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German Blockade

  • Date Submitted: 12/11/2011 04:38 AM
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Berlin Blockade

Berlin Blockade
The Berlin Blockade (24 June 1948 – 12 May 1949) was one of the first major international crises of the Cold War and the first resulting in losses. During the international job of post-World War II Germany, the Soviet Union blocked the Western Allies' railway and road access to the sectors of Berlin under Allied control. Their aim was to force the western powers to allow the Soviet zone to start supplying Berlin with food and fuel, thereby giving the Soviets practical control over the entire city.
In response, the Western Allies organized the Berlin Airlift to carry supplies to the people in West Berlin. The United Kingdom's Royal Air Force and the recently formed United States Air Force, flew over 200,000 flights in one year that provided 13,000 tons of daily necessities such as fuel and food to the Berliners. By the spring of 1949, the effort was clearly succeeding, and by April, the airlift was delivering more cargo than had previously flowed into the city by rail.
The success of the Berlin Airlift brought humiliation to the Soviets who had refused to believe it could make a difference. The blockade was lifted in May 1949 and resulted in the creation of two separate German states. The Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) and the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) split up Berlin. In remembrance of the airlift, three airports in the former western zones of the city served as the primary gateways to Germany for another fifty years.

The beginning of the Blockade
The day after the June 18 announcement of the new Deutsche Mark, Soviet guards halted all passenger trains and traffic on the autobahn(German expressway) to Berlin, delayed Western and German cargo shipments and required that all water transport secure special Soviet permission.   On June 21, the day the Deutsche Mark was introduced, the Soviets halted a United States military supply train to Berlin and...


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