The Berlin Blockade, Formation of NATO and Warsaw Pact, and the Berlin Wall

After Second World War, Germany was controlled by communist Soviet Union in the east and capitalist allies in the west.

West Germany was created on June 7, 1948 when Britain, France, and the US agreed to unite their sections.

Starting from June, 1948, the Soviet Union blocked road, river, and train travel

They also sought to stop the creation of an independent West Germany.

Many historians view the Berlin Blockade as the first serious confrontation of the Cold War.

June 1948 to May 1949, US and Britain decided to fly in food and supplies to West Berlin for 10 months so they did not have to give up on West Berlin.

It is known as Berlin Airlift. The airlift operation employed 400 planes flying 24 hours a day.

The Soviets lifted the blockade in May 1949 with the realization that East Berlin was suffering more, as a result of the Allies counter‐blockade on Eastern Berlin.

The Berlin blockade accelerated the division of Germany. On May 3, 1949, The Federal Republic of Germany (FRG, West Germany) was founded as an independent state.

In eastern Germany, the communist German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany) became a sovereign nation on October 7, 1949. Germany was then formally divided.

The Western Allies had feared that the Berlin Blockade was a precursor to a Soviet invasion of Western Europe. Their response was the formation of NATO on April 4, 1949. In 1955 the Soviets founded the Warsaw Pact

Germany officially splits into two countries by the end of 1949 – West Germany (allied with the US and UK) and East Germany (controlled by the Soviets).

It is said that the capitalist West Germany began to prosper and the communist East was struggling. Many skilled workers from East Germany were fleeing to the West.

In an effort to stop this migration, the Soviets began the construction of the Berlin Wall through the city of Berlin on August 13, 1961. The wall stood until 1989, when it was finally torn down; the event is regarded as the symbolic fall of communism.

The Soviet Atomic Bomb: On August 29, 1949, the Soviets exploded their first atomic bomb, ending the American monopoly.

Many Americans now feared a Soviet nuclear attack. Many more concluded that the Soviets had suddenly changed the global balance of power. The Soviet atomic bomb also marked the beginning of a huge and costly nuclear arms race.

The “Loss” of China

In October 1949, communist forces engaged in the long‐running Chinese Civil War proclaimed the creation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The Chinese communists, led by Mao Zedong, had been helped by the Soviets.

The Soviets immediately recognized the new PRC and began supplying it with economic and military aid. the West believed the loss of China was part of a larger conspiracy to encircle capitalism.

the communist victory in China/ introduced the Cold War to Asia.

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