Examine the Effects of the Berlin Blockade on Tensions Between Usa and the Ussr

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Tensions began rising as the Soviet Union imposed a partial blockade of Berlin in April which then ended up being a full blockade in June. The main aim of the Soviets was to force the Allied Forces to allow the Soviet zone to supply Berlin with food and fuel, which practically gives them control over the entire city. The three main events that led to the blockades was the institution of the Marshall Plan for European Recovery, the London Conferences of winter and spring of 1948 and the resulting London Program, which demanded a separate West Germany along with a currency reform. The blockade lasted around a year and according to the United States Information Agency (1961) , it was one of the major international crises of the Cold War. In response, the Allied Forces organized the Berlin airlift to carry supplies via air to the people in West Berlin. The combined Air Forces of the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa providing daily necessities such as food and fuel through 200,000 different flights in one year. Departures and Arrivals of those cargo planes happened every 90 seconds with 43 airmen sacrificing their lives in what many believe is the most important transport achievement in aviation history. The Berlin Airlift was such a success that it brought great embarrassment to the Soviets who believed that it could not make a difference. US Air Force pilot Gail Halvorsen gave the children two sticks of Wrigley’s Doublemint gum as a gesture of good will. He promised to drop off more if the children would not fight over the gum. Before he left them, a child asked how they would know if it was him flying over in which he famously replied: “I’ll wiggle my wings”. The next day, on his approach to Berlin, he rocked the aircraft and dropped several chocolate bars with handkerchief parachutes to the children waiting below.

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