Background:

  • Since postwar Germany was divided into three sectors the allied part was controlled by the Unites States, great Britian and France. the city of Berlin was divided into 4 sectors; West Berlin was occupied by allied interests And East Berlin was occupied by the covets.
  • In June of 1948 the Soviet Union attempted to control all of Berlin by stopping service population and their business was their way of gaining control
  • For this the Truman Administration reacted with a continual daily airlift, this brought supplies and food to people in the city of West Berlin.
  • When the Airlift first started only 2 airfields were located in Berlin; Tempelhof with one runway in the United States sector and then there was Gato with a single runway in the British sector.
  • In 1945, the Tempelhof's only runway was sodded and had been used only for small aircraft and fighter jets during the later stages of WWII.
  • The opposing economic structures of capitalism and communism emerged triumphant at end of the war.
  • At they Yalta and Potsdam conferences Europe and Far East were sectioned off as spheres of influence to the ally countries.
  • Germany became divided, and was under the supervision of the Foreign ministers (Allied Control Council or ACC) and the Kommadatura was to become the area for the first battleground for the emerging start of Cold War between the United States and the Soviets.

sectors_of_berlin..jpg
This image further explains/shows how the countries were divided into sectors.

THE PRESIDENT.
The president at this time was Harry Truman, and the year of 1948 became a tough turning point for his career. He was being faced with the possibility of not being re-elected and he had the lowest amount of supporters as of yet. Up until now harry Truman has had a hard time keeping them from taking over Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. The word that Republicans were calling him during that time was "soft" on communism, the senator Joseph McCarthy was on his A - Game for his communist witch hunts in Washington.

The GERMAN situation
During this time the mood in the Western Zones was extremely rough. According to General Clay he explained it as"more tense than at any time since surrender." The Germans started not getting enough food, the rations got cut to nine hundred a day and that was way to little for the size of most of the people actually consuming the food. There was complete labor unrest in the country of Germany at this time. Also during this period communist groups were gaining the people's attention because they offered hope and a chance of surviving.

What Else?

In early September in 1947, Great Britain and the United States put all their zones together and made one military province called "Bizonia." This occurred because they thought that it could bring security back to the German people that they could feel it was safe again where they lived. Later on in March of 1948, there was a meeting of the ACC, but sadly no agreements could be reached on the change for the unified currency or quadpartite control of Germany. Finally Trizonia, in every effort to make the currency normal again they created their own currency on June 18, 1948.

The SOVIETS.
The Soviet that were trying to push the west out of Berlin required that all western convoys heading towards Soviet Germany be searched. Now since the Trizone had their own government they refused to let the soviets search any of their belongings, they had every right to object to that idea. Since the Trizone government did that the soviets on June 28th, just simply blocked all passageways out and didn't allow for the Germans to go anywhere without being searched first. John Winnant the American ambassador said " that the right to be in Berlin carried with it the right to access." Of course the Soviets did not agree with that statement so suddenly all the shipments and the autobahn came to a stop, nothing was coming or going out of the Soviet Union. Now this is when they looked to the West to help them out with transportation of food and other cargo. They had to get this all approved by someone in higher power and it happened to be by U.S General Lucius Clay on June 27th. President Truman against many peoples beliefs wishes and he supported the air campaign. All of the trips to and from the Soviet Union, and all of the cargo had been delivered in over 270,000 flights. The blockade of Berlin was finally lifted by the Soviets on May 12, 1949.

airlift.jpg


" Russia opened up the roads a year later and the last supply landed on September 30th, 1949."

Vocabulary:

Bizonia- area of land in Germany where the British and American occupation zones merged in early 1947.
Consternation-amazed terror that confounds the faculties and incapacitates for reflection
Council of Foreign Ministers- consisting of the United States, Soviet Union, Great Britian and Nationalist China, this was created after World War II to establish peace treaties for the war in Europe and settle disputes between the victors.
Kammergericht- Surpreme court in Prussia
Kommandatura-the inter allied governing authority in Berlin at the end of World War I

berlinnnn.jpg
In this photo all the people watch as the plane is landing to bring in food, supplies and cargo.


How Did This Work?
  • Over 23 million tons of supplies were flown into Berlin over a period of ten months.
  • The United States Air force decided to do this rather than fight a ground war.
  • "Airplanes took off every three minutes around the clock."
  • Now once the plane came to Berlin it was allowed to have one landing try, one wrong turn or misinterpretation of where they were, would lead to the plane having to bring all the supplies and cargo back to the starting base.


PROCESS ONCE THE PLANE LANDS.
  1. The plane lands in Berlin.
  2. A snack bar is located on a wagon, and the pilots on the plane get to have something to eat as they wait.
  3. A weatherman arrives to the plane and lets them know the upcoming forecast for the plane ride back to base.
  4. Once the Germans finish unloading the cargo, supplies and food, the plane can finally take off














This video is explaining the Blockade that was put up and eventually taken down on may 12, 1949.







berlin_airlifttt.jpgThis photo shows the way the countries were divided into sectors during the Cold War.


Works Cited:

"The Berlin Airlift." Harry S.Truman. Harry S Truman Library and Museum, 12/12/2009. Web. 2 May 2011. http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/berlin_airlift/large/



"The berlin Airlift." Spirit of freedom. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 May 2011. <http://www.spiritoffreedom.org/airlift.html>. "Student Activity." Berlin Airlift. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 May 2011. <http://www.trumanlibrary.org/teacher/berlin.htm>. "Berlin Airlift." Info Please. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 May 2011. <http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/history/A0807200.html>.
"U.S Continental Flight of Commision." The Berlin Airlift. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 May 2011. <http://www.centennialofflight.gov/essay/Air_Power/berlin_airlift/AP35.htm>.