Roosevelt and Churchill begin Casablanca Conference - HISTORY
Roosevelt, under heavy security, had flown from Miami to Morocco. The meetings took place in the Anfa Hotel from January , His destination - Casablanca, Morocco. STRATEGY CONFERENCE IN N AFRICA: PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT MEETS MR CHURCHILL. ONE OF Mr Churchill with President Roosevelt and Chiefs of Staff at one of the many. On this day in , President Franklin D. Roosevelt arrived in Morocco to join British Prime Minister Winston Churchill for a day conference in Casablanca After the meeting, FDR visited with U.S. troops and did some.
The meetings took place in the Anfa Hotel from January Josef Stalin was invited to attend as well but due to the ongoing battle at Stalingrad, he declined to keep close tabs on the battle.
Roosevelt and Churchill begin Casablanca Conference
The French, though treated cordially, were not warm to the task and had to be persuaded to attend. Even then, there was a forced handshake for the sake of the cameras that was so fast, it had to be done again. However, some of the British in attendance came to the conclusion that the two French generals probably hated each other more than the Germans.
The announcement by FDR at the conference was that the Allies would only accept the unconditional surrender of the German Army. The President had stolen the idea from Ulysses S. Grant during the Civil War who had used the term against the Confederacy on several occasions.
But Hitler had to go.
Franklin D. Roosevelt arrived in Morocco, Jan. 14, - POLITICO
Invasion of France Put Off: Roosevelt, after conferring with General George Marshall was in favor of a quick cross-channel invasion of France. Churchill sold them on his plan to take on the Axis through the Mediterranean.
His destination — Casablanca, Morocco. It was a precedent shattering odyssey. No president had ever left the United States during wartime, or ever visited Africa, or even ever traveled in an airplane.14th January 1943: Churchill and Roosevelt meet in Casablanca
No president since Lincoln had visited an active battlefield. And FDR did all of those things without the press finding out.
The Casablanca Conference – Unconditional Surrender
The looming question was — what to do next? The conference would force top military leaders of Great Britain and the United States to hash out their differences and agree on a strategy for victory. In Baltimore he secretly changed direction and headed south for Miami.
In all of his previous voyages across the Atlantic FDR had traveled by his favorite means of transportation — ship. But the dark waters of the Atlantic had turned into a killing zone, a deadly hide-and-seek between German submarines and Allied transports. Their mission was to strangle Great Britain by cutting off the vital supplies those cargo ships carried.
Even traveling by battleship was considered too dangerous for the President. The route was convoluted and dangerous. The first stop was Port au Spain, Trinidad, a ten hour flight from Miami.
FDR and his closest advisors spent the night at the Macqueripe Hotel and took off at 5: After a brief stop and refueling, they began the most dangerous leg of the journey — miles over the Atlantic Ocean. Any mechanical failure over the open ocean would be a deadly disaster.
The Casablanca Conference – Unconditional Surrender – Forward with Roosevelt
Strong head winds and turbulence forced the pilots to fly low, between 1, and 3, feet. After a grueling 19 hours they finally saw the African coast, and at 4: The President insisted on seeing the local area, and boarded a small motorboat.
The Presidential party dined aboard the USS Memphis and the next morning boarded two C transport planes for the final 1, miles to Morocco. They finally landed in Casablanca at 5: Casablanca was well within the range of German bombers, so secrecy was a top priority. Colonel Elliot Roosevelt met his father when he arrived, but even he had not been told why he was going to Morocco.
The presidential party made its way to the Anfa Hotel where the conference would take place. The guest book reveals the names of some of the attendees: That evening the British and American leaders had dinner, and FDR and Churchill stayed up until 3am discussing strategy, drinking and smoking like long lost friends.
The Red Army was suffering tremendous casualties as they fought to defend Moscow, Stalingrad and Leningrad from a ferocious German assault. Nearly four million German troops and thousands of tanks were deep within Russia and Stalin was insistent that the British and Americans launch a cross channel invasion to draw off some of the Nazi war machine that was devouring Russia. The British and American military leaders had been at odds for more than a year about when they should invade France.
Some of the Americans wanted to focus on the war in the Pacific against the Japanese. The German submarine attacks had made it very difficult to supply Britain and the Soviet Union with all of the supplies they needed. Now that the war in Africa was moving toward a conclusion, it was essential that the Allies develop a clear plan for victory. The meetings went on for ten days, and tempers flared on more than one occasion.
Adding to the complexity was the role of the French, who had initially fought the Americans when they came ashore in Morocco.