HomeNewsLetters to 150The Berlin airlift ended 60 years ago today 13 May

The Berlin airlift ended 60 years ago today 13 May

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The Berlin Airlift.

After the war, Germany was divided into four sections each one administered by one of the victorious allies: Britain, France, America and the Soviet Union.  In a slightly bizarre turn of events they also decided to split the capital city (Berlin) into four parts despite the fact that Berlin lay 90 miles inside the Soviet section of the country.

The Berlin Airlift map.The Allied Powers were never natural allies and a rift soon developed between the SovietUnion (led by Stalin) and the Western powers (led by President Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and President De Gaul) soon began to fall out.  Neither side trusted the other not to start a fresh war while the other was still weak after the recent conflict.   Despite De Gaul’s distrust of the two Anglo-Saxon powers, the three western powers combined their sections of Germany and began to re-build the country along democratic lines; the lessons of the mistakes following the First War having been almost learned this time.  They also combined their sections of Berlin.   Stalin controlled the road links through Soviet Germany to West Berlin.  During 1949, he closed the roads and tried to force West Berlin to sue him for help.   Cut off from all supplies, West Berlin would not have survived long.  In response the western powers began moving everything the City needed in by air.  Over the course of 11 months the Allies moved 4.2 million tons of food, fuel and medical supplies, all by air.  Men and machines worked themselves almost to collapse flying round the clock.

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 29 November 2009 22:09