World War II (1939–1945)
The Strengthening Alliance
The Casablanca Conference
On January 12–23, 1943, U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt and British prime minister Winston Churchill met at Casablanca in French North Africa (present-day Morocco) and decided that they would accept nothing but an unconditional surrender from Germany in order to end the war. They also made a number of important strategic decisions. They discussed troop distribution in the Pacific, outlined major lines of attack in the far east, and agreed upon the invasion of Sicily. Moreover, they decided to delay plans for an Allied invasion of Europe via the English Channel until the summer of 1944, due to ongoing difficulties with the preparations. Finally, in order to reduce pressure on the Soviet Union, they agreed to intensify bombing operations against Germany. Following the conference, the two leaders sent a telegram to Soviet premier Joseph Stalin, informing him of their decisions and reaffirming their commitment to work together with the USSR in defeating Germany.
The Tehran Conference
From November 28 to December 1, 1943, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin all met together for the first time, at a conference in Tehran, Iran. The three leaders discussed detailed plans for the Allied invasion of Europe, which Churchill and Roosevelt had decided to postpone at the Casablanca Conference earlier that year. The invasion would be code-named Operation Overlord. Stalin was frustrated by the delay, but Churchill and Roosevelt insisted that the extra time was needed to sufficiently degrade Germany’s military strength. At the end of the meeting, Stalin committed the USSR to enter the war against Japan once Germany was defeated.