Berlin Blockade and Airlift

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					        Berlin Airlift & NATO

•How did the Berlin Airlift and NATO
contribute to increasing tensions of the
Cold War?
C) Berlin Blockade and Airlift (10min)
  June 1948 - May 1949
 Factors Causing the Blockade
1. Marshall Plan
2. Union of Western German (Bizonia) states
   creating its own currency
  •   Eastern European countries would buy Western
      Germany currency which devalues the Eastern
      European currency
3. Differing aims for Germany
  •   Russia wants it to crumble
  •   US/ BR want to rebuild its economy

Therefore, Russia blocks off surface routes from
   Western Germany to West Berlin
           Federal Republic of

1948- 49
Report on
with Soviets, ca.
         General Lucius Clay
• Called for armed
  convoys to push
  through the blockade
• Plan was never
• American ground
  forces in Europe were
  not strong enough to
  defeat the USSR
  Berlin Airlift
• US decides not to start a war and decides to send
  supplies to West Berlin by air (British proposal)
• Shows the resolve of the US to keep West Berlin
                              C-47: Used to carry supplies
                              (3.5 tons each)
                “Little Lift”
• Using the C-47s in
  April 1948 (102 C-
  47s available)
• Gatow and
  Tempelhof used as
  landing strips
• Back in November
  30, 1945, it was
  agreed in writing,
  that there would be
  three 20-mile wide
  air corridors
  providing access to
  the city
"Operation Vittles”
 "Operation Plane Fare"
• 3,475 tons of supplies were
  needed daily to keep the
  over 2 million people alive
   3475 ÷ 3.5 (capacity of C-47) =
     approximately 1000 flights/day
• Coal was the largest
  necessity (industries)
• Later in June, C-54’s were
  used (10 tons) – faster too
• Spacing of 3 minutes, both
  types of planes were used
                     Increasing tension
                       June 28, 1948

• US flies 60 B-29 bombers to Britain
  – B-29s were the atomic bomb carriers
  – But the US had no readily available atomic
    bombs (Stalin doesn’t know this)
                          Airlift Facts
•   The blockade lasted 318 days (11 months)
•   In the winter of 1948–49 Berliners lived on dried potatoes, powdered eggs
    and cans of meat
•   4 hours of electricity/day
•   275,000 flights carried over 1½ million tons of supplies (2.3 million with
•   On 16 April 1949, 1400 flights brought in 13,000 tons of supplies in one day
•   Some pilots dropped chocolate and sweets
Candy Drops
• May 1929 Soviets end the blockade
  – They did not want war either
• Airlift continues for a few more months to stock
  Berlin in case of another blockade
• 2.5 million West Berliners saved without violence
• US would see the importance of air transport
  and increases production of transport planes
• Template for Cold War conflicts – push to the
  point of war but drawing back just before
• Leads to the creation of NATO
D) NATO – North Atlantic Treaty
• Truman Doctrine = political warning
• Marshal Plan = economic resistance
• NATO = military alliance
  – US, Canada, Iceland, Denmark, Norway,
    Portugal, Italy, Britain, France, Belgium, the
    Netherlands and Luxembourg
              • Protection from
Reasons for     “unprovoked” attack
NATO          • Russian communism
                posed a threat to
              • Protection from
Reasons for     “unprovoked” attack
NATO          • Russian communism
                posed a threat to
• America to
  be its
• Headquart
  ers in Paris
• Organized defence of the West
• European-American cooperation – total
  end of isolationism
• First American peace time military alliance
• Soviets will respond with the Warsaw Pact
  in 1955
               Essay Assignment
•   Truman Doctrine
•   Marshall Plan
•   Berlin Blockade/Airlift
•   NATO

To what extent do the actions of the USA between 1945-
  1949 reflect a policy of containment towards
To what extent were the Americans/ Russians responsible
  for escalating Cold War tensions between 1945-1949?
  (causes and effects)

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