities of the communiqués, Allied quarters saw these developments:

  1. Full decision on an overall plan of offensive action against the Axis in 1943.

  2. Presumable agreement upon a unified command in Africa with a view to quick liquidation of Axis forces in Tunisia and early attacks, aerially or otherwise, against Italy.

Diplomatic maneuvers

  1. Initial steps toward a solution of the French North African political troubles.

  2. Hints of possible diplomatic maneuvers of a magnitude yet unrevealed. North African dispatches mentioned rumors involving Finland, Sweden, Turkey, Spain and even Italy.

  3. Obliteration of any Axis feelers for a "negotiated’’ peace through the forthright declaration of Mr. Roosevelt and Churchill that the only terms acceptable to them were those of “unconditional surrender.”

  4. Complete strategic decisions designed not only to bring greatest possible pressure to bear upon the Axis in Europe but to enhance cooperation with Russia and China and maintain utmost pressure upon Japan in the Pacific.

Decision to strike

There was no doubt that decisions were made on where and how Hitler is to be hit during the coming months.

It was believed the first result of the meeting would be the early establishment of a new African command.

The names of Gen. Sir Archibald Wavell, Gen. George C. Marshall, Gen. Sir Harold R. L. G. Alexander (the British Middle East commander), and Lt. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower were mentioned most frequently.

Rumor about Finland

There was little but hints and rumors on the possibility that diplomatic negotiations of some nature occurred at Casablanca. However, dispatches from North Africa mentioned labels on the luggage of travelers indicating they had come from Finland and rumors spread that there might have been Swedish, Turkish and even Italian participants.

Some credence was lent to the Finnish rumors by signs that some Finnish diplomatic activity might be underway.

There have been recurrent indications of Allied efforts to take Finland out of the war – long stalemated on the virtually inactive Finnish-Russian front – and within the past week, a German propaganda broadcast alleged that Russia had made another peace offer to Finland which had been turned down.