One of the most important interallied Conference during World War II was that of Casablanca, in Marocco, which lasted 10 days from the 14th of January 1943. During this meeting, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the French President Charles De Gaulle planned the Allies’ European strategy at war. The soviet leader Stalin was also invited but he refused to take part in because it was the period of the final phase of Stalingrado battle and he couldn’t go far away from the war theatre, due to the sensitivity of the ongoing operations.
During the Conference, strong conflicts emerged, in particular with regards to the way and the time through which moving forward the opening of a second front in Europe. Stalin immediately wanted the opening of another front in order to relieve the dutch pressure on the Soviet Union – the other reason why he didn’t participate in the meeting. On the other hand, he wanted to close the match in Africa, in order to think about a landing in South Europe. In the end, the British point of view prevailed so, after the closing of the African front, they decided the landing in Italy because of two factors: the proximity of Sicilian coasts to Tunisia and the crisis characterising Italian armed forces and the fascist regime itself. The Italy’s Campaign will then be realised with the allied conquest of Pantelleria, which will start on June, 1943. Indeed, the anglo-americans agreed on the principle of “inconditional surrender” to impose on the enemies. This was aimed at reassuring Stalin on the seriousness of the committments made. Therefore, US and Great Britain promised that they would not look for a separate peace with Italy.
Marta Annalisa Savino