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Berlin Blockade Essay

Essay about The Causes and Consequences of the Berlin Crisis 1948

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The Causes and Consequences of the Berlin Crisis 1948

After the collapse of Germany in 1945, the Allied Powers of Russia, France, Britain and the United States divided the city of Berlin among themselves. However, relations began to go sour and the British, French and American zones merged in 1947. A series of events after that led to the Blockade of Berlin and the Berlin Airlift.

The Berlin Blockade represented the first heightening of Cold War tensions. There was a series of key events that led to the Soviet blockade of Berlin, the first of which concerned reparations. Russia wanted Germany to pay for the killing of 20 million Russians and widespread destruction it had caused to the USSR…show more content…

At the end of World War II, starvation and economic crisis threatened to overtake many European nations. In a rare move, the Allied victors took it upon themselves to prevent an economic crisis by helping to rebuild the most devastated areas as quickly as possible. However, the American government also thought that a strong German economy was vital for the growth of a non-communist Western Europe. The Western Allies believed that the Soviet Union was scheming to set up a central German government that would be Communist-controlled.

Thirdly, in order to address the issue of post-war European recovery and reconstruction, the U.S., Great Britain and France held a series of discussions in London from February through June of 1948 known collectively as the London Conferences. The result of these discussions was the London Program, the main goal of which was to establish a West German government through a combination of the three western occupation zones and currency reform. Therefore British and American zones were joined, followed by the French zone in June 1948 to form one Western zone and a single economic unit. Stalin watched these events with mistrust. In mid-June, the West issued a new currency in their merged zones (although they did not extend it to their zones in Berlin), and the Soviet Union issued a

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In this Revision Bite you will learn about the causes of the Berlin Blockade crisis of 1948 - how Stalin was eventually forced to abandon the plan that could have cost the lives of thousands living in divided Berlin or started another war.

Summary of the Berlin crisis

How Germany was divided in 1945

In 1945, the Allies decided to split Germany into four zones of occupation. The capital, Berlin, was also split into four zones. The USSR took huge reparations from its zone in eastern Germany, but Britain, France and America tried to improve conditions in their zones.

In June 1948, Britain, France and America united their zones into a new country, West Germany. On 23 June 1948, they introduced a new currency, which they said would help trade.

The next day, Stalin cut off all rail and road links to west Berlin - the Berlin Blockade. The west saw this as an attempt to starve Berlin into surrender, so they decided to supply west Berlin by air.

The Berlin Blockade lasted 318 days. During this time, 275,000 planes transported 1.5 million tons of supplies and a plane landed every three minutes at Berlin's Templehof airport.

On 12 May 1949, Stalin abandoned the blockade.

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