The Berlin Airlift
The relief operation that defined the Cold War
By Barry Turner
Published by Icon Books; Dist. by Allen & Unwin
RRP $39.99 in hardcover • ISBN 9781785782404
Quite simply, one of the most critical moments in the Cold War, the Berlin airlift was the occasion when the Allies resolved to push back against Stalin’s aggression.
Despite the German city being divided into sectors as part of the Russian/Allies agreement after WW2, Russian President Joseph Stalin was determined to force the Allies out and take control of the city. To do this, he blocked all road access into Berlin, leaving the Allies with only three narrow air corridors linking the city with the West. The city of Berlin was being starved into submission.
However, in a daring and pugnacious move from June 1948 to May 1949, British and American aircraft carried out the most ambitious airborne relief operation ever mounted, flying 2.3 million tons of supplies on 277,500 flights to save the beleaguered city.
In this meticulously researched book, Barry Turner reveals the enormity of this dangerous logistical exercise which eventually forced the Russians back to the negotiating table.
Turner’s book benefits from his access to previously unavailable archival material from American, British and German sources. It reveals how close the world came to another global conflict.