In June 1948, the Soviet Union blockaded Berlin, determined to drive the occupying Allies out of the city. Road, rail and canal links were all severed. So began the Cold War.
Instead of backing down and conceding defeat, the Americans, British and French embarked on the greatest airborne operation ever attempted.The besieged city would be supplied entirely by air, for as long as it took to win the battle of nerves. Using invaluable experience of airborne operations gained in campaigns as diverse as D-Day, Arnhem and Burma, the Allies kept up a constant supply of food, fuel and clothing to the besieged city. Vast armadas of transport
aircraft flew down narrow air corridors to land at Berlin’s airports, while seaplanes used the city lakes. Every three minutes, an aircraft would land and take off.
It was a truly Herculean effort, but the demonstration of Allied resolve shook Stalin and the Soviets. It may have even deterred them from launching a war against the West…
Airlifting – Now And Then: Enjoy the sight of the Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation’s C-54 Skymaster Spirit of Freedom at North Weald and Dakotas at IAT during the Berlin Airlift 50th Anniversary commemorations, plus – in the air with the giant modern day airlifter, the C-17A Globemaster 3.