History GCSE - The Cold War (Berlin Airlift)

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  • The Berlin Airlift 1948
    • By Sept, the planes were flying in 4,600 tons of supplies a day. As a warning to the Soviet Union, Truman ordered B-29 bombers to be sent to Britain, Soviet Union was now within US bombing range.
      • Supplies: food, coal, clothing, oil and building materials.
    • Began on 28 June, Allies were afraid that the Soviets would shoot down the planes. 'Operation Plainfare' lasted 10 months. Had to land at 90-second intervals.
    • Truman wanted to stand up to the Soviet Union and show that he was serious about containment. Allies decided to airlift supplies to West Berlin.
    • Stalin blockaded all routes by land and rail into West Berlin. (worsened relations and NATO)
    • Soviet Union began trying to persuade people to leave West Berlin and come to the East, only 3% did so. The airlift reached its peak in 1949.
      • 1,398 flights landed nearly 13,000 tons of supplies in 24 hours.
    • 12 May 1949: Stalin called off blockade, he had failed to starve the allies out of Berlin. That evening Berliners dressed up and danced in the streets.


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