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The Berlin Airlift - The History and Legacy of the First Major Crisis of the Cold War-logo

The Berlin Airlift - The History and Legacy of the First Major Crisis of the Cold War

Charles River Editors

More Information

Genres:

History

Description:

In the wake of World War II, the European continent was devastated, and the conflict left the Soviet Union and the United States as uncontested superpowers. This ushered in over 45 years of the Cold War, and a political alignment of Western democracies against the Communist Soviet bloc that produced conflicts pitting allies on each sides fighting, even as the American and Soviet militaries never engaged each other. Though it never got “hot” between the two superpowers, the Cold War was a tense era until the dissolution of the USSR, and nothing symbolized the split more than the division of Berlin. Berlin had been a flashpoint even before World War II ended, and the city was occupied by the different Allies even as the close of the war turned them into adversaries. If anyone wondered whether the Cold War would dominate geopolitics, any hopes that it wouldn’t were dashed by the Soviets’ blockade of West Berlin in April 1948, ostensibly to protest the currency being used in West Berlin but unquestionably aiming to extend their control over Germany’s capital. By cutting off all access via roads, rail, and water, the Soviets hoped to force the Allies out, and at the same time, Stalin’s action would force a tense showdown that would test their mettle. In response to the blockade, the British, Americans, Canadians, and other Allies had no choice but to either acquiesce or break the blockade by air, hoping (correctly) that the Soviets wouldn’t dare shoot down planes being used strictly for civilian purposes. Over the course of the next year, over 200,000 flights were made to bring millions of tons of crucial supplies to West Berlin, with the Allies maintaining a pace of landing a plane in West Berlin every 30 seconds at the height of the Airlift. As the success of the Berlin Airlift became clear, the Soviets realized the blockade was ineffective, and both sides were able to save face by negotiating an end to the blockade in April 1949, with the Soviets ending it officially on May 12. The Airlift would technically cont

Language:

English

Narrators:

Colin Fluxman

Length:

1h 36m


Chapters

Free Sample

04:40

Introduction
Introduction

04:49


Chapter 1
Chapter 1

17:22


Chapter 2
Chapter 2

04:53


Chapter 3
Chapter 3

20:11


Chapter 4
Chapter 4

11:47


Chapter 5
Chapter 5

13:25


Chapter 6
Chapter 6

06:53


Chapter 7
Chapter 7

16:34


Chapter 8
Chapter 8

00:22