Unconditional Surrender: The Impact of the Casablanca Policy upon World War II

Unconditional Surrender: The Impact of the Casablanca Policy upon World War II

Unconditional Surrender: The Impact of the Casablanca Policy upon World War II

Unconditional Surrender: The Impact of the Casablanca Policy upon World War II

Excerpt

At about noon on January 24, 1943, at the conclusion of the Casablanca Conference President Franklin Roosevelt spoke for about fifteen minutes before a press conference attended by correspondents and photographers. After summarizing the decisions of the conference he added that he and Prime Minister Churchill "were determined to accept nothing less than the unconditional surrender of Germany, Japan, and Italy."

The announcement was casual and informal, but the formula of Unconditional Surrender was the reflection of considered policy. It represented not only the American war aim in the Second World War but also a basic American attitude toward the enemy, toward international politics, and toward war. The policy of Unconditional Surrender, casually announced at Casablanca, was to dominate Anglo-American relations with Germany, Italy, and Japan throughout the war and was destined to have a profound, if not precisely measurable, effect on the postwar world.

Critics of the Casablanca Formula have contended that the unrelenting Allied demand for Unconditional Surrender prolonged the war, undermined the efficacy of the anti-Nazi forces within Germany, and perhaps led to the failure of the tragic July 20, 1944, attempt against the life of Hitler. The critics say that the total destruction of German military power created a . . .

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