Berlin Blockade

On June 26, 1948 the largest airlift began as the American and British forces began the
Berlin Airlift. To understand how the airlift came to be, we have to look all the way back
to the Yalta Conference. The Yalta Conference began in February 1945 in which the three
superpowers, America, Russia and Britain, met to discuss the future ofpost war Europe.
America and Russia were emerging as the two superpowers, and their deteriorating
relationship would soon lead to many problems that would develop in post war Europe.
Yalta saw the beginning of this deteriorating relationship. First, Stalin put a communist
government in place in Poland. Poland had been the route that enemies had used to
invade Russia on three separate occasions and Stalin felt he needed a friendly government
in power. Stalin had agreed to hold elections in liberated countries following the war
which he broke when he established a communist government in Poland. Although the
U.S. and Britain had done the same thing when they put their own government in Italy
following their defeat, Stalin's move in Poland still upset the other two superpowers. U.S.
still needed Russia's help to fight the war in Japan so President Roosevelt had to be
careful not to upset Stalin. The communist government was allowed to stay in Poland but
the government was extended to include the Poles living in London that were suppose to
form the government. Stalin made sure that the communists always had the majority.
Also in an attempt to keep good relations with Russia, Roosevelt agreed to allow Russia
to remove ten billion dollars from defeated Germany. Also at Yalta, it was agreed that
post war Germany be divided into four occupational zones, which would become one of
the main problems leading to the Berlin Airlift. Russia was given the north east, the U.S.
was given the south east, Britain the north west, and France the south west. Berlin,