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The Berlin Airlift

By Robert Jackson

It has been 70 years since the ‘Iron Curtain’ was drawn around the Western-occupied sectors of Berlin by the Soviet Union. 

Having occupied Berlin three years earlier, Russian forces managed to enforce a blockade on the city in June 1948, preventing the Western Allies access by road, rail or canal. Effectively condemning the people of Berlin to starve, Russia refused to lift the blockade until the Deutsche Mark was withdrawn from West Berlin.

Forced to find another way to deliver supplies to the trapped citizens, the Western Allies began one of the most remarkable operations in history: the Berlin Airlift. Bravely flying over the beleaguered city to drop in nearly 13,000 tons of food and fuel every day, the Royal Air Force, the United States Air Force and other nations faced a dangerous mission. In saving thousands of innocent civilians from starvation and death, 70 members of the aircrew gave their own lives – a sacrifice the Berliners have never forgotten.

In this stunning recreation by RAFVR Squadron Leader and veteran author Robert Jackson, the fifteen months between the start of the blockade and the fall of the Iron Curtain are recounted with vivid detail.

Robert Jackson (b. 1941) is a prolific author of military and aviation history, having become a full-time writer in 1969. As an active serviceman in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve he flew a wide range of aircraft, ranging from jets to gliders.

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