Berlin blockade and airlift

December 28, 2016 – 05:31 pm
deutsche mark [Credit: Contunico © ZDF Enterprises GmbH, Mainz] deutsche markContunico © ZDF Enterprises GmbH, Mainzinternational crisis that arose from an attempt by the Soviet Union, in 1948–49, to force the Western Allied powers (the United States, the United Kingdom, and France) to abandon their post-World War II jurisdictions in West Berlin. In March 1948 the Allied powers decided to unite their different occupation zones of Germany into a single economic unit. In protest, the Soviet representative withdrew from the Allied Control Council. Coincident with the introduction of a new deutsche mark in (as throughout West Germany), which the Soviets regarded as a violation of agreements with the Allies, the Soviet occupation forces in eastern Germany began a blockade of all rail, road, and water communications between Berlin and the West. On June 24 the Soviets announced that the four-power administration of had ceased and that the Allies no longer had any rights there. On June 26 the United States and Britain began to supply the city with food and other vital supplies by air. They also organized a similar “airlift” in the opposite direction of West Berlin’s greatly reduced industrial exports. By mid-July the Soviet army of occupation in East Germany had increased to 40 divisions, against 8 in the Allied sectors. By the end of July three groups of U.S. strategic bombers had been sent as reinforcements to Britain. Tension remained high, but war did not break out.

Source: www.britannica.com


 
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