The Berlin Airlift: The Salvation of a City

The Berlin Airlift: The Salvation of a City

by Jon Sutherland, Diane Canwell

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Overview

In June 1948, Joseph Stalin halted all road and rail traffic in to and out of the Allied sector of Berlin and cut off all electricity to the city. The only route into Berlin was by means of three twenty-mile-wide air corridors across the Soviet zone of Germany. Thus the wartime allies of Britain, France and the USA realized that the only option open to them was to supply the beleaguered West Berlin by air transport and so started one of the most dramatic events of the twentieth century. The airlift started in June, 1948. At the beginning there were three loading airfields: Rhein Main and Wiesbaden in the American zone, and Weinstorf in the British zone. By September of 1948 the airlift was transporting a massive tonnage of supplies into Berlin, including coal, food, medical supplies and all the other necessities of life. A mixed fleet of aircraft plodded their endless path to and from the city. Both Ex-planes and pilots were dragged out of retirement. In September 1948 the Russian military threatened to force down western aircraft if they flew outside the 20-mile wide corridors but by March 1949 a total of 45,683 tons of supplies per week were being flown into Berlin. In April Russia finally announced her intention to end the blockade.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781781594483
Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Limited
Publication date: 06/21/2007
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 882,589
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Jonathan Sutherland and Diane Canwell have written widely on historical subjects, in particular on military and aviation history, and they have long been fascinated by the history of Norfolk and its military heritage. Among their many books are The RAF Air Sea Rescue Service 1918-1986, The Battle of Jutland and Air War Malta.

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