The publisher has built a solid reputation by releasing a number of series of military history books with a high photographic content. This series promises to become as popular as the well-established Images of War series and similarly makes use of rare photographs, with full colour sketches and drawings to augment the photographs. The Cold War effectively began in 1945, but the Western Allies initially responded passively to Soviet expansion. The Berlin Blockade marked a new stage in the war and the Allies struck back brilliantly – Strongly Recommended.
NAME: Cold War 1945-1991, Berlin Blockade, Soviet Chokehold and the Great Allied Airlift 1948-1949 FILE: R2539 AUTHOR: Gerry van Tonder PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING: soft back PAGES: 128 PRICE: £14.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: Lancastrian, York, C-47, DC2, assault gliders, Sunderlands, Catalinas, DC4, volunteers, RAF, USAFE, Soviet Frontal Aviation, air-bridge, vertical insertion, strategic materials, food, fuel, clothing, medicines
IMAGE: B2539.jpg6 BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/y8carjul LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The publisher has built a solid reputation by releasing a number of series of military history books with a high photographic content. This series promises to become as popular as the well- established Images of War series and similarly makes use of rare photographs, with full colour sketches and drawings to augment the photographs. The Cold War effectively began in 1945, but the Western Allies initially responded passively to Soviet expansion. The Berlin Blockade marked a new stage in the war and the Allies struck back brilliantly - Strongly Recommended. Having experienced a period of appeasement, Stalin felt it was time to remove the Western Allies from Berlin to create an exclusive Russian occupation of East Germany and then prepare to roll forward to the North Sea and Channel coasts. The large Russian forces then stationed in and around Berlin could have simply rolled over the notional borders into West Berlin, but he did not want to risk a fire fight at that point. Like Hitler before him, he looked to expand in small bites that got larger and larger, reducing the ability of the opposing nations to resist the final hot war. So Stalin decided the simple solution would be to close the agreed land corridors from West Germany to West Berlin and choke the Berliners and the Western Allies occupation forces in the city. It must have seemed such a simple process and one which the Allies were unlikely to prevent. What followed came as a severe shock to Stalin and set the course of the Cold War that would be followed by both the Soviet Union and NATO, with the Soviets running up increasing mountains of debt and falling behind NATO as US and British development and manufacturing capabilities out-performed the Soviets, eventually bankrupting the Soviets and forcing Glasnost and the end of the Cold War. What was amazing was the speed with which the Allies built a massive air bridge to provide a logistics corridor into West Berlin. The air forces of the Allies included very capable transport aircraft that were immediately deployed. Their capabilities were expanded by new airlines, mostly flying war surplus transport aircraft and modified bombers. The logistic operation was enormous and the challenge was in managing the continuous flow of hundreds of aircraft from many different organizations and nationalities. The Lancaster heavy bomber had spawned the Lancastrian and York transport and passenger variants. The Sunderland flying boats and the US Catalina amphibians complemented the land aircraft, making use of Berlin's rivers and lakes. Gliders were also used and the Americans employed an interesting method for recovering the gliders to clear the landing grounds and reuse the machines. By any standard the Berlin Airlift was an amazing achievement. It ended when the Soviets had to admit defeat and reopen the land corridors. The importance of the great operation is difficult to understate, making it all the more surprising that it has received such poor coverage from historians. It was more than just containment of Soviet expansion plans. It was effectively the beginning of the end of the Cold War. The Soviets next tried a major conventional war in Korea because their original plans at progressive staged expansion in Europe had been halted by the Berlin Airlift. That war also failed, not least because the US was able to mobilize the United Nations to send a multi-national army to South Korea. Without the victory in Berlin, that UN army might never have been formed.