The Berlin airlift was important because it prevented West Berlin from falling into the control of the Soviet Union after World War II. The Soviet Union was blockading the parts of Berlin that were occupied and administered by the United States, Great Britain and France. The airlift was the only means of transporting food and other supplies to the besieged inhabitants of the city.Know More
When World War II ended, Germany and its capital city of Berlin were divided into four zones of occupation. Berlin was located deep within the Soviet-occupied zone, though some sectors of the city were under allied control. According to the History Channel, the Soviets objected to the efforts of the Western Allies to reunify Germany and create a single currency for it. In protest and hoping to drive out the Western Allies, the Soviets blockaded Berlin by cutting off all road, rail and water links with West Germany. Instead of withdrawing, the Western Allies initiated the airlift, which lasted from June 1948 to September 1949. During this time, the airlift delivered about 2.3 million tons of supplies to West Berlin.
Though the Soviets lifted the blockade in May of 1949, the Western Allies continued the airlift until September to ensure sufficient supplies in case the blockade was reinstated. The blockade turned out to be a failure, says the History Channel, as it hastened the creation of West Germany, escalated the Cold War and spurred the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO.Learn more in Cold War
The Berlin blockade was related to the Cold War because it was a non-military struggle between the Soviet Union and the United States, Great Britain and France for control of West Berlin. The successful airlift of supplies into West Berlin was a significant propaganda victory for the Western Allies.Full Answer >
The traditional date marking the fall of the Berlin Wall is Nov. 9, 1989. On this day, the government of East Germany allowed people to cross freely into West Berlin. The government removed some portions of the wall to create more crossings.Full Answer >
During the Cold War, satellite states of the Soviet Union included the People's Socialist Republic of Albania, the Polish People's Republic and the People's Republic of Bulgaria. From 1947 to 1967, the People's Republic of Romania was a satellite state.Full Answer >
The Cold War was a period of heightened military and political tensions between the United States and its allies on one side and the Soviet Union and its allies on the other. Both superpowers engaged in a variety of contests against each other, including military brinkmanship and proxy wars in smaller countries to spread their ideologies. Ultimately, the economic engine of capitalism won out and the Soviet Union collapsed.Full Answer >