can someone please let me know if this is an alright narrative account for the details of the berlin crisis in 1948-49? Thank you so much
In June 1948, the cabinet of the Allied forces gathered in the Oval office due to sit a conference with President Truman. 4 days prior to this meeting, the Soviet Union blockaded the American, British and French occupied sectors of Berlin. With this recently divided Berlin situated over 100 miles inside the Soviet occupied zone of East Germany, there was no possible way that American food and fuel, the most vital lifeline of its undernourished populous, to get through. The shortage of food was so prominent that East Germany had only around 36 days’ worth of food and 45 days’ worth of fuel remaining. The Allied troops were surrounded and outnumbered 62 to 1. At the Oval Office, the cabinet laid out multiple options that the Allied forces could take, to make sure East Germany was receiving their supplies. One quickly denied option was to withdraw, however this would have led to a sign of Western weakness, unable to counter Soviet aggression. The second proposed plan was to remain in Berlin until the starving population forced them out and accept the Soviet rule out of pure desperation. The last option was to send in an armed convoy to open the roads, however if doing this, another World War was inevitable. Many advisers convinced Truman to withdraw, however he completely dismisses this possibility and demands to remain in Berlin. The Soviets and the Allies had two irreconcilable visions for Germany. The Soviets wanted Germany broken and subornment so that they were never able to threaten Russia again. They also wanted it to function as a buffer zone to keep the Allied forces away, and for it to become a communist puppet state, and the Allies out of Berlin. However, on the contrary, the Allies wished for a prosperous, democratic Germany, believing that this Germany would create a bulwark for Soviet expansionism.
In June 1948, the Soviet Union closed all road, rail and canal links into West Berlin to force British, French and US troops to leave their zone in the city. The Soviet Union blocked all supplies including food and fuel into Berlin to show it had the power to stop a divided Germany from working. So, Western powers responded to this with an airlift - between 26th of June 1948 and the 30th of September 1949 thousands of tonnes of supplies were flown in daily into Berlin. Over 4000 tonnes of food and fuel were needed to fulfil their target to make sure all of Berlin were receiving supplies successfully. On August 12th, they finally met their target and managed to deliver around 4500 tonnes in one day.
As a result of the Soviet blockade, the people of West Berlin were left without food, clothing, fuel or medical supplies. Some U.S. officials pushed for an aggressive response to this Soviet monstrosity, but cooler heads prevailed and a plan for an airlift of supplies to West Berlin was developed (the Berlin Airlift).
After many long months of constant deliveries of supplies, on May 12th, 1949, Soviet soldiers removed the roadblocks and allowed the first American supply convoy to pass into Berlin. Overall, 2.4 million tonnes of food and fuel were delivered during the airlift, which saved Berlin from extreme famine. A main consequence of this airlift was the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). Other consequences of the Berlin Airlift were that West and East Germany formally became its own countries, and the Soviet’s tested their first atomic bomb.