Chapter

Introduction

Daniel F. Harrington

in Berlin on the Brink

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780813136134
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813136837 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5810/kentucky/9780813136134.003.0001
Introduction

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The introduction outlines differences between standard accounts of the Berlin blockade and the interpretation offered here. Earlier accounts fail to explain why wartime planners created Western sectors in Berlin, surrounded by the Soviet zone, without well-defined access rights to them, or why the Western powers failed to deter Soviet pressure on the city. Most accounts contend that the West quickly settled on an airlift to counter the blockade, while noting that leaders believed Berlin could not be supplied by air. In other words, governments chose the airlift as their response expecting it would fail. That does not make sense. Depictions of life in the city tend to be undifferentiated, while accounts of Western diplomacy ignore serious disagreements over tactics. Stalin’s decision to lift the blockade probably came later that traditional accounts suggest.

Keywords: Berlin Airlift; Berlin Blockade; sector; Western powers; zone

Chapter.  2352 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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