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Berlin Airlift 1948 -1949 Berlin Airlift 1948 -1949

Background There were many questions facing the Allies following World War II One of Background There were many questions facing the Allies following World War II One of the biggest involved what should be done with Germany – Having suffered from German Aggression twice in the first half of the 20 th Century, France and the USSR wanted a weakened Germany

The Solution Create occupation zones based on the way in which the armies had The Solution Create occupation zones based on the way in which the armies had entered the country The Soviets received the agricultural areas in the east, the British received the industrial areas to the north, and the Americans received the scenic areas to the south. The French zone was later carved out of part of the American zone.

Occupation Zones in Germany Occupation Zones in Germany

Berlin The city of Berlin was to remain the capital, and although it was Berlin The city of Berlin was to remain the capital, and although it was situated deep within the Soviet zone, it became a divided city, with the western half occupied by the British, the United States, and the French

Although the western allies had territory in Berlin, there was never an agreement with Although the western allies had territory in Berlin, there was never an agreement with the Soviets to allow surface access into the city. In the interest of safety, however, an agreement was reached establishing air corridors to and from the city.

The Allies wanted five corridors, but the Soviet Union only agreed to three Two The Allies wanted five corridors, but the Soviet Union only agreed to three Two were in the British Zone, one in the American Each corridor was 20 miles wide

Two airbases existed in West Berlin Tempelhof in the American Sector Gatow in the Two airbases existed in West Berlin Tempelhof in the American Sector Gatow in the British Sector

What Caused the Blockade? Europe was not recovering from the war as quickly as What Caused the Blockade? Europe was not recovering from the war as quickly as hoped The United States came up with the idea of combining the three western zones into “Trizonia” to help Germany recover The Soviet Union, opposed Germany unity and imposed a short, possible test, blockade in April 1948, preventing supplies from reaching Berlin

The Western zones decided to replace the nearly worthless German currency with new money, The Western zones decided to replace the nearly worthless German currency with new money, a move the Soviets ferociously opposed In response, the Soviets imposed a total ground blockade in July 1948. The purpose was not to drive the western allies out of Germany, but rather to force their hand. Click below to hear Truman’s explanation of the blockade.

What is a President to Do? Truman’s advisors offered many solutions: Lucius Clay, Military What is a President to Do? Truman’s advisors offered many solutions: Lucius Clay, Military Governor of Germany wanted to force a convoy into Berlin, risking World War III, but the British said no The British suggested that the Allies use an airlift to supply Berlin to buy time for negotiations with the Soviets.

What began as a temporary measure, grew into one of the greatest logistical feats What began as a temporary measure, grew into one of the greatest logistical feats ever attempted. Though the two airports in Berlin had only one runway each, the allies began airlifting supplies into Berlin

The Solution Using the northern and southern corridors to enter Berlin and the center The Solution Using the northern and southern corridors to enter Berlin and the center corridor to exit, the Allies began sending planes into the ravaged city Before long the planes were landing every three minutes, each one bringing ten tons of needed supplies

Conditions in Berlin People were living on as little as 1000 to 1500 calories Conditions in Berlin People were living on as little as 1000 to 1500 calories per day even before the blockade The Allies determined they needed to supply at least 1700 calories a day to the 2. 3 million people residing in West Berlin

This video, made by Gail Halvorsen (the Candy Bomber) illustrates the conditions he observed This video, made by Gail Halvorsen (the Candy Bomber) illustrates the conditions he observed as a pilot flying goods into Berlin.

The End of the Blockade In spite of the obstacles involved, the Berlin Airlift The End of the Blockade In spite of the obstacles involved, the Berlin Airlift was maintained and the Soviets eventually gave up and removed the blockade Click here to hear President Truman announce the end of the blockade on May 12, 1949

Between the 25 th of June 1948 and the 1 st of August 1949, Between the 25 th of June 1948 and the 1 st of August 1949, two million two hundred thousand occupants of West Berlin were supplied 2, 223, 000 short tons of supplies in 266. 600 flights. Mileposts 18 th February 1949 2 nd July 1949 5 th August 1949 First million short tons delivered. Second million short tons delivered. Two and a quarter million tons delivered to Berlin.

Total Tonnage by US Commodity: British Coal 1, 421, 730 164, 800 Food 296, Total Tonnage by US Commodity: British Coal 1, 421, 730 164, 800 Food 296, 303 241, 713 Military Supplies --- 18, 239 Miscellaneous 65, 540 25, 202 Wet Fuel --- 92, 282 Total 1, 783, 573 542, 236 Total Combined Tonnage 2, 325, 809 short tons

While the Statistics are impressive The main things the airlift provided the people of While the Statistics are impressive The main things the airlift provided the people of Berlin were: HOPE and FREEDOM