Significance Of The Berlin Blockade
The introduction of the Deutschmark currency was a response by the Americans and the British to replace the devalued currency of the Reichsmark that had been debased to a huge degree by excessive print on the behalf of the Soviets. By the On June 24, 1848, the Western Allies’ railway, road and canal access to West Berlin were shut down. The terms the Soviet Union gave towards the removal of the blockade was that the recently introduced currency of the Deutschmark needed to be withdrawn from West Berlin. This was not agreed to by the governments of the Western Allies and thus a plan was required to circumvent the blockage without resorting to militaristic actions towards the Soviet Sector. The idea of an airlift was introduced to bring resources into West Berlin. The Air Forces of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand were utilized to carry the supplies past the Soviet blockade. An average of 4,700 tonnes was carried by transport aircraft every day at the start of the airlift with an increase towards a daily deliverance of 8,300 tonnes being hauled towards the end of the airlift, a number that surpassed the daily deliverance by train before the crisis. .The resources brought in were primarily necessities such as coal and food with mail being back on the return trip. By the end of the crisis, a total of 200,000 flights were amassed . The Soviet Union did not disrupt the airlift due to fears of further escalating the conflict; however they did harass allied aircraft with methods such as spotlights, radio messages and buzzing with Soviet aircraft. On May 11, 1949, the government of the USSR decided to lift the blockade, due to the unprecedented success of the airlift, believed by many to be an impossible feat.