January 14-24, 1943 Casablanca Conference
ConferenceThe Casablanca Conference was held to discuss strategic and tactical goals for the allies in the year ahead. Roosevelt and Churchill were the principal attendees together with their military staffs. The major announcement was a decision to demand unconditional surrender from the Axis.
President Roosevelt began the year, 1943, by flying to Morocco to meet Prime Minister Churchill and French representatives in Casablanca. It was the first time a President of the United States had flown while in office. It was also the first time a President of the United States had left the country during war. Stalin had been invited to attend but had declined because of the ongoing battle at Stalingrad.
The Casablanca Conference lasted from January 14 to the 24th , 1943. The most notable achievement of the conference was the decision to demand unconditional surrender from Germany and Japan. There was no victory without absolute victory and there would be no negotiated agreements to achieve peace. This they Allies hoped would preclude any chance of the Soviets reaching a separate peace agreement.
The leaders also resolved to mount a campaign against Sicily– while at the same time, beginning the buildup in forces for the cross-channel invasion. When the conference ended, Churchill accompanied F.D.R. to the airport. Once Churchill said goodbye to Roosevelt, he instructed his aid that they needed to leave immediately. Churchill stated, regarding Franklin Roosevelt: "I don't like to see him takeoff, it makes me far too nervous. If anything happened to that man I couldn't' stand it. He is the truest friend; he has the farthest vision; he is the greatest man I have ever known."