Friday, June 23, 2006

24 June 1948: Start of the Berlin Blockade


Loading milk on a West Berlin-bound plane.
Image source: Wikipedia

Via Wikipedia.

The Berlin Blockade (June 24, 1948 to May 11, 1949) became one of the first major crises of the new Cold War, when the Soviet Union blocked railroad and street access to West Berlin. The crisis abated after the Soviet Union did not act to stop American, British and French humanitarian airlifts of food and other provisions to the Western-held sectors of Berlin; referred to as Operation Vittles. The Berlin Blockade was one of the largest blockades in history.

When World War II ended in Europe on May 8, 1945, Soviet and Western (U.S., British, and French) troops were located in arbitrary places, essentially, along a line in the center of Europe. From July 17 to August 2, 1945, the victorious Allied Powers reached the Potsdam Agreement on the fate of post-war Europe, calling for the division of a defeated Germany into four occupation zones (thus reaffirming principles laid out earlier by the Yalta Conference), and the similar division of Berlin into four zones, later called East Berlin and West Berlin. The French, U.S., and British sectors of Berlin were deep within the Soviet occupation zone, and thus a focal point of tensions corresponding to the breakdown of the Western-Soviet wartime alliance.

More here.


Post a Comment

<< Home