1948: The Berlin Blockade

Why did Stalin blockade Berlin?

  • To keep Germany weak

  • He disliked the Marshall plan

  • Western allies had joined zones and introduced the Deustschmark currency which was stronger than the Soviet Zone currency and it weakened the Soviet Economy.


The Berlin Airlift

  • Berlin was supplied with resources, such as food, clothing, oil and building materials for ten months

  • Over 1.5 million tonnes of resources were flown into Berlin with around 1,000 flights every day.

  • Soviet forces did not fire on the planes and allowed them to pass over Soviet territory.

  • By May 1949, Stalin accepted that the attempt to force Western Allies out of West Berlin had failed, and the blockade was called off.


The Berlin Blockade was a failure for Stalin because...

  • The west showed their support for the city of Berlin through airlifts of resources, thus strengthening Germany's relationship with the rest of Western Europe and lowered the popularity of communism and the USSR.

The Berlin Blockade was a success for Truman because...

  • It strengthened the relationship with Germany and showed that life was better when capitalist countries united together.

  • Western Germany developed and strengthened.

  • The Military Alliance, NATO, was agreed.

  • Even for the allies in general, it improved their relationship with Germany as it showed their dedication towards Berlin despite the fact that they had been at war only a few years prior.