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To What Extent Did The Berlin Airlift Of 1948-1949 Affect Us Soviet Relations During The Course Of The Cold War?

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Yuen Wai Ng
Mr. Kobrowski
History IA
13 March 2017

Research Question: To what extent did the Berlin Airlift of 1948–1949 affect US-Soviet relations during the course of the Cold War?

Word Count: 1653

Section 1: Identification and Evaluation of Sources This investigation will explore the question: To what extent did the Berlin Airlift of 1948–1949 affect US-Soviet relations during the course of the Cold War? The years of 1948 and 1949 will be focused in this investigation, but some pre- 1948 and post- 1949 will be used as support. The first source which will be evaluated is Richard Harris’ excerpt of "The Berlin airlift" from the textbook American History, published in 1998. The source origin is valuable because the author
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Section 2: Investigation
After the end of World War Two in 1945, the Western Powers, which included the United States of America, France and Great Britain, entered a period of military and political tension between them and the Soviet Union, despite the tentative alliance during World War Two. The first major international crisis of the Cold War started on June 24, 1948, when the Soviet Union tried to “starve the Western-held sectors of Berlin into submission” and imposed the Berlin Blockade, by cutting off all water, rail, and road connections to West Berlin, where the allies occupied. In response to this, the United States and Great Britain resolved to sustain and keep Berlin supplied by air, or through flight, which soon became known as the Berlin Airlift (Harris). This creates the question of, To what extent did the Berlin Airlift of 1948–1949 affect US-Soviet relations during the course of the Cold War?
On March 1948 General Lucius D. Clay, the Military Governor of the American zone of occupation in Germany, sent a telegram to the Chief of Staff of the US Army in Washington, depicting the beginnings of the Soviet Union’s imposed restrictions,
“...submit to individual documentation and also will submit their personal belongings for Soviet inspection… permit is required… for all freight brought into Berlin by military trains… Obviously these conditions would
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