The Berlin Airlift: How the Allies Supplied West Berlin During the Soviet Blockade

TLDR The Berlin Airlift was a response to the Soviet Union's blockade on Berlin, with the Allies delivering supplies to West Berlin by air. Over 2 million tons of supplies were transported on 278,000 flights, marking the beginning of the Cold War.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 The Soviet Union placed a blockade on Berlin's American, British, and French occupied zones in 1948, leading to the Berlin Airlift.
02:18 The Berlin Airlift happened because Germany was divided amongst the Allies after World War II and Berlin was entirely within the Soviet zone of Germany.
04:23 Rifts developed between the Soviets and the other Allies after the Berlin City Council elections, where over 80% of voters rejected the Soviets, and the Western Allies concluded that a stronger Germany was needed to rebuild and defend Europe, while the Soviets saw a unified Germany as a threat.
06:36 Transportation to and from Berlin was disrupted, leading to the Little Airlift, while the introduction of the Deutsche Mark and the Soviet's economic and administrative sanctions further escalated tensions, ultimately resulting in West Berlin being cut off from the rest of the world and the decision to bring supplies by air.
08:42 Operation Vittles was launched, utilizing three air corridors and primarily C-54 and C-47 cargo aircraft, to deliver supplies to West Berlin, with the system becoming more efficient over time and eventually delivering 5,000 tons of supplies per day, including coal.
10:50 Teams on the ground in West Berlin became more efficient at unloading cargo, some flights dumped coal in a field instead of landing, morale remained high in West Berlin, American pilot Gail Halverson started dropping candy for children and it became a huge success, the airlift continued to be successful and efficient, and the lack of coal was hurting East German factories.
12:59 The Berlin airlift officially ended on September 30th, 1949, after transporting over 2 million tons of supplies on 278,000 flights, and it can be seen as the event that marked the beginning of the Cold War.
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