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The Berlin Airlift

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    The distribution of power is when power, influence or authority is distributed, spread around or apportioned.


    Post war Germany was divided into three sections--the Allied part was controlled by the United States, Great Britain and France and other part by the Soviet Union. The city of Berlin, although located in the eastern Soviet half, was also divided into four sectors --West Berlin occupied by Allied interests and East Berlin occupied by Soviets. In June 1948, the Soviet Union attempted to control all of Berlin by cutting surface traffic to and from the city of West Berlin. Starving out the population and cutting off their business was their method of gaining control. The Truman administration reacted with a continual daily airlift which brought much needed food and supplies into the city of West Berlin. This Airbridge to Berlin lasted until the end of September of 1949---although on May 12, 1949, the Soviet government yielded and lifted the blockade. Continue Reading about the Airlift.


    Read both of the letters and the memorandum to President Truman on June 30, 1948 from the United States Central Intelligence Agency following the Soviet blockade of Berlin noting important details about United States national security interests at the time and the rhetoric used.
    1. What type of document is this? What is its purpose?
    2. When was it written? Why is that significant?
    3. Who created the document? Who received the document?
    4. Who is Marshal Sokolovsky?
    5. How did the CIA get information of the meeting between Marshal Sokolovsky and German members of the German industrial committee?
    6. What were the three Soviet alternatives as they presented themselves when this document was written? What policy did the Soviets pursue over the course of the next nine months? Why?
     Go to the next page to submit your responses.