Roosevelt and Churchill attended the Casablanca Conference in Casablanca, French Morocco, to plan the Allied European strategy for the next phase of the war. Also present was General Charles de Gaulle, representing the Free French forces and Henri Giraud. Stalin declined to attend due to the ongoing Battle of Stalingrad. Various strategies were considered: Roosevelt, with advice from General George C. Marshall, the U.S. Army Chief of Staff, lobbied for a cross-channel invasion of Europe. Churchill, in consultation with his Chiefs of Staff, felt the time was not opportune, and favored an Allied assault on the island of Sicily followed by an invasion of mainland Italy. The British argument was based on the need to pull German reserves down into Italy where due to the relatively poor north-south lines of communication they could not be easily extracted to defend against a later invasion of North-West Europe. Additionally, by delaying the cross Channel landing, it would mean that any invasion would be against a German army further weakened by many more months fighting on the Eastern Front against the Red Army.
The Polish Government-in-Exile reiterated its refusal to accept unilateral decisions made about Polish territory, but said it was approaching the British and U.S. governments to intermediate "all outstanding questions, the settlement of which should lead to friendly and permanent co-operation between Poland and the Soviet Union. The Polish Government believes this to be desirable in the interest of the victory of the United Nations and harmonious relations in post-war Europe."
Poland's Worst Peacetime Maritime Disaster: Polish ferry boat capsized on the high seas in 100 mile-an hour winds in the Baltic Sea. 54 people drowned. Only nine people, all Polish survived. The 3,015-ton vessel was upside down in waters about 60 feet deep, but may have been stuck atop a sandbar. The Associated Press reported, adding that the police in Stralsund said the ship had overturned about 20 miles east of the German island of Rugen.