Master's Theses

Date of Award

Summer 1965

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

History

Advisor

Eugene R. Craine

Abstract

The political and military significance of unconditional surrender in Europe, 1943-45, has been presented in this study. In consideration of the past history of the policy (unconditional surrender), an examination of both the utilization and meaning of the demand in ancient history, as well as modern, has occupied the author’s attention. From this basis, a survey of the World War II military situation prior to the Casablanca Conference of January 14-24, 1943, which formally announced the policy as the wartime goal of the western Allies (the United States and Great Britain), has been made. This approach allows the difference between the earlier applications of unconditional surrender and its 1943 usage to be brought to light. Approximately the first half of the study deals with the attitudes of the Allies toward their European enemy; the last portion denotes the impact that the surrender demand had upon Germany, Italy, and the lesser Axis powers. Emphasis, however, has been placed on the German position throughout. Besides tracing the German military and political setting, relative to the surrender demand, the post-war opinions of some of their prominent leaders on unconditional surrender in Europe, 1943-45, has been recorded. The sentiments of Russia, as disclosed in her propaganda and also by her leaders at the conference table, were in contrast to the western Allies. The Russians, in particular, preferred a modification of the unconditional surrender policy throughout the war. Since the United States would not noticeably revise or abandon the plan, this somewhat affected the solidarity of the Alliance; therefore, the eastern Ally pursued objectives different from the United States and Great Britain. The final principal task that this work carries out is to compare the implementation of unconditional surrender in Europe, 1943-45, among the major European Axis powers. With the completion of this, a cursory look at the opinions of prominent World War II memoirists precedes the conclusion of the study.

Rights

Copyright 1965 Mikel V. Ary

Comments

Notice: This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code).

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