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Vichy France breaks with the United States
United States could now openly oppose Vichy, since, simultaneous with the invasion, Pétain's government broke diplomatic relations with Washington, the Germans extended their occupation to all of continental France, and French naval forces at Toulon, near Marseilles, scuttled the fleet immobilized there so it would not fall into the hands of the Nazis. How to deal with Darlan remained the problem. Shortly after the landings in North Africa, President Roosevelt announced his support of the action by the American Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower in making arrangements with the Vichy Admiral.
PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT'S STATEMENT ON POLITICAL ARRANGEMENTS WITH ADMIRAL DARLAN, WASHINGTON, NOVEMBER 17, 1942: I have accepted General Eisenhower's political arrangements made for the time being in Northern and Western Africa. I thoroughly understand and approve the feeling in the United States and Great Britain and among all the other United Nations that ... no permanent arrangement should be made with Admiral Darlan. . . . We are opposed to Frenchmen who support Hitler and the Axis. . . . The present temporary arrangement in North and West Africa is only a temporary expedient, justified solely by the stress of battle. [it] has accomplished two military objectives. The first was to save American and British lives on the one hand, and French lives on the other hand. The second was the vital factor of time. . . . Every day of delay. . . would have enabled the Germans and Italians to build up a strong resistance [in Tunisia and Tripoli], to dig in and make a huge operation on our part essential before we could win. . . . Admiral Darlan's proclamation assisted in making a "mopping up" period unnecessary.... Reports indicate that the French of North Africa are subordinating all political questions to the formation of a common front against the common enemy.
Despite this defense of General Eisenhower's action, public opinion in the United States, as well as in other allied countries, viewed the ar
rangement with alarm. Many saw in Dealings with the events of November 1942 an Admiral Darlan attempt to groom Admiral Darlan for the post of leader of a liberated France. Such a choice was undeniably distasteful to those who supported General de Gaulle or to those who hoped that postwar France would be allowed to make its own decisions in these matters. There is no evidence that any such plan was
seriously entertained by high American authorities and President Roosevelt specifically disclaimed any intent to influence French domestic politics. Whatever Darlan's prospects might have been, they were ended on December 24, 1942 when he was assassinated by an anti-Vichy Frenchman at Algiers.
General Giraud succeeds Darlan
General Henri Giraud, who had originally been selected by the allies to secure the surrender of the North African garrisons at the time of the November invasions, was picked to succeed Darlan. This choice angered the de Gaullists, and, as a matter of fact, Giraud proved a doubtful asset to the allies. There is no way to be certain, even at this date, that any course taken by the allies in North Africa after the invasion would have been more fruitful than the one which was pursued. Those responsible for the formulation and execution of American foreign policy learned from these North African experiences that clear-cut choices between right and wrong, wise or unwise, popular and unpopular, black and white are seldom presented in the complicated circumstances of international politics. Allied support of Darlan, and later Giraud, alienated, for a time at least, many elements within the United Nations coalition. But military advantages accrued immediately from the North African adventure. The landings marked the first heartening turn in the fortunes of the United Nations and led directly to the victorious campaigns of 1943 when the Axis forces were finally routed from North Africa and thrown back on their defenses in Europe. Moreover, the invasion while it did not satisfy the Russians on the score of a second front in Europe, did force the Germans to divert some troops from the Russian campaign. Together with other factors, it contributed to the success of the Russian winter offensive of 19421943 which started the Soviet armies on their way to expel the Nazis from Russian and East European territories.
Success in North Africa heartens the allies
4. The Casablanca Conference and the "Unconditional Surrender” Policy
The military success of the North African invasion meant that future steps required discussion.
President Roosevelt journeyed to Casablanca in
Roosevelt and Churchill meet at Casablanca
January 1943 to meet with Mr. Churchill and the allied military commanders. This was the first time an American president had ever left the United States in wartime. The trip was a vivid illustration of the style of "personal diplomacy" so actively followed during the war by such figures as Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Josef Stalin, Chiang Kai-shek, and numerous other national leaders and their associates. In the day of swift communications and rapid transport a president or a prime minister can transact business in his office one day and meet his opposite number half across the world the next day for consideration of mutual problems. These face-toface meetings of leading statesmen are a commonplace today and it is difficult to realize that international diplomacy was once conducted in a comparatively leisurely fashion by ambassadors and ministers dependent upon slow communications from their home governments.
At Casablanca from January 14th to 24th American and British officials conferred daily. The Chiefs of Staffs and numerous political and military leaders of the two countries reported their deliberations to Roosevelt and Churchill. On January 26th a communiqué from Casablanca was made public.
COMMUNIQUE ON THE CASABLANCA CONFERENCE, CASABLANCA, JANUARY 26, 1943: The President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Great Britain have been in conference near Casablanca since January 14. . . The entire field of the war was surveyed theater by theater throughout the world, and all resources were marshaled for a more intense prosecution of the war by sea, land, and air. . . . Complete agreement was reached. upon war plans and enterprises to be undertaken during the campaigns of 1943 . . . with a view to drawing the utmost advantage from the markedly favorable turn of events at the close of 1942. ... 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 the Prime Minister. . . . have apprised [Chiang Kai-shek] of the measures which they are
undertaking to assist him in China's magnificent and unrelaxing struggle for the common cause. . . . The President and the 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 British and American leaders chose the occasion of the Casablanca conference to bring
Attempts to unite de Gaulle and Giraud
together Generals de Gaulle and Giraud in the hope that the rival French factions would compose their differences. In spite of an outward show of unity, relations between de Gaulle and Giraud remained extremely cool. No ready solution of the problem presented itself and the strained situation prevailed into the summer of 1943 when Giraud was gradually subordinated to General de Gaulle.
Perhaps the most important outcome of the Casablanca conference was the agreement reached between Roosevelt and Churchill that the allies should insist upon "unconditional The surrender" of the enemy as the only "Unconditional admissible terms of final victory. Surrender" This policy, the two men believed, policy would insure the solidarity of the United Nations cause-all signatories would stick together to the end and no enemy nation would be left in doubt as to the determination of the allies to press for complete victory without ambiguous or misleading concessions along the way.
There has been considerable criticism in recent years of this decision. In the afterview of many writers, commentators, and political authorities, the "unconditional surrender" polThe limitations icy was a fundamental error responof sible for much of the postwar "Unconditional troubles of the world. That may or Surrender" may not be true-there are evidences that a more moderate policy might have lessened the will to fight among and within the Axis powers. If unconditional surrender was the only way to peace, many argued, the Germans, Italians, and Japanese would fight on desperately, knowing that their struggle could end only in victory or death. If conditional terms could be secured, the argument ran, surrender might be arranged, either separately or collectively, before total devastation or annihilation over
whelmed the defeated. There is probably justice in the belief that the "unconditional surrender" policy did stiffen resistance by the Germans. Whether it had a like effect upon the Italians and Japanese is more doubtful. In any event it is not beside the point to note that each of the Axis powers did, in turn, surrender unconditionally to the allied victors.
While it may be demonstrated that the Roosevelt-Churchill policy prolonged the fighting, espe
cially with the Nazis, its significance Did must be examined in the framework "Unconditional of the times. When the slogan was Surrender" proclaimed in 1943 it was immeprolong diately received by the allied peoples the war? as a powerful weapon in the arsenal of the anti-Axis nations. After the first successes of the allied forces, the bold announcement that the war would be fought to a decision and not be dropped or compromised once the allies had pushed the Axis powers back provided a potent emotional and psychological lift for the United Nations. The allies needed encouragement. Victories in North Africa, at Stalingrad, on New Guinea, and at Guadalcanal were helpful. And the knowledge that all the United Nations were in the fight to the finish was popularly expressed in the electrifying battle-cry "Unconditional Surrender."
Now that the wisdom of this policy has been debated it becomes clear that wartime proclamations often have a way of plaguing the peacemakers. However, in 1943, American policy for the postwar years had not yet been given official utterance in other than general terms. Fighting the war came first. The Casablanca meeting set the pattern for the series of interallied conferences held during the war and all of these meetings contributed to the development of postwar policies. The accomplishments at Casablanca may have complicated the achievement of early victory over Germany. But they did provide real experience in the joint conduct of military efforts.
5. Later Interallied Conferences of 1943
The next meeting of President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill took place in Washington, May 11-27, 1943. This conference coincided with the final Axis defeats in North Africa and
plans were laid for the execution of the proposed invasion of Sicily. At Quebec, August 17-24, the two statesmen conferred again and Dr. T. V. Soong, representing Chiang Kai-shek, joined in the discussions. The American and British leaders issued a joint statement at the conclusion of the Canadian sessions.
The Washington and Quebec conferences of 1943
STATEMENT ON THE QUEBEC CONFERENCE, QUEBEC, AUGUST 24, 1943: ... The whole field of world operations has been surveyed ... and the necessary decisions have been taken to provide for the forward action of the fleets, armies, and air forces of the two nations. . . . the military discussions of the chiefs of staff turned very largely upon the war against Japan and the bringing of effective aid to China.... Agreements were also reached upon the political issues underlying or arising out of the military operations. It was resolved to hold another conference before the end of the year between the British and American authorities, in addition to any tripartite meeting which it may be possible to arrange with Soviet Russia. . . . consideration has been given . . . to the question of relations with the French Committee of Liberation, and ... an announcement by a number of governments will be made in the latter part of the week. This last sentence indicated that the time was approaching when recognition would be accorded to General de Gaulle's position as leader of the French forces opposed to the Axis. Late in August 1943 limited support for de Gaulle as head of the Committee of National Liberation was arranged. This Committee, with headquarters in Algiers, had been established in June with de Gaulle and Giraud as joint leaders, but Giraud had been pushed into the background by de Gaulle during the summer of 1943.
The day after the joint statement was issued from Quebec, President Roosevelt spoke to the members of the Canadian Parliament at Ottawa.
PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT'S ADDRESS ΤΟ THE CANADIAN PARLIAMENT, OTTAWA, AUGUST 25, 1943: ... Every one of the United Nations believes that only a real and lasting peace can justify the sacrifices we are making, and our unanimity gives us confidence in seeking that goal. It is no secret that at Quebec there was much talk of the postwar world. . . . Absolute victory in this war will give greater opportunities to the world because the winning of the war itself is proving that concerted action can accomplish things. . . . Surely by unanimous action in driving out the outlaws and
keeping them under heel forever we can attain a freedom from fear of violence. These two statements of policy made in Canada came at a time when allied fortunes in the Mediterranean were very hopeful. The invasion of
Sicily on July 10 was successfully The surrender concluded with the collapse of all of Italy Axis resistance in the island by August 18. On July 25th the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini had been forced to resign and the Italian king appointed Marshal Pietro Badoglio in his place. Badoglio dissolved the Italian Fascist Party on July 28th and requested an armistice from the allies. These actions effectively ended Italian participation in the war on the Axis side, although the discredited Mussolini was later rescued from his Italian captors by German troops and attempted to carry on the fight in cooperation with German occupation forces.
The success of allied armies in Sicily and the unconditional surrender of the Italians under Badoglio opened the way for the Anglo-American
ion was set up in the hope of resolving some of the difficulties. Secretary Hull and Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden journeyed to Moscow in October 1943 to talk with Foreign Commissar Vyacheslav Molotov. Since these men were, in effect, a "second team" of the Big Three, their discussions did not have the drama which surrounded the later Roosevelt-Stalin-Churchill sessions. Nevertheless, the Moscow conference of foreign ministers was one of the most important of the wartime period. These three men were joined by Foo Ping-sheung, Chinese Ambassador in Moscow, in a four-power declaration at the close of the meetings. A series of communiqués came out of the meetings of which the following were the most significant.
Documents from the Moscow conference 1943
ANGLO SOVIET AMERICAN COMMUNIQUÉ, MOSCOW, NOVEMBER 1, 1943: . . . In the first place there were frank and exhaustive discussions of measures to be taken to shorten the war against Germany and her satellites in Europe. . . . Second only to the importance of hastening the end of the war was the unanimous recognition by the three Governments that it was essential in their own national interests and in the interest of all peaceloving nations to continue the close collaboration and cooperation in the conduct of the war into the period following the end of hostilities. . . . The Conference agreed to set up machinery for ensuring the closest cooperation between the three Governments in the examination of European questions arising as the war develops. For this purpose the Conference decided to establish in London a European Advisory Commission to study these questions and to make joint recommendations to the three Governments. . . . The Conference also agreed to establish an Advisory Council for matters relating to Italy. . . . [and to add] to this council representatives of Greece and Yugoslavia. . . The three Foreign Secretaries declared it to be the purpose of their governments to restore the independence of Austria. . . . consideration was also given to other important questions. These included . . . questions concerning the treatment of Hitlerite Germany and its satellites, economic cooperation and the assurance of general peace.
FOUR-POWER DECLARATION ON GENERSECURITY, MOSCOW, NOVEMBER 1, 1943: The Governments of the United States . . the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and China: united in their determination . . . to continue hostilities against . . . [the] Axis powers. . . until such powers have laid down their arms on the basis of unconditional surrender; . . . jointly declare: 1. That their united action
will be continued for the
organization and maintenance of peace and security. 2. That those of them at war with a common enemy will act together in all matters relating to the surrender and disarmament of that enemy. 4. That they recognize the necessity of establishing at the earliest practicable date a general international organization, based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all peace-loving states, and open to membership by all such states . . . for the maintenance of international peace and security. . . . 6. That after the termination of hostilities they will not employ their military forces within the territories of other states except for the purposes envisaged in this declaration and after joint consultation. 7. That they will confer and co-operate. . . to bring about a practicable general agreement with respect to the regulation of armaments in the postwar period.
The declaration on Austria called for the liberation of that nation and stated that the Big Three regarded Austria's annexation by Germany on March 15, 1938 as null and void. As for Italy, the three powers emphasized their agreement that Fascism must be destroyed and that the Italian people should be given every opportunity to establish a government based upon democratic principles. And finally, in the names of President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, and Marshal Stalin, the conference issued a declaration on German atrocities.
DECLARATION ON GERMAN ATROCITIES, MOSCOW, NOVEMBER 1, 1943: ... the ... three allied Powers, speaking in the interests of the
Declaration on German atrocities, Moscow, 1943
United Nations . . . solemnly declare... at the time of the granting of any armistice . . . those German officers and men and members of the Nazi party who have been responsible for, or have taken a consenting part in atrocities, massacres and executions, will be sent back to the countries in which their abominable deeds were done in order that they may be judged and punished according to the laws of these liberated countries and of the free governments which will be created therein. . . . the three allied Powers will pursue... [the guilty] to the uttermost ends of the earth and will deliver them to their accusers in order that justice may be done. The above declaration is without prejudice to the case of the major criminals . . . who will be punished by the joint decision of the Governments of the allies.
Credit for much of the success of the Moscow conference has been given to Secretary Hull. In general, the meeting helped to unite the Big Three. And, quite significantly, it demonstrated to the Russians that the Anglo-American alliance was
Russia a full partner in the diplomacy of wartime
capable of dealing diplomatically with the Soviet in Russia's own capital city. From late 1943 onward Russia was an equal partner in the interallied conferences when matters relating to affairs outside the Far East were concerned. And later Russia also participated in conferences on Far Eastern problems.
Following the Moscow conference, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Chiang Kai-shek met at the Mena House, resort hotel at the Pyramids, just outside Cairo. This conference, November 22-26, 1943 dealt with Far Eastern matters. Madame Chiang Kai-shek was present for a number of the discussions and served as interpreter for her husband. A Russian representative was included in some of the meetings not involving Japanese questions.
STATEMENT ON THE CAIRO CONFERENCE, CAIRO, DECEMBER 1, 1943: ... The Three Great Allies are fighting this war to restrain and punish the aggression of Japan. . . It is their purpose that Japan shall be stripped of all the islands in the Pacific which she has seized or occupied since
The Cairo Conference of
1914, and that all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese . . . shall be restored to the Republic of China. Japan will also be expelled from all other territories which she has taken by violence and greed. The . . . .. powers
are determined that in due course Korea shall become free and independent. With these objects in view the three Allies . . . will continue to persevere in the... operations necessary to procure the unconditional surrender of Japan.