European Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives Jun 23 1968, Page 11

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European Stars and Stripes (Newspaper) - June 23, 1968, Darmstadt, HesseSkimming rubble of isolated Berlin c54 brings in another 10 tons of vittles to harassed citizens. By Peter Kuhrt staff writer 20th anniversary of the Airlift on june 24, 1948, the phone jangled in then it. Gen. Curtis e. Lemay office at . Air Force Headquarters in Wiesbaden Germany. The Call came from Berlin. Curt asked the Man on the other end of the line can you transport Coal by air there was a Long pause before the Safe commander managed a reply. Excuse me general he said barely hiding his Surprise would you mind repeating that question Gen. Lucius. Clay commander in chief of the . European command and military governor of the . Zone in Germany did. And As a result of the Clay Lema conversation the Western allies launched what went into the books alone of the most magnificent military operations in peacetime the Berlin air was the answer of the West to a soviet blockade of Berlin designed to strangle starve and Force into submission 2.5 million berliners in the West Ern half of the City. The russian noose around Berli was applied in Earnest in the summer of 1948, but the reds actually had buildup to it much earlier. All through 1947 hints grew into certainty thai the soviets were trying to pressure the three Western allies into withdrawal from the former German capital. At an August 1947 session of the Kom Man Datura the four Power military government of the City the soviets accused the United states and Britain of attempting to merge their City sectors with their already combined occupation zones. All denials were ignored. In october a Western press report said most of the . Military forces in Berlin would be withdrawn soon. The russian supervised communist press magnified the january 1948, the first signs of a creeping blockade became soviets clamped heavy restrictions on passenger train traffic Between Ber Lin and West Germany. In March they followed up with regulations that harassed military train movements and greatly reduced Highway traffic into the that russian moves interfering with the City s Freedom came one after another Border searches were imposed air traffic restricted individual Ger mans were prevented from travelling through the soviet zone because of alleged faults in their papers. This Long Chain of organized harassment was bound to come to a head and it finally did on March 20, ii that Day the Allied control coun cil the highest body of the four Power government in Berlin met at the Kom Man Datura building in Kleist Park m one of its regular sessions. The conference in which Clay rep resented the United states immediately started off with a Long winded attack by Russia s marshal Sokolovsky accusing the Western Powers of unilateral action in their administration of conquered Germany. The British representative started to reply but Sokolovsky Cut him Short say ing i see no sense in continuing with that and As though by signal the soviet delegation got up and stalked out. The Allied control Council was dead Clay was to write later in his Book decision in an International undertaking which if successful might have contributed toasting peace had failed. We knew that Day that. The split in Germany which in View of soviet intransigence had seemed inevitable for som months had taken place. The breakup of the control coun cil Finali cd the division of Germany was the overture to the cold War and signalled the soviet Union s intention to Swallow up the following two months As apr mtg slowly arrived at the divided City the russians stepped up their pressures against both the allies and the civilian population. They caused Washington to consider Conli ii to i i Tajc i three pronged memorial at Tempelhof symbolizes Airlift. Gold a june 23, 1968 11i i 11 the Start and stripes Page ii

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