Saturday, 5 October 2013

Berlin Blockade (June 1948 – May 1949)

Berlin Blockade (June 1948 – May 1949)


  • As a result of Germany and Berlin being split into 4 zones, the Allied zones of Berlin were in the middle of Soviet control of Germany (East Germany)
  • Stalin didn’t want the capitalist way to corrupt the communist way of living. Also Soviets wanted their zone to be completely different from the Allied zones.

What Happened 

  • Since the Allies were travelling through Soviet control of Germany, in 1948 Stalin blocked all routes by land into Berlin; Stalin was trying to force the Allies out of Berlin.
  • However Truman was determined to stand up to Stalin, and he realized the only way into Berlin was via air
  • He sent supplies from their base in West Germany, and that continued for ten months, until Stalin called off the blockade
  • During the airlift, the people were supplied with food, clothing and materials; there were a total of 275,000 flights, with an average of 4000 tonnes of supplies per day.


  • This illustrated Truman’s determination in Berlin and that he was not afraid to fight back.
  • It highlighted East-West rivalry, and confirmed the divisions in Berlin and Germany
  • This led to the creation of NATO

Why did Stalin back down?

  • The Allies did a counter blockade on the Soviet zone of Germany, which was far more damaging
  • USA still had nuclear monopoly. The USSR did not want to take things too far and lead to a full scale war.