British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was joined by the American President Franklin D Roosevelt and representatives from Morocco and the Free French Forces. At this point, still some two years before the eventual end of the war, the conversation focused almost exclusively on one topic: the Axis’ eventual surrender. 

By the end of the 11-day conference, it was agreed that this surrender had to be total and unconditional from the Germans, Japanese and Italians. The phrase “unconditional surrender” became a trademark statement of the Allies, even though it is thought that Churchill was initially hesitant to use it. 

Reporting from the time suggests that it wasn’t until Roosevelt spoke to the public by radio in February of that year that Churchill knew the term was going to be widely revealed. For Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, who claimed to be too caught up in the Battle of Stalingrad to attend the conference, this unconditional surrender strategy stymied any plans he might have had to negotiate a separate surrender with the Germans. 

Also up for discussion at the Casablanca Conference was the war in the Pacific arena, with a suggestion from Roosevelt that the British could be doing more to combat the Japanese. Churchill eventually promised more resources to tackle the fight in the Pacific, while the US agreed to a British plan to invade mainland Europe via Italy instead of the English Channel.