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World War II: Casablanca Conference Communiqué

(January 24, 1943)

... 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 Prime Minister.

The entire field of the war was surveyed theater by theater throughout the world, and all resources were marshalled for a 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 war plans and enterprises to be undertaken during the campaigns of 1943 against Germany, Italy and Japan with a view to drawing the utmost advantage from the markedly favorable turn of events at the close of 1942.

Premier Stalin was cordially invited to meet the President and Prime Minister, in which case the meeting would have been held very much farther to the east. He was 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 up 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 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 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 Prime Minister made it opportune to invite General Giraud (General Henri Honoré Giraud, High Commissioner of French Africa) to confer with the combined Chiefs of Staff and to arrange for a meeting between him and General de Gaulle (General Charles de Gaulle, Fighting French Commander). The two generals have been in close consultation.

The President and Prime Minister and their 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.

The general objectives before the conferees were clear. At a press conference at the close of the sessions the President outlined them as follows:

1. To maintain the initiative obtained in the closing days of 1942 and to extend it.

2. To dispatch all aids to the Russian front with the objectives of whittling down German manpower and munitions.

3. To send assistance to the Chinese armies.

4. To unite the French in a war against the Axis.

Borrowing a phrase from a letter of Gen. U. S. Grant to the Confederate Commander of Forts Henry and Donelson during the American Civil War, the President called the sessions the "unconditional surrender" conference. The one hope for peace he asserted, lay in depriving Germany and Japan of all military power.

Sources: ibiblio