The Berlin Airlift was one of the first major conflicts of the Cold War between the West and the Soviet Union. It occured when the Soviet Union blocked access to West Berlin by the western allies.
Supplies had been previously brought to West Berlin using roads and trains. When the Soviet Union blocked these forms of supply, the only option was through the air.
Western allies gathered planes to send supplies into West Berlin. This photo shows planes lined up to deliver goods.
Coal was an important source of fuel and heating for the people of Berlin. Around 65% of the cargo shipped to Berlin during the blockade was coal. Coal was difficult to airlift because it produced huge amounts of dust.
Food supplies on a plane. Over two million people were living in the city at the time. The airlift had to deliver around 1500 tons of food every day just to keep the people alive.
Milk supplies ready for transport.
Trucks would quickly restock planes so they could take off again to deliver more supplies.
Supplies arriving at Berlin. This particular plane was a C-74 Globemaster plane that airlifted more than 20 tons of flour from the United States to Germany.
This Sunderland 201 could land on the water. In this picture the crew are relaxing on top of the plane while their cargo of salt is being unloaded.
Plane dropping candy to kids in Berlin as a part of Operation Little Vittles.
Operation Little Vittles began when airlift pilot Gail Halvorsen began dropping candy out of his plane to kids below. The operation became a propaganda success dropping around 23 tons of candy to kids during the Berlin Airlift.
Germany was divided into different zones after World War II with the western nations controlling the west and the Soviet Union controlling the east.
Berlin was located in the Soviet Union territory, but was special in that it was again divided amongst the Soviet Union and the western nations. It was the western portion of Berlin that was blockaded by the Soviets.
Source: Leerlaufprozess (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/], via Wikimedia Commons
Map of West Berlin during the airlift.
Picture of a plane during the airlift.
A C-82A plane being unloaded at the airport.
Kids playing with planes.
British Prime Minister, Clement Attlee meeting with General Sir Brian Robertson in Berlin to discuss the progress and details of the airlift.
A plane used during the airlift.
This iconic picture shows people in West Berlin watching a plane arrive with much needed supplies.
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