german cities after ww2
Germany is totally crushed at the end of WW2 with thousands dead and there cities completely destroyed.
Yalta Conference
Allied leaders meet at Yalta and Potsdam conference, to discuss the future of Germany and the rest of Europe .
Germany reconstruction
Germany was left devastated after world war 2 and the allies invested hundreds of millions reconstructing Germany.
berlin airlift
The Berlin airlift, the allies had to transport thousands of tons into west Berlin only via air.

Mikhail Gorbachev - USSR
Mikhail Gorbachev was instrumental in the fall of the Berlin wall and the end of the cold war.

Berlin wall built
"The Anti Fascist Protection Barrier".

the berlin wall
The Berlin wall was used as a canvas for many artists.

Berlin Airlift

The Blockade of Berlin by the Soviet occupation forces, forced the Western Allies to establishing a supply corridor to their garrisons in Berlin from the air, which was known as the "Berlin Airlift".

In the period from 26 June 1948 to September 30, 1949 277 569 supply flights with a total of 2.34 million tons of cargo were carried out by the US Air Force and the Royal Air Force.

By economic sanctions and their consequences finally made the Soviet Union drop the Berlin Blockade and allowed the allies access to West Berlin again via roads and train.

Reason and history of the "Berlin Airlift"

berlin blockade and airlift Cause for airlift over Berlin : Vasily Danilovich Sokolovsky, head of the Soviet Military Administration in Germany , ordered on 1 April 1948, the temporary closure of the borders.

This was a response to the Six-Power Conference between British, French, US and representatives of the Benelux countries, where the transport connections to West Germany were to be established.

For Sokolowski this was incompatible with the Potsdam Agreement. The Western powers began to supply its troops from the air.

Further escalation occurred when the Western Allies conducted on 20 June 1948 a currency reform in the three western zones.

Then the Soviet occupation responded on June 23, with a separate currency reform to inflation by stocks of old Reichsmark to from the Western Zones.

Since the Soviet Union announced that the whole of Germany to be included in the reform, led the Western powers in their zone of occupation, the German mark and defied therefore the eastern zones changes.

Through the preventive action of the West, the Soviet Union felt restricted in their economic future on long-term time, and even threatened not equal compared to West Berlin. Then was the news agency of the Soviet occupation zone.

The Berlin Blockade begins

"The Transport Division of the Soviet military administration was forced due to technical difficulties on the market of all goods and passenger trains to and from Berlin in the morning, six, clock, adjust . ", leading to the Berlin Blockade led.

The blockade covered all land and water access from the West . The remote power through the power plant was still Zschornewitz interrupted in the night of 23 on June 24, 1948 for West Berlin. Direct it followed the stop for road and rail transport and inland waterways between Berlin and the western zones.

Since Berlin still suffered from the destruction of World War II, the approximately 2.2 million people and stationed soldiers were after the blockade completely dependent on airdrops via airlift dependent.

Suggestions the generals of US President Harry S. Truman, to break through the blockade with armored troops he rejected from risk of escalating provocation.

The first cargo is on the airlift transports
The American Civil Pilot Jack is already on the evening of 23rd In June 1948 the first flight have made. According to his own statement he had brought freedom to burst in his machine potatoes to Berlin. The first machines arrived at the Tempelhof Airport on June 26, after the day before the General Clay Operation Vittles, code name for the erection of the Berlin Airlift ordered. The Royal Air Force took part in two days later with the opera ration Plainfare on the supply of Berlin.

At the beginning you put the part of America still on smaller machines of the type C-47 Skytrain, this should soon receive support from larger cargo planes. However, this was not enough to cope with the enormous transport volumes required and it was decided to optimize structural efficiency of the Berlin Airlift. There were aircraft adapted, improved routes, expanded runways and last but not least, the maintenance of the machines adds.

The reorganization took General William H. Tunner which had the consequence that could be transported from the estimated 750 tonnes of freight at the beginning of a day by the end of July 1948 2,000 tons per day. For greatest use during the airlift occurred on 15 April 16, 1949. Documents are in the 24 Hours 1,398 flights with a total of 12,849 tons of cargo.

What was transported in the airlift?

There are all consumer goods transport but especially:

  • Coal as fuel
  • Coal for electricity generation
  • Gasoline
  • Medication
  • Cereals
  • Dry milk
  • Dehydrated potatoes
  • Flour

Deliveries from the USA, which were intended for United Kingdom were diverted from British themselves towards Berlin and put there as a resource available. This caused more rationing of grain in England .

Air corridors for aircraft

The 3 air corridors were served only from one side, so we had a one-way street principle with 2 entry lanes and an excursion path for the return flight.

Ernst Reuter, mayor of West Berlin was through his speeches for tribune, symbolizing international 'longing for freedom of Berlin. With his famous exclamation: "Today is the day when the people of Berlin raises his voice. This people of Berlin calls the world today. Your people of the world, you peoples in America, in England, in France, in Italy! Look at this City and realizes that you must not divulge this city and this people, not can reveal! "He found worldwide belonging.

The end of the Berlin Airlift

The consequences of the global political development, in particular the shrouded by the West embargoes quality technology and the perseverance of the Western Allies, Berlin will continue to supply from the air and not to accept annexation that looked Soviet Union which prompted the Berlin Blockade on 12th May 1949 at 0:01 clock set aside .

From June 1948 to May 1949 1.44 million tons of coal, 490,000 tons of food and 160,000 tons of building materials were flown by US planes.

Also during this time, 81 730 tonnes of cargo flown from Berlin that were produced mostly in West Berlin and were provided with the label "Made in the blocked Berlin". The number of passengers estimated to 227,655.

The last supply flight was held on August 27, 1949.

Today you can often Berlin from the air admire, for example in the balloon - the balloon world will start on Sony Center and provides a block for many sights of Berlin .