Berlin blockade and airlift

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  • 1. The Berlin Blockade & Airlift The First Showdown
  • 2. The Partition of Germany  The lack of cooperation between Stalin and the west contributed to severe economic hardship in Germany  Economic reform and rebuilding was greatly needed  By 1948 it looked as though the East-West division of Germany would be permanent  The three western powers prepared for the creation of West Germany
  • 3. Currency Reform  The western powers initiated economic cooperation and a new currency, the Deutschmark, in their sectors  The Soviets responded with their own new currency in their sector, including Berlin  So the west brought the Deutschmark into west Berlin  Economic disparity within Berlin  the west began to improve, the east did not
  • 4. The Blockade  The Soviets announced that the west had no business interfering in the east, and they closed the roads, railways, and waterways that linked West Berlin to western zones  But the Americans cannot abandon Berlin – CONTAINMENT  If the Truman Doctrine was to be applied seriously, they must keep Berlin  The Domino Theory – if Berlin falls, what will be next?
  • 5. The Airlift  The USA decided, instead, to begin a massive airlift to supply West Berlin with everything that it needed – food, fuel, medicine, necessities  The only way the Soviets could stop it would be to shoot down one of the aircraft – an act of war  For 15 months, the planes supplied 2.5 million Berliners with all necessities  A plane landed in Berlin every 2 minutes  Stalin concluded the blockade was not working and backed down
  • 6.  1960s East German Poster about the 1948 Western airlift.  The text reads: "Air bridge to West Berlin--a peace-endangering provocation of the imperialist Western powers."
  • 7. The Formation of NATO April 1949  The North Atlantic Treaty Organization  The Product of the Berlin Blockade and Airlift  The Blockade told the Americans that they had to be at the ready in case of further military showdown with the Soviets  Americans stationed over a million men overseas and occupied 675 overseas bases
  • 8. Original Members  Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, Portugal, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Canada, and the USA.