The Berlin Airlift Essay Research Paper Scott

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The Berlin Airlift Essay, Research Paper Scott Lipnick THE BERLIN AIRLIFT The Berlin Airlift, that lasted from June 24, 1948 to October 31,1949, was a direct indication that showed the Solviet Union during the beginning stages of the Cold War would not interfere with Berlin airlift because they were not willing to enter war with the United States and Great Britain. After World War Two, the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin sought to expand Russia s territory through the use of communism. The city of Berlin was a key point to eventually unite Germany under complete Soviet power. By taking the city without war, Russia could assume an even greater influence over Western Europe. Because of the actions of General Lucius Dubignon Clay and his passion to peacefully save the two and a

half million population of Berlin, Great Britain and the United Sates successfully supplied the people of Western Berlin with 2,326,406 short tons of cargo. This massive effort is known by many to be one of the greatest humanitarian attempts of the 20th century. When Nazi Germany surrendered to the four allied powers of Russia, Britain, the United States, and France, they all controlled the country of Germany during the summer of 1945 (Tusa 1). Little thought had been given to decide what would come after Hitler s forces were defeated. There were many issues to discuss on the topic of European future. Three men, nicknamed the Big Three- Roosevelt, Stalin, and Curchill, were all in discussing this issue. They met a number of times, most of them being greatly unsuccessful. Joseph

Stalin, the communist Solviet Generalissimo, was only concerned with the future of his country. He saw a future in which the Solviet Union will add new territory and dominate all of Europe (Jackson 35). Winston Curchill, prime minister of Great Britain, saw Stalin s true motives. He knew that Britian alone was far to weak to be the only nation to check Sloviet expansion (Tusa 15). Franklin Roosevelt, the United States President, basically sought to leave Europe. He strove for Russia s assistance in Japan where the United States were still in conflict (Tusa 6). Their final conference at Yalta with full diplomatic staffs form February 4 to 11 1945 was deemed a triumph for Joseph Stalin and the Solviet Union. They were in prime position to reap benefits of European lands as the

strongest power. In the next year, Winston Curchill was elected out of office and Franklin Roosevelt was replaced due to death by Harry Truman (Tusa 15). During the time of the conferences to decided what would become of Germany, no one suffered more than the German people. Germany was split up into many separate zones, some being much more well off than others. The Russian zone in Eastern Germany was traditional the granary of the nation (Jackson 23). It provided food to the industrial West, where the Untied States and Britain were now in control (Tusa 95). This geological division caused dire problems for those Western Germans. From January 1946 to June 20 1948, over 143,000 died from exhaustion and/or malnutrition in the Western Zones (Jackson 25). Russia cared little about

these people. Ever since 1945, the Red Army has been expanding onto European soil. They had been concentrated on increasing their size to enlarge their communist regime. There would be no better way to start this than to take over the United States, Great Britain, and Frances holdings in Berlin. Berlin was completely submerged Russia s zone of Germany, and it was key of them to capture it to unite the country under Russia (USAFE 1). At the beginning of 1948, it was becoming apparent that the Stalin was going to step upon the Western Allied holdings of Berlin. On March 20, 1948 a meeting of the Allied Control Conference in Berlin featured Marshal Vassily Sokolovsky, Solviet Military Governor, turned Russia s back to the Western Allies (Tusa 97). This conference featured the last