Divided Germany

In Berlin, the Western Allies’ access to the city required navigating the roads, railways, and canals of the Soviet-controlled German Democratic Republic. This arrangement ended in June 1948 when the Soviet Union, hoping they could force the democratic powers from Berlin, blocked Allied access to the city. The Western Allies recognized that they needed to reforge Germany into a bulwark against the spread of Bolshevism through war-ravaged Europe.

To do this, the Allies needed to find an alternative means to provision Berlin and maintain their sectors of responsibility.