“Doomed to Failure”

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:
“Doomed to Failure”

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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Past authors argue the Western powers quickly adopted an “airlift strategy” to defeat the blockade. Exploring the airlift’s early limits, Chapter 5 disputes this contention. The airlift began as a short-term measure to feed the Western garrisons, then expanded into an effort to buy time and boost Berliners’ morale. In the early days, no one believed it could break the blockade. The US Air Force and the Royal Air Force had few airfields in their zones and only two in Berlin. Bad weather and shortages of crews, mechanics, spare parts, and fuel hampered operations. The Assistant Secretary of the US Air Force summed up the situation for the National Security Council in mid-July, declaring the airlift was “doomed to failure.”

Keywords: Berlin airlift; National Security Council; Royal Air Force; United States Air Force

Chapter.  9962 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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