Presentation on theme: "Berlin Airlift 1948-1949. Background There were many questions facing the Allies following World War II One of the biggest involved what should be done."— Presentation transcript:
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 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.
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 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 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 British Sector
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, 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 Trumans explanation of the blockade.
What is a President to Do? Trumans 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 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 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 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 as a pilot flying goods into Berlin.
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 here Truman announce the end of the blockade on May 12, 1949
Between the 25th of June 1948 and the 1st 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 18th February 1949 First million short tons delivered. 2nd July 1949 Second million short tons delivered. 5th August 1949 Two and a quarter million tons delivered to Berlin.
Total Tonnage by Commodity: USBritish Coal1,421,730164,800 Food296,303 241,713 Military Supplies ---18,239 Miscellaneous 65,54025,202 Wet Fuel ---92,282 Total1,783,573542,236 Total Combined Tonnage2,325,809 short tons
While the Statistics are impressive The main things the airlift provided the people of Berlin were: HOPE and FREEDOM