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Berlin Blockade Web


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Berlin Blockade Web

  1. 1. Why did the Soviet Union Blockade Berlin?
  2. 2. Look at the cartoons. Do they make the same point? Explain.
  3. 3. The Fate of Germany <ul><li>What to do w/ Germany? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>S wanted to do to (G) > WWII what (F) wanted to do > WWI: keep (G) on its knees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>West wanted rebuilt (G) capable of feeding its citizens, joining w/ West in trade </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1946: (E), (F) & USA combined (G) occupation zones </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1948: Western (G) reformed currency; signs of recovery immediate </li></ul></ul>Underdog Theme
  4. 4. Stalin’s Cunning Plan <ul><li>Stalin saw West Germany moves as provocation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>S couldn’t stop reorganization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>S couldn’t stop new currency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>So, day after new currency hit W Berlin … </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Stalin believed he could control Berlin </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Deep in Soviet zone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Linked to (W-G) by Soviet roads, rails, canals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>S cut all land routes to Berlin </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>S believed West would have to give up on Berlin </li></ul></ul>Pinky and the Brain theme song Molotov Stalin
  5. 5. What to do? <ul><li>The west’s dilemma </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Using tanks to run blockade would be act of war </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A test case </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If West gave up Berlin to Stalin then all of Germany might be next </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Truman wanted to show that he was serious about his (George Kennan’s) policy of ‘containment’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Truman wanted Berlin to be symbol of freedom behind soviet lines </li></ul></ul>Captain America Captain America & his Nuclear Shield!!!
  6. 6. Truman’s Cunning Plan <ul><li>Only way into Berlin was through air </li></ul><ul><ul><li>June 1948: ‘Operation Vittles’ begins </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If S fired on planes, an act of war! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Massive airlift of all supplies into Berlin </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5000 tons per day </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For 10 months planes carried all supplies: food, clothing, oil, building materials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many Berliners left city through aircraft </li></ul></ul><ul><li>May 1949: West resolve proven </li></ul><ul><ul><li>T moved B-29 to (E) … What clear message did this send to S? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>S realized West would not give up, so he lifted blockade </li></ul></ul><ul><li>First serious Soviet challenge to ‘Truman Doctrine’ went down in defeat </li></ul>Edward R. Murrow narrates ‘Operation Vittles’
  7. 7. A Divided Germany <ul><li>> Berlin blockade (G) divided </li></ul><ul><ul><li>May 1949: (E), (F) & USA zones declared Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), aka ‘West Germany’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Oct 1949: Soviet zone declared German Democratic Republic (GDR), aka ‘East Germany’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A powerful symbol </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(G) stayed divided for 41 years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Berlin was a beacon of freedom for West, a dangerous cancer in the heart of Eastern Europe for Russia </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A flashpoint </li></ul><ul><ul><li>USA’s & USSR’s worries over what might happen in Berlin affected their policies in other areas of the world </li></ul></ul>Kacke am Dampfen performing Krieg in Berlin ( War In Berlin ) from Der Rap-Sampler Vol. 2: Kot Red
  8. 8. Focus Task: The Cold War begins <ul><li>It is difficult to give an exact date for when the Cold War actually started. Some might say that it was at Yalta, as Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt argued over Poland, others that it started in 1948 with the Berlin Blockade. There are other possible starting dates as well between 1945 & 1948. </li></ul><ul><li>What do you think? As a class, list the possible candidates you can think of. Then choose three to compare. Whatever your choice, support it with evidence from this unit. </li></ul>
  9. 9. An Archetype for the Cold War <ul><li>Berlin blockade set pattern of the Cold War </li></ul><ul><li>On the one hand the Superpowers … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>showed how suspicious they were of each other </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>would obstruct each other in almost any way possible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Would bombard each other w/ propaganda </li></ul></ul><ul><li>On the other hand the Superpowers … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Were not willing to go to war </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Would keep a tense balance w/ each other </li></ul></ul>Archetype … archetype … I thought we didn’t have to do English in History  Here it is … An original model or type after which other similar things are patterned; a prototype. English sucks! History rules! Well, it sucks less than English. Am I still breathing? I can’t feel my eyes! You are listening to a cover of Berlin’s Take My Breath Away … Berlin … get it? Berlin!
  10. 10. Why was NATO set up? <ul><li>During the blockade war seemed a real possibility </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Western leaders met in Washington. D.C. & signed an agreement to work together </li></ul></ul><ul><li>N orth A tlantic T reaty O rganization (NATO) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>April 1949 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attack on one would be attack on all </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>US nukes vs Soviet armies: balance of power </li></ul></ul>All For One from the musical Three Musketeers
  11. 11. What evidence is there from these three sources to indicate that NATO was a purely defensive alliance?
  12. 12. Focus Task: Who was to blame for the Cold War? <ul><li>Work in small groups (5) </li></ul><ul><li>You are going to investigate who was to blame for the cold War. The possible verdicts you might reach are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The USA was most to blame </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The USSR was most to blame </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Both sides were equally to blame </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No one was to blame. The Cold War was inevitable </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Start by discussing the verdicts together. Is one more popular? </li></ul><ul><li>Next: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Each member of the group should research how one of the following factors helped to lead to the cold War: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Personal relationships between various leaders </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Conflicting beliefs of the superpowers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>War damage suffered by the USSR </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Stalin’s take-over of Eastern Europe </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Marshall Aid for Europe </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Present evidence to your group and explain which, if any, of the verdicts your evidence most supports </li></ul></ul><ul><li>As a group discuss which of the verdicts now seems most sensible </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare to present you r conclusions to the class </li></ul>
  13. 13. Fin
  14. 14. PSDs for the Berlin Blockade <ul><li>On 23 June the Soviet authorities suspended all traffic into Berlin because of alleged technical difficulties … They also stopped barge traffic on similar grounds. Shortly before midnight, the Soviet authorities issued orders to … disrupt electric power from Soviet power plants to the Western sectors. Shortage of coal was given as a reason for this measure . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>US government report, June 1948 </li></ul></ul>What reasons did the Soviet Union give for cutting off West Berlin? Why do you think the USA did not believe these were genuine reasons?
  15. 15. PSDs for the Berlin Blockade <ul><li>The Berlin air-lift was a considerable achievement but neither side gained anything from the confrontation. The USSR had not gained control of Berlin. The West had no guarantees that land communications would not be cut again. Above all confrontation made both sides even more stubborn. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Historian Jack Watson writing in 1984 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The crisis was planned in Washington, behind a smokescreen of anti-Soviet propaganda. In 1948 there was danger of war. The conduct of the Western powers risked bloody incidents. The self-blockade of the Western powers hit the West Berlin population with harshness. The people were freezing and starving. In the Spring of 1949 the USA was forced to yield … their war plans had come to nothing, because of the conduct of the USSR. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A Soviet commentary on the crisis, quoted in P Fisher’s The Great Power Conflict , a textbook published in 1985 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We refused to be forced out of the city of Berlin. We demonstrated to the people of Europe that we would act resolutely, when their freedom was threatened. Politically it brought the people of Western Europe closer to us. The Berlin blockade was a move to test our ability and our will to resist. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>President Truman, speaking in 1949 </li></ul></ul>How do the above three sources differ in their interpretation of the blockade? Which do you think is the most useful source for a historian studying the Berlin Blockade? Explain Which source do you think gives the most reliable view of the blockade?
  16. 16. PSDs for NATO <ul><li>Article 3: To achieve the aims of this Treat, the Parties will keep their individual and collective capacity to resist armed attack. </li></ul><ul><li>Article 5: The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Extracts from the NATO Charter </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Soviet government did everything it could to prevent the world from being split into two military blocks. The Soviet Union issued a special statement analyzing the grave consequences affecting the entire international situation that would follow from the establishment of a military alliance of the Western powers. Al these warnings failed, however, and the North Atlantic T5reaty came into being. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stalin commenting on the formation of NATO, 1949 </li></ul></ul>What evidence is there in these two sources to indicate that NATO was a purely defensive alliance? What ‘grave consequences’ do you think Stalin had in mind?