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 (1946-1999) Other 20th Century Battles    
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anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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The Berlin Airlift--1948-49
Posted on: 7/29/2016 4:21:57 AM
The year 1947 saw major shifts in occupation policy in Germany. On January 1, the United States and United Kingdom unified their respective zones and formed Bizonia, which caused tensions between East and West to escalate. In March, the breakdown of the Moscow Conference of Foreign Ministers and the enunciation of the Truman Doctrine served to harden the lines of an increasingly bipolar international order.

In June, Secretary of State George Marshall announced the European Recovery Program. The purpose of the Marshall Plan—as the program came to be called—was not only to support economic recovery in Western Europe, but also to create a bulwark against Communism by drawing participating states into the United States’ economic orbit.

In early 1948, the United States, United Kingdom, and France secretly began to plan the creation of a new German state made up of the Western Allies’ occupation zones. In March, when the Soviets discovered these designs, they withdrew from the Allied Control Council, which had met regularly since the end of the war in order to coordinate occupation policy between zones.[

In June, without informing the Soviets, U.S. and British policymakers introduced the new Deutschmark to Bizonia and West Berlin. The purpose of the currency reform was to wrest economic control of the city from the Soviets, enable the introduction of Marshall Plan aid, and curb the city’s black market. Soviet authorities responded with similar moves in their zone. Besides issuing their own currency, the Ostmark, the Soviets blocked all major road, rail, and canal links to West Berlin, thus starving it of
electricity, as well as a steady supply of essential food and coal.



[Read More]


Regards

Jim



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Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
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Posts: 2148

Re: The Berlin Airlift--1948-49
Posted on: 7/29/2016 7:53:35 AM
Jim,

Are you saying a change in the economic policies of West Berlin caused the Russians to block off East Berlin??
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 5142
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: The Berlin Airlift--1948-49
Posted on: 7/29/2016 8:02:37 AM
Yes Dave-that is exactly what I am saying-a "game" of tit for tat.The Cold War's early start.

Regards

Jim
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Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 5142
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: The Berlin Airlift--1948-49
Posted on: 7/29/2016 9:25:26 AM
Allies were aware of air corridors from West Germany used to supply Berlin by air. The administration calculated that if the Soviets opposed the airlift with force, it would be an act of aggression against an unarmed humanitarian mission and the violation of an explicit agreement. Thus, the onus of igniting a conflict between the former allies would be on the aggressor.

The United States launched “Operation Vittles” on June 26, with the United Kingdom following suit two days later with “Operation Plainfare.” Despite the desire for a peaceful resolution to the standoff, the United States also sent to the United Kingdom B-29 bombers, which were capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

The beginning of the airlift proved difficult and Western diplomats asked the Soviets to seek a diplomatic solution to the impasse. The Soviets offered to drop the blockade if the Western Allies withdrew the Deutschmark from West Berlin.

Even though the Allies rebuffed the Soviet offer, West Berlin’s position remained precarious, and the standoff had political consequences on the ground. In September 1948, the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), the German Communist Party of the Soviet zone of occupation, marched on the Berlin City Council and forced it to adjourn.

Fearing that the Western Allies might halt the airlift and cede West Berlin to the Soviets, 300,000 West Berliners gathered at the Reichstag to show their opposition to Soviet domination. The turnout convinced the West to keep the airlift and the Deutschmark.

Source-as previous post

Regards

Jim
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Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 5142
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: The Berlin Airlift--1948-49
Posted on: 7/29/2016 11:49:53 AM
Berlin Airlift - Facts & Figures
Normal daily food requirements for Berlin was 2000 tons (2032 tonnes)
Coal represented two -thirds of all tonnage; giving each family 11.3 - 11.6 kg (25-30lb) per month
The airlift required 850,00 multi-layer paper sacks per month
394,509 tons (400,821 tonnes) of foodstuffs, coal and supplies carried by 689 military and civil aircraft - 441 US, 147 RAF and 101 British civil.
The pilots and aircrew also came from Australia, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand
83,405 tons (84373 tonnes) of cargo and 68,000 people were flown OUT of Berlin
39 British, 31 American and 13 German civilians lost their lives in the Berlin Airlift. They are remembered on the Berlin Airlift monument at Tempelhof
200,230,415 km (124,420,813 miles) were flown during the airlift. A total of 277,804 flights
The Russian blockade lasted from 24 June 1948 to 11 May 1949, but the airlift continued for several more months
The airlift cost the United States $350 million; the UK £17 million and Western Germany 150 million Deutschmarks
Berliners received an average of 2,300 calories a day which was higher than the UK food rationing system provided at the time
At the height of the operation, on April 16 1949, an allied aircraft landed in Berlin every minute
The major Berlin airfields involved were Tempelhof in the American sector, Gatow on the Havel river in the British sector and Tegel which was built by army engineers and Berlin volunteers in 49 days inside the French sector
Each aircraft was unloaded by German crews in 20-30 minutes
British aircraft involved included C47 Dakotas and Avro Yorks

Regards

Jim
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Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

BWilson

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Posts: 2639

Re: The Berlin Airlift--1948-49
Posted on: 7/29/2016 12:07:00 PM
 The Airlift as viewed by Phil Williams. In the 1970s, Williams was the lecturer in International Relations in the Department of Politics and an Associate of the Centre for Defence Studies at the University of Aberdeen.


Quote:
In the confrontation over Berlin in 1948 each superpower not only took great care to avoid initiating violence on its own behalf, but also spurned alternatives likely to provoke a violent response from the opponent. Thus the Soviet blockade of West Berlin was imposed very gradually and justified on the grounds of 'technical difficulties' with the access routes. Similarly, the United States rejected the option of an armed road convoy to break the blockade. It was felt that this would be a direct challenge to Moscow and one that might result in both Soviet and American soldiers being killed — with dangerous unpredictable consequences. The airlift was a preferable option which allowed President Truman to avoid such a challenge yet simultaneously demonstrate the depth of the American commitment to retain West Berlin. Its other advantage was that it placed the onus for opening hostilities firmly back on the Soviet Union. And 'to disrupt the airlift, which soon acquired its own momentum, Stalin would have had to resort to shooting down planes in the air corridors, that is, to military measures paralleling those Washington had rejected'. It is perhaps not surprising, therefore, that the airlift was not subjected to sustained interference or serious disruption. In a curious sense, caution was contagious. It was also cumulative in its effect. A non-violent Soviet move met by a non-violent American reaction set the pattern for the crisis — and for Stalin then to have changed the rules would have meant a serious intensification of the conflict.


 Quoted material from pages 21-22 of World War 3, editor: Shelford Bidwell, published by Hamlyn Paperbacks, 1978.

Cheers

BW
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Mammalian orders ARE orders, and they ARE meant to be nursed.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 5142
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: The Berlin Airlift--1948-49
Posted on: 7/29/2016 1:25:26 PM
Many thanks Bill for your interest and input.Yes it was a tenuous affair.At the height of the Airlift, one plane reached West Berlin every thirty seconds.

Pilots came from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa.

A total of 101 fatalities were recorded as a result of the operation, including 40 Britons and 31 Americans, mostly due to non-flying accidents. Seventeen American and eight British aircraft crashed during the operation some of them included casualties.

The cost of the Airlift was shared between the USA, UK, and Germany. Estimated costs range from approximately US$224 million[87] to over US$500 million (equivalent to approximately $2.23 billion to $4.97 billion now).

Regards

Jim
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Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

 (1946-1999) Other 20th Century Battles    
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