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The Cold War 1945-91
Transcript of The Cold War 1945-91
The Berlin Blockade
To examine three major incidents during the Cold War.
Decisions About Germany
Case Study 1: The Berlin Blockade, 1948-49
Condition of Post War Germany
Case Study 1: The Berlin Blockade 1948-49
In the early months of 1948, tensions rose between the Americans and the Soviets over the reorganisation of Germany.
The Western countries went ahead with their plans to revive Germany as part of the Marshall Plan.
The tension came to a head when the West launched a new currency the Deutschmark - in their zones in the western half of Germany and west Berlin.
The Soviet Union responded by cutting off all road, rail and canal links to West Berlin on 24 June 1948.
Power supplies that came from the Soviet Union zone were also cut off. The Berlin Blockade had begun.
The Allied leaders held conferences at Yalta and Potsdam near the end of WW2.
The leaders decided that Germany would be divided into four occupied zones- American, Soviet, British and French.
Berlin would also be divided into four sectors.
The division of Germany and Berlin would be temporary lasting only until a new safer Germany emerged.
At the end of the war Germany's towns, factories,bridges and roads were destroyed and its economy was in ruins.
Its currency was worth so little that cigarettes were used as currency instead.
Its government was in the hands of the Allied powers.
Case Study 1: The Berlin Blockade
The Berlin Airlift
The Western countries decided to supply Berlin by planes using air corridors the Soviet Union had not cut off.
In a huge operation codenamed Operation Vittles by the Americans.
They flew large cargo planes into three airports in West Berlin.
They flew in food, medical supplies, drums of petrol, even coal.
At the height of the airlift, planes landed every 90 seconds bringing in an average of 8,000 tons of cargo each day.
In spite of bad weather and harassment by Soviet planes the Western countries continued to supply Berlin for the next eleven months.