The Cold War is an often overlooked war in history. A decades-long conflict without a single shot being fired (formally, anyway), the Cold War was a war of constant tension and untraditional conflict.
Though at one point, the U.S. did swoop in and save the day in a major way that most people don’t know about.
Claiming their territories
After World War II concluded in 1945, many Allied powers held peace conferences to determine how they would divide Germany’s territories. It was agreed that Germany would be split into four occupation zones—the eastern half would go to the Soviet Union and the western half, to the United States, Great Britain, and France.
But what about Berlin? The best solution would be to divide the Germany city between the Allied zones in 1945. But the Soviet Union wasn’t too thrilled with the decision.
The start of the Berlin Airlift
In June 1948, the Soviet Union used its forces to block all ground traffic into West Berlin. This was part of the country’s efforts to force the U.S., Great Britain, and France to accept Soviet demands concerning Germany’s future.
The Soviets stopped at nothing to demonstrate who was boss. This included blocking all shipments of food, clothing, and medical supplies to West Berlin. This act of retaliation led the U.S. to plan multiple airlifts to deliver the necessary supplies to West Berlin.
Over 15 months, 277,264 airlift deliveries landed in West Berlin, delivering over two million supplies. The brave and heroic act has since been referred to as the ‘Berlin Airlift.” When the Soviet Union closed its blockage on September 30, 1949, it was the official end of the Berlin Airlift. But it also meant something else.
A successful victory for the U.S.
Because of its smart planning, the U.S. convinced the Soviet Union to close its borders and end its West Berlin blockage. This was a small victory for the U.S. during the Cold War, and the U.S. didn’t even need to use any weapons.
Americans became the heroes and the Soviets were the enemies. After all, they tried to starve people, and that doesn’t exactly make you any friends.