Casablanca Conference Agreements

The conference finally ended on January 24. About 40 British and American war correspondents were sent from Algiers and Tunisia. They were not informed of why they would leave, and they were stunned to learn that the President, the Prime Minister and their Chiefs of Staff and military had been in North Africa for more than a week. FDR once again demonstrated his genius in using the media to tell the story he wanted to tell. The conference resulted in a Memorandum of Understanding, the Casablanca Declaration. She told the world that the Allies would accept nothing less than the “unconditional capitulation” of the Axis powers. Roosevelt had borrowed the term U.S. Army General Ulysses S. Grant (known as “Unconditional Surrender” Grant [2]), which had communicated this attitude to the commander of the Confederate Army during the American Civil War.

[3] [4] Thus, at the final press conference on 24 January, Roosevelt declared that the Allies were asking the Germans, Italians and Japanese for an “unconditional surrender”. [2] Roosevelt presented the results of the conference to the American people in a radio address on February 12, 1943. When an American president left the country for the first time during the war, Roosevelt`s trip to Casablanca consisted of a train to Miami, then FL in a series of charter Pan Am boat flights where he stopped in Trinidad, Brazil and The Gambia before arriving at his destination. From Oxford, Churchill, disguised as a Royal Air Force officer, was flying from Oxford in an unheated bomber. Arriving in Morocco, the two guides were quickly brought to the Anfa Hotel. The hotel, which was the centre of a 1-square-kilometre complex built by Patton, was previously used as housing for the German ceasefire commission. This is where the first meetings of the conference began on January 14. The next day, the United leaders of Eisenhower received a briefing on the campaign in Tunisia. Speaking to reporters, Roosevelt offered vague details about the nature of the conference and said the meetings had allowed British and American collaborators to discuss a wide range of key issues.

In the future, he declared that “peace can only come into the world through the total elimination of the German and Japanese war powers.” Roosevelt added that this meant “the unconditional surrender of Germany, Italy and Japan.” Although Roosevelt and Churchill had discussed the concept of unconditional surrender in the previous days, the British head of state did not expect his counterpart to make such a frank statement. In concluding his speech, Roosevelt stressed that unconditional capitulation does not mean “the destruction of the people of Germany, Italy or Japan, but the destruction of philosophies in countries that rely on the conquest and submission of others.” Although the consequences of Roosevelt`s declaration were widely discussed, it was clear that he wanted to avoid the vague kind of ceasefire that had ended world war one. The conference ended with high hopes and high expectations. But Churchill had one last request to the president – accompany him to Marrakech, “just the most beautiful place on Earth to spend an afternoon.” At 1:30 p.m. on the 24th, a well-armed caravan leaves Casablanca and heads south towards the walled city of Marrakech. FDR and Churchill passed camel caravans, olives and orange groves and arrived at a villa used by the American Vice-Consul. The environment of the villa has been described as “the garden of a Parish painting of Maxfield”. The conference called for the official recognition of a joint leadership of the Free French Armed Forces by de Gaulle and Henri Giraud.