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Word Count: 743
THE BERLIN AIRLIFT With the Nazis defeated after World War II the Western powers finally thought the string of wars was over On the contrary the USSR had other plans for the newly conquered Germany Berlin Germanys capital was divided among Great Britain the United States France and Russia While this division was intended to keep peace the Russians were formulating plans to take over the other three sections of Berlin The Berlin Airlift was the first major test of the Free Worlds will to resist Soviet aggression It all began in June 1948 when Soviet authorities claimed that technical difficulties would halt all traffic by land and water in and out of the western-controlled sections of Berlin The only passages left into this territory that wouldnt upset the Soviets were three 20-mile wide air corridors The Western powers United States Great Britain and France were then faced with two options abandoning the city or supplying the 25 million people with enough supplies to live by air for the next 11 months By choosing the latter the Western powers embarked on one of the greatest aviation feats in history Operation Vittles as the airlift was unofficially dubbed began on June 26th with the USAFs C-47s carrying in 80 of the 4500 tons of food coal and various other materials needed daily to maintain a minimum level of existence Soon the US Navy and British Royal Airforce cargo planes joined in to augment this force To increase safety and cooperation between allied countries a unified command was established called the Combined Airlift Task Force and was under the supervision of Major General William H Tunner of the USAF Once again a common threat has brought together the Western Powers of Great Britain and the United States of America The difference in this conflict was that it remained for the most part peaceful The airlift in Berlin was not only aimed at saving the citys occupants
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