For eleven months that spanned 1948 and 1949, cargo aircraft from the air forces of the western Allies carried out one of the most extraordinary feats of peacetime military power projection in history: ferrying supplies to the city of Berlin, then under Soviet blockade. By spring 1949, the Berlin Airlift, initially considered unlikely to succeed, had convinced the Soviets that their efforts to force a solution to Berlin’s future were badly miscalculated. The city became a symbol of the escalating division of Europe into competing blocs in a new Cold War order. This largely improvised military action had exerted unforeseen influence on the post–World War II world.
The Berlin Airlift and the Making of the Cold War brings together historians and political scientists to explore the origins, course, and impacts of the Berlin Airlift after seventy years. Here, scholars and authorities on the Airlift, its logistics, the great power competition involved, and the position of Berlin within a divided and occupied Central Europe discuss not only the Airlift itself but also the critical role the operation played in shaping the physical and mental landscape of Cold War confrontation in Europe.
The Berlin Airlift was just one of a series of decisions and events that shaped the Cold War across a global stage. It was a pivotal moment in the story of how Germany and its people experienced recovery and rebuilding after 1945. This book offers fresh insights into the legacies and lessons of the Airlift in theoretical and historical context.
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Published by Texas A&M University Press