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The change went into full effect after 28 September Having noticed on his first inspection trip to Berlin on 31 July that there were long delays as the flight crews returned to their aircraft after getting refreshments from the terminal, Tunner banned aircrew from leaving their aircraft for any reason while in Berlin.

Instead, he equipped jeeps as mobile snack bars , handing out refreshments to the crews at their aircraft while it was being unloaded.

Gail Halvorsen later noted, "he put some beautiful German Fräuleins in that snack bar. They knew we couldn't date them, we had no time. So they were very friendly.

With unloading beginning as soon as engines were shut down on the ramp, turnaround before takeoff back to Rhein-Main or Wiesbaden was reduced to thirty minutes.

The most effective measure taken by Tunner, and the most initially resisted until it demonstrated its efficiency, was creation of a single control point in the CALTF for controlling all air movements into Berlin, rather than each air force doing its own.

The Berliners themselves solved the problem of the lack of manpower. Crews unloading and making airfield repairs at the Berlin airports were made up of almost entirely by local civilians, who were given additional rations in return.

As the crews increased in experience, the times for unloading continued to fall, with a record set for the unloading of an entire ton shipment of coal from a C in ten minutes, later beaten when a twelve-man crew unloaded the same quantity in five minutes and 45 seconds.

By the end of August , after two months, the Airlift was succeeding; daily operations flew more than 1, flights a day and delivered more than 4, tons of cargo, enough to keep West Berlin supplied.

Gail Halvorsen , one of the many Airlift pilots, decided to use his off-time to fly into Berlin and make movies with his hand-held camera.

He arrived at Tempelhof on 17 July on one of the Cs and walked over to a crowd of children who had gathered at the end of the runway to watch the aircraft.

He introduced himself and they started to ask him questions about the aircraft and their flights. As a goodwill gesture, he handed out his only two sticks of Wrigley's Doublemint Gum.

The children quickly divided up the pieces as best they could, even passing around the wrapper for others to smell.

He was so impressed by their gratitude and that they didn't fight over them, that he promised the next time he returned he would drop off more.

Before he left them, a child asked him how they would know it was him flying over. He replied, "I'll wiggle my wings.

The next day on his approach to Berlin, he rocked the aircraft and dropped some chocolate bars attached to a handkerchief parachute to the children waiting below.

Every day after that, the number of children increased and he made several more drops. His commanding officer was upset when the story appeared in the news, but when Tunner heard about it, he approved of the gesture and immediately expanded it into "Operation Little Vittles".

Other pilots participated, and when news reached the US, children all over the country sent in their own candy to help out. Soon, major candy manufacturers joined in.

In the end, over twenty three tons of candy were dropped on Berlin [49] and the "operation" became a major propaganda success.

German children christened the candy-dropping aircraft " raisin bombers ". The Soviets had an advantage in conventional military forces, but were preoccupied with rebuilding their war-torn economy and society.

The US had a stronger navy and air force, and had nuclear weapons. Neither side wanted a war; the Soviets did not disrupt the airlift. As the tempo of the Airlift grew, it became apparent that the Western powers might be able to pull off the impossible: In response, starting on 1 August , the Soviets offered free food to anyone who crossed into East Berlin and registered their ration cards there, but West Berliners overwhelmingly rejected Soviet offers of food.

Throughout the airlift, Soviet and German communists subjected the hard-pressed West Berliners to sustained psychological warfare.

During the early months of the airlift, the Soviets used various methods to harass allied aircraft. These included buzzing by Soviet planes, obstructive parachute jumps within the corridors, and shining searchlights to dazzle pilots at night.

Although the USAFE reported separate harassing events, including flak , air-to-air fire, rocketing, bombing, and explosions, this is now considered to be exaggerated.

None of these measures were effective. One day I was buzzed about three times. The following day it started again and he came across twice and I got a bit fed up with it.

So when he came for the third time, I turned the aircraft into him and it was a case of chicken, luckily he was the one who chickened out.

In the autumn of it became impossible for the non-Communist majority in Greater Berlin's citywide parliament to attend sessions at city hall within the Soviet sector.

On 9 September a crowd of , people gathered at the Brandenburg Gate , next to the ruined Reichstag in the British sector. The Airlift was working so far, but many West Berliners feared that the Allies would eventually discontinue it.

Then- SPD city councillor Ernst Reuter took the microphone and pleaded for his city, "You peoples of the world, you people of America, of England, of France, look on this city, and recognise that this city, this people, must not be abandoned—cannot be abandoned!

The crowd surged towards the Soviet-occupied sector and someone climbed up and ripped down the Soviet flag flying from atop the Brandenburg Gate.

Soviet military police MPs quickly responded, resulted in the killing of one in the unruly crowd. The resonance worldwide was enormous, notably in the United States, where a strong feeling of solidarity with Berliners reinforced a general widespread determination not to abandon them.

Berlin's parliament decided to meet instead in the canteen of the Technical College of Berlin-Charlottenburg in the British sector, boycotted by the members of SED, which had gained The city parliament, boycotted by its SED members, then voted for its re-election on 5 December , however, inhibited in the eastern sector and defamed by the SED as a Spalterwahl "divisive election".

The SED did not nominate any candidates for this election and appealed to the electorate in the western sectors to boycott the election, while the democratic parties ran for seats.

The turnout amounted to On 7 December the new, de facto West-Berlin-only city parliament elected a new city government in West Berlin headed by Lord Mayor Reuter , who had already once been elected lord mayor in early but prevented from taking office by a Soviet veto.

In the east, a communist system supervised by house, street, and block wardens was quickly implemented.

Although the early estimates were that about 4, to 5, tons per day would be needed to supply the city, this was made in the context of summer weather, when the Airlift was only expected to last a few weeks.

As the operation dragged on into autumn, the situation changed considerably. The food requirements would remain the same around 1, tons , but the need for additional coal to heat the city dramatically increased the total amount of cargo to be transported by an additional 6, tons a day.

To maintain the Airlift under these conditions, the current system would have to be greatly expanded. Aircraft were available, and the British started adding their larger Handley Page Hastings in November, but maintaining the fleet proved to be a serious problem.

Tunner looked to the Germans once again, hiring plentiful ex- Luftwaffe ground crews. Another problem was the lack of runways in Berlin to land on: All of the existing runways required hundreds of labourers, who ran onto them between landings and dumped sand into the runway's Marston Mat pierced steel planking to soften the surface and help the planking survive.

Far from ideal, with the approach being over Berlin's apartment blocks, the runway nevertheless was a major upgrade to the airport's capabilities.

With it in place, the auxiliary runway was upgraded from Marston Matting to asphalt between September and October A similar upgrade program was carried out by the British at Gatow during the same period, also adding a second runway, using concrete.

The French Air Force , meanwhile, had become involved in the First Indochina War , so it could only bring up some old Junkers Ju 52s to support its own troops and they were too small and slow to be of much help.

However, France agreed to build a complete, new and larger airport in its sector on the shores of Lake Tegel.

French military engineers, managing German construction crews, were able to complete the construction in under 90 days.

The airport was mostly built by hand, by thousands of mostly female labourers who worked day and night. Heavy equipment was needed to level the ground, equipment that was too large and heavy to fly in on any existing cargo aircraft.

The solution was to dismantle large machines and then re-assemble them. Using the five largest American C Packet transports, it was possible to fly the machinery into West Berlin.

This not only helped to build the airfield, but also demonstrated that the Soviet blockade could not keep anything out of Berlin.

The Tegel airfield was subsequently developed into Berlin-Tegel Airport. To improve air traffic control, which would be critical as the number of flights grew, the newly developed Ground Controlled Approach radar system GCA was flown to Europe for installation at Tempelhof, with a second set installed at Fassberg in the British Zone in West Germany.

With the installation of GCA, all-weather airlift operations were assured. None of these efforts could fix the weather, which became the biggest problem.

November and December proved to be the worst months of the airlift operation. One of the longest-lasting fogs ever experienced in Berlin blanketed the entire European continent for weeks.

All too often, aircraft would make the entire flight and then be unable to land in Berlin. On 20 November , 42 aircraft departed for Berlin, but only one landed there.

At one point, the city had only a week's supply of coal left. However, the weather eventually improved, and more than , tons were delivered in January , , tons in February, and , tons in March.

By April , airlift operations were running smoothly and Tunner wanted to shake up his command to discourage complacency.

He believed in the spirit of competition between units and, coupled with the idea of a big event, felt that this would encourage them to greater efforts.

He decided that, on Easter Sunday, the airlift would break all records. To do this, maximum efficiency was needed and so, to simplify cargo-handling, only coal would be airlifted.

Coal stockpiles were built up for the effort and maintenance schedules were altered so that the maximum number of aircraft were available.

From noon on 15 April to noon on 16 April , crews worked around the clock. When it was over, 12, tons of coal had been delivered in 1, flights, without a single accident.

In total, the airlift delivered , tons in April. On 21 April, the tonnage of supplies flown into the city exceeded that previously brought by rail.

The next day, the US State Department stated that the "way appears clear" for the blockade to end. Soon afterwards, the four powers began serious negotiations, and a settlement was reached on Western terms.

On 4 May , the Allies announced an agreement to end the blockade in eight days. The Soviet blockade of Berlin was lifted at one minute after midnight on 12 May Later that day, an enormous crowd celebrated the end of the blockade.

Nevertheless, supply flights to Berlin continued for some time to build up a comfortable surplus, though night flying and then weekend flights could be eliminated once the surplus was large enough.

By 24 July , three months' worth of supplies had been amassed, ensuring that there was ample time to restart the Airlift if needed.

The Berlin Airlift officially ended on 30 September , after fifteen months. In total, the USAF delivered 1,, tons and the RAF , tons, [nb 6] totalling 2,, tons, nearly two-thirds of which was coal, on , flights to Berlin.

The Cs and Cs together flew over 92 million miles in the process, almost the distance from Earth to the Sun. A total of fatalities were recorded as a result of the operation, including 40 Britons and 31 Americans, [87] mostly due to non-flying accidents.

Diplomatic approval was granted by a four-power organisation called the Berlin Air Safety Center , also located in the American sector.

Tegel was developed into West Berlin's principal airport. As a result of the development of these two airports, Tempelhof was closed in October , [97] while Gatow is now home of the Museum of the German Luftwaffe and a housing development.

On 2 October , six years after the Wall was constructed, tram tracks in West Berlin were lifted because the authorities wanted to promote car usage, meaning that the tram system remaining today runs almost entirely within the former East Berlin.

For travel from West Berlin through East Germany by car or rail a valid passport was required for citizens of West Germany and other western nationals to be produced at East German border checks; West Berliners could get admission only through their identity cards see above.

Transitstrecke , East German border guards issued a transit visa for a fee of 5 Western Deutsche Mark.

For journeys between West Berlin and Poland or Czechoslovakia through East Germany, each traveller was also required to present a valid visa for the destination country.

The transit routes for road travel connecting West Berlin to other destinations usually consisted of autobahns and other highways, marked by Transit signs.

Transitreisende were prohibited to leave the transit routes , and occasional traffic checkpoints would check for violators.

The latter three routes used autobahns built during the Nazi era. The transit routes were also used for East German domestic traffic.

This meant that transit passengers could potentially meet with East Germans and East Berliners at restaurants at motorway rest stops.

Since such meetings were deemed illegal by the East German government, border guards would calculate the travel duration from the time of entry and exit of the transit route.

Excessive time spent for transit travel could arouse their suspicion and prompt questioning or additional checking by the border guards.

Western coaches could stop only at dedicated service areas, since the East German government was concerned that East Germans might potentially use coaches to escape into the West.

On 1 September East Germany, because of a shortage in foreign currencies , started to levy road tolls on cars using the transit routes.

At first the toll amounted to Eastern Deutsche Mark 10 per passenger car and 10 to 50 for trucks, depending on size. On 30 March , East Germany raised the toll for passenger cars to 30 Deutsche Marks, but after West German protests, in June of the same year it changed it back to the previous rate.

Transitpauschale of 50 million Western Deutsche Marks to the Eastern government, so that transit passengers no longer had to pay tolls individually.

Four transit train connections—earlier also called interzonal train German: These transit trains did not service domestic passengers of East Germany and made stops in East Germany almost exclusively for East German border guards upon entering and leaving the country.

Until the construction of the Berlin Wall, interzonal trains would also stop once on their way within East Germany for travellers having a visa for entering or leaving East Germany.

Train travel from West Berlin to Czechoslovakia, Denmark by ferry , Poland and Sweden by ferry required a visa to enter East Berlin or East Germany to allow transfer to an international train—which also carried domestic passengers—bound for an international destination.

In July and August , the three Western Allies and the Soviet Union decided that the railways, previously serviced by the Deutsche Reichsbahn German Reich Railways , should continue to be operated by one railway administration to service all four sectors.

So West Berlin had — with the exception of a few small private railway lines — no separate railway administration.

Furthermore, the operation of the Reichsbahn's Berlin S-Bahn electric metropolitan transport network, consisting of commuter trains, was also maintained.

After the founding of East Germany on 7 October it gained responsibility for the Reichsbahn in its territory. East Germany continued to run its railways under the official name Deutsche Reichsbahn , which thus maintained responsibility for almost all railway transport in all four sectors of Berlin.

After the Berlin Blockade transit trains German: All transit trains would start or end in East Berlin, passing through West Berlin with only one stop in the Western Berlin Zoologischer Garten railway station , which became West Berlin's main railway station.

Until , the Reichsbahn also permitted stops at other stations on the way through the Western sectors. After easing of tensions between East and West Germany, starting on 30 May transit trains going westwards, southwestwards, or southwards stopped once again at Wannsee.

For transit trains going northwestwards, a shorter line was reopened on 26 September with an additional stop at the then Berlin-Spandau railway station , entering East Germany at Staaken.

Their East German employer, whose proceeds from ticket sales for Western Deutsche Marks contributed to East Germany's foreign revenues, tried to hold down wage social security contributions in Western Deutsche Mark.

They could spend this money in East Germany and take their purchases to West Berlin, which other Westerners could not do to the same extent.

The Reichsbahn ran its own hospital for them in West Berlin, the building of which is now used as the headquarters of Bombardier Transportation.

For certain patients, the Reichsbahn would facilitate treatment in a hospital in East Berlin. In medical emergencies, the employees could use West Berlin doctors and hospitals, which would then be paid for by the Reichsbahn.

Two waterways via the rivers and canals Havel and Mittellandkanal were open for inland navigation , but only freight vessels were allowed to cross from West Berlin into East German waters.

Western freight vessels could stop only at dedicated service areas, because the East German government wanted to prevent any East Germans from boarding them.

Through these waterways, West Berlin was linked to the western European inland navigation network, connecting to seaports like Hamburg and Rotterdam , as well as to industrial areas such as the Ruhr Area , Mannheim , Basel , Belgium, and eastern France.

In July and August , the Western Allies and the Soviet Union decided that the operation and maintenance of the waterways and locks, which were previously run by the national German directorate for inland navigation German: Wasser- und Schifffahrtsamt Berlin , should be continued and reconstructed in all four sectors.

Westhafen Canal and locks, West Berlin had no separate inland navigation authority, but the East Berlin-based authority operated most waterways and locks, their lockmasters were employed by the East.

The western entrance to the Teltowkanal , connecting several industrial areas of West Berlin for heavy freight transport, was blocked by East Germany in Potsdam- Klein Glienicke.

Therefore, vessels going to the Teltowkanal had to take a detour via the river Spree through West and East Berlin's city centre to enter the canal from the East.

On 20 November , East Germany reopened the western entrance, which required two more vessel border checkpoints — Dreilinden and Kleinmachnow — because the waterway crossed the border between East Germany and West Berlin four times.

Air traffic was the only connection between West Berlin and the Western world that was not directly under East German control.

Tickets were originally sold for pounds sterling only. According to permanent agreements, three air corridors to West Germany were provided, which were open only for British, French, or U.

The airspace controlled by the Berlin Air Safety Center comprised a radius of 20 miles The West German airline Lufthansa and most other international airlines were not permitted to fly to West Berlin.

From then on West Berliners required a permit to enter East Germany. East German border checkpoints were established in East German suburbs of West Berlin, and most streets were gradually closed for interzonal travel into East Germany.

The last checkpoint to remain open was located at the Glienicker Brücke near Potsdam, until it was also closed by East Germany on 3 July This caused hardship for many West Berlin residents, especially those who had friends and family in East Germany.

However, East Germans could still enter West Berlin. A number of cemeteries located in East Germany were also affected by the closure.

Many church congregations in Berlin owned cemeteries outside the city, so many West Berlin congregations had cemeteries that were located in East Germany.

So many West Berliners wishing to visit the grave of a relative or friend on cemeteries located in East Germany were now unable to do so. Train routes servicing these suburbs formerly went through West Berlin stations, but ceased to make stops in the western stations or terminated service before entering West Berlin.

Tramways and bus routes that connected West Berlin with its East German suburbs and were operated by West Berlin's public transport operator Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe Gesellschaft BVG West ceased operation on 14 October , after West Berlin tram and bus drivers had been repeatedly stopped and arrested by East German police for having western currency on them, considered a crime in the East.

The Reichsbahn shut down all of its West Berlin terminal stations and redirected its trains to stations in East Berlin, starting with Berlin Görlitzer Bahnhof — closed on 29 April — before serving rail traffic with Görlitz and the southeast of East Germany.

Travellers from East Germany were checked before entering any part of Berlin, to identify individuals intending to escape into West Berlin or smuggling rationed or rare goods into West Berlin.

On 4 June , the Bahnhof Hennigsdorf Süd station located next to West Berlin was opened solely for border controls, also to monitor West Berliners entering or leaving East Berlin, which they could still do freely, while they were not allowed to cross into East Germany proper without a special permit.

In , the Reichsbahn began construction work on the Berlin outer-circle railway line. This circular line connected all train routes heading for West Berlin and accommodated all domestic GDR traffic, thus directing railway traffic into East Berlin while by-passing West Berlin.

Commuters in the East German suburbs around West Berlin now boarded Sputnik express trains, which took them into East Berlin without crossing any western sectors.

With the completion of the outer-circle railway, there was no further need for express S-Bahn trains crossing the West Berlin border and thus their service ended on 4 May , while stopping S-Bahn trains continued service.

With the construction of the Berlin Wall on 13 August , any remaining railway traffic between West Berlin and its East German suburbs ended.

Rail traffic between East and West Berlin was sharply reduced and restricted to a small number of checkpoints under GDR control.

However, international visitors could obtain visas for East Berlin upon crossing one of the checkpoints at the Wall. This route was open only to persons bearing all the necessary East German permits and visas.

While East and West Berlin became formally separate jurisdictions in September , and while there were travel restrictions in all other directions for more than a decade, freedom of movement existed between the western sectors and the eastern sector of the city.

However, time and again Soviet and later East German authorities imposed temporary restrictions for certain persons, certain routes, and certain means of transport.

Gradually the eastern authorities disconnected and separated the two parts of the city. While the Soviets blocked all transport to West Berlin Berlin Blockade between 24 June to 12 May , they increased food supplies in East Berlin in order to gain the compliance of West Berliners who at that time still had free access to East Berlin.

This was seen as support by the communists and as treason by most Westerners. Until that time all over Germany food and other necessary supplies had been available only with ration stamps issued by one's municipality.

By July a mere 19, West Berliners out of a total of almost 2 million covered their food requirements in East Berlin. The new currency was also introduced in West Berlin on 24 June and this, at least officially, was the justification for the Soviet Blockade due to which rationing in West Berlin had to continue.

However, in the course of the Berlin Air Lift some supplies were increased beyond the pre-Blockade level and therefore rationing of certain goods in West Berlin was stopped.

While West Berliners were officially welcome to buy food in East Berlin, the Soviets tried to prevent them from buying other essential supplies, particularly coal and other fuel.

For this reason, on 9 November , they opened checkpoints on 70 streets entering West Berlin and closed the others for horse carriages, lorries and cars, later 16 March the Soviets erected roadblocks on the closed streets.

They also opened so-called "Free Shops" in the Eastern Sector, offering supplies without ration stamps, but denominated at extremely high prices in Eastern Deutsche Marks.

Ordinary East and West Berliners could only afford to buy there if they had income in Western Deutsche Mark and bartered the needed Eastern Deutsche Mark on the spontaneous currency markets, which developed in the British sector at the Zoo station.

After the Blockade, when holders of Western Deutsche Marks could buy as much they could afford, up to five and six east marks were offered for one west mark.

In the East, however, the Soviets had arbitrarily decreed a rate of 1 for 1 and exchanging at other rates was criminalised.

On 12 May the Blockade ended and all roadblocks and checkpoints between East and West Berlin were removed. The Berlin Airlift, however, continued until 30 September in order to build up supplies in West Berlin the so-called Senate Reserve , in readiness for another possible blockade, thus ensuring that an airlift could then be restarted with ease.

On 2 May power stations in East Berlin started again to supply West Berlin with sufficient electricity. Before then, electricity supplies had to be reduced to just a few hours a day after the normal supplies had been interrupted at the start of the Blockade.

However, the Western Allies and the West Berlin City Council decided to be self-sufficient in terms of electricity generation capacity, to be independent of Eastern supplies and not to be held to ransom by the eastern authorities.

On 1 December the new powerhouse West German: However, for a time Eastern electricity continued to be supplied albeit intermittently.

Supply was interrupted from 1 July until the end of and then started again until 4 March , when the East finally switched it off. From then on West Berlin turned into an 'electricity island' within a pan-European electricity grid that had developed from the s, because electricity transfers between East and West Germany never fully ceased.

The 'electricity island' situation was noticed most in situations of particularly high demand; in other areas of Europe peaks in demand could be met by tapping into electricity supplies from neighbouring areas, but in West Berlin this was not an option and for certain users the lights would go out.

Free entry to East Berlin remained possible until and the building of the Wall. Berlin's underground Untergrundbahn, U-Bahn and Berlin's S-Bahn a metropolitan public transit network , rebuilt after the war, continued to span all occupation sectors.

Many people lived in one half of the city and had family, friends, and jobs in the other. However, the East continuously reduced the means of public transport between East and West, with private cars being a very rare privilege in the East and still a luxury in the West.

Starting on 15 January the tram network was interrupted. Instead of changing the Western rules, so that the Easterly intended interruption of the cross-border tram traffic would not happen, the BVG West insisted on male drivers.

So cross-border tram traffic ended on 16 January. The underground and the S-Bahn networks, except the above-mentioned traverse S-Bahn trains , continued to provide services between East and West Berlin.

However, occasionally the East Berlin police — in the streets and on cross-border trains in East Berlin — identified suspicious behaviour such as carrying heavy loads westwards and watched out for unwelcome Westerners.

Occasionally, West Germans were banned from entering East Berlin. This was the case between 29 August and 1 September , when ex prisoners of war and deportees, homecomers German: Heimkehrer , from all around West Germany and West Berlin met for a convention in that city.

The homecomers released mostly from a long detention in the Soviet Union were unwelcome in East Berlin. West Berliners were allowed, since the quadripartite Allied status quo provided for their free movement around all four sectors.

As the communist government in the East gained tighter control, and the economic recovery in the West significantly outperformed the East, more than a hundred thousand East Germans and East Berliners left East Germany and East Berlin for the West every year.

As there was freedom of movement between West Berlin and West Germany, Easterners could use the city as a transit point to West Germany, usually travelling there by air.

Learn More in these related Britannica articles: Its status as an enclave made Berlin a continuous focus of….

Policies of the Kennedy administration. Khrushchev was being pressured by the East German leader Walter Ulbricht to stem the tide of thousands of skilled workers who were fleeing across the zonal boundary into West Berlin.

Kennedy responded by pledging to defend West Berlin …. Allied occupation and the formation of the two Germanys, — Berlin, the former capital, which was surrounded by the Soviet zone, was placed under joint four-power authority but was partitioned into four sectors for administrative purposes.

An Allied Control Council was to exercise overall joint authority over the country. He showed great moral courage when in the Soviet Union demanded that West Berlin be given the title of a demilitarized free city and especially when the Berlin Wall was built in Help us improve this article!

Contact our editors with your feedback. You may find it helpful to search within the site to see how similar or related subjects are covered.

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For travel from West Berlin through East Germany by car or rail a valid passport was required for citizens of West Germany and other western nationals to be produced at East German border checks; West Berliners could get admission only through their identity cards see above.

Transitstrecke , East German border guards issued a transit visa for a fee of 5 Western Deutsche Mark. For journeys between West Berlin and Poland or Czechoslovakia through East Germany, each traveller was also required to present a valid visa for the destination country.

The transit routes for road travel connecting West Berlin to other destinations usually consisted of autobahns and other highways, marked by Transit signs.

Transitreisende were prohibited to leave the transit routes , and occasional traffic checkpoints would check for violators.

The latter three routes used autobahns built during the Nazi era. The transit routes were also used for East German domestic traffic. This meant that transit passengers could potentially meet with East Germans and East Berliners at restaurants at motorway rest stops.

Since such meetings were deemed illegal by the East German government, border guards would calculate the travel duration from the time of entry and exit of the transit route.

Excessive time spent for transit travel could arouse their suspicion and prompt questioning or additional checking by the border guards.

Western coaches could stop only at dedicated service areas, since the East German government was concerned that East Germans might potentially use coaches to escape into the West.

On 1 September East Germany, because of a shortage in foreign currencies , started to levy road tolls on cars using the transit routes.

At first the toll amounted to Eastern Deutsche Mark 10 per passenger car and 10 to 50 for trucks, depending on size. On 30 March , East Germany raised the toll for passenger cars to 30 Deutsche Marks, but after West German protests, in June of the same year it changed it back to the previous rate.

Transitpauschale of 50 million Western Deutsche Marks to the Eastern government, so that transit passengers no longer had to pay tolls individually.

Four transit train connections—earlier also called interzonal train German: These transit trains did not service domestic passengers of East Germany and made stops in East Germany almost exclusively for East German border guards upon entering and leaving the country.

Until the construction of the Berlin Wall, interzonal trains would also stop once on their way within East Germany for travellers having a visa for entering or leaving East Germany.

Train travel from West Berlin to Czechoslovakia, Denmark by ferry , Poland and Sweden by ferry required a visa to enter East Berlin or East Germany to allow transfer to an international train—which also carried domestic passengers—bound for an international destination.

In July and August , the three Western Allies and the Soviet Union decided that the railways, previously serviced by the Deutsche Reichsbahn German Reich Railways , should continue to be operated by one railway administration to service all four sectors.

So West Berlin had — with the exception of a few small private railway lines — no separate railway administration. Furthermore, the operation of the Reichsbahn's Berlin S-Bahn electric metropolitan transport network, consisting of commuter trains, was also maintained.

After the founding of East Germany on 7 October it gained responsibility for the Reichsbahn in its territory. East Germany continued to run its railways under the official name Deutsche Reichsbahn , which thus maintained responsibility for almost all railway transport in all four sectors of Berlin.

After the Berlin Blockade transit trains German: All transit trains would start or end in East Berlin, passing through West Berlin with only one stop in the Western Berlin Zoologischer Garten railway station , which became West Berlin's main railway station.

Until , the Reichsbahn also permitted stops at other stations on the way through the Western sectors. After easing of tensions between East and West Germany, starting on 30 May transit trains going westwards, southwestwards, or southwards stopped once again at Wannsee.

For transit trains going northwestwards, a shorter line was reopened on 26 September with an additional stop at the then Berlin-Spandau railway station , entering East Germany at Staaken.

Their East German employer, whose proceeds from ticket sales for Western Deutsche Marks contributed to East Germany's foreign revenues, tried to hold down wage social security contributions in Western Deutsche Mark.

They could spend this money in East Germany and take their purchases to West Berlin, which other Westerners could not do to the same extent. The Reichsbahn ran its own hospital for them in West Berlin, the building of which is now used as the headquarters of Bombardier Transportation.

For certain patients, the Reichsbahn would facilitate treatment in a hospital in East Berlin. In medical emergencies, the employees could use West Berlin doctors and hospitals, which would then be paid for by the Reichsbahn.

Two waterways via the rivers and canals Havel and Mittellandkanal were open for inland navigation , but only freight vessels were allowed to cross from West Berlin into East German waters.

Western freight vessels could stop only at dedicated service areas, because the East German government wanted to prevent any East Germans from boarding them.

Through these waterways, West Berlin was linked to the western European inland navigation network, connecting to seaports like Hamburg and Rotterdam , as well as to industrial areas such as the Ruhr Area , Mannheim , Basel , Belgium, and eastern France.

In July and August , the Western Allies and the Soviet Union decided that the operation and maintenance of the waterways and locks, which were previously run by the national German directorate for inland navigation German: Wasser- und Schifffahrtsamt Berlin , should be continued and reconstructed in all four sectors.

Westhafen Canal and locks, West Berlin had no separate inland navigation authority, but the East Berlin-based authority operated most waterways and locks, their lockmasters were employed by the East.

The western entrance to the Teltowkanal , connecting several industrial areas of West Berlin for heavy freight transport, was blocked by East Germany in Potsdam- Klein Glienicke.

Therefore, vessels going to the Teltowkanal had to take a detour via the river Spree through West and East Berlin's city centre to enter the canal from the East.

On 20 November , East Germany reopened the western entrance, which required two more vessel border checkpoints — Dreilinden and Kleinmachnow — because the waterway crossed the border between East Germany and West Berlin four times.

Air traffic was the only connection between West Berlin and the Western world that was not directly under East German control. Tickets were originally sold for pounds sterling only.

According to permanent agreements, three air corridors to West Germany were provided, which were open only for British, French, or U.

The airspace controlled by the Berlin Air Safety Center comprised a radius of 20 miles The West German airline Lufthansa and most other international airlines were not permitted to fly to West Berlin.

From then on West Berliners required a permit to enter East Germany. East German border checkpoints were established in East German suburbs of West Berlin, and most streets were gradually closed for interzonal travel into East Germany.

The last checkpoint to remain open was located at the Glienicker Brücke near Potsdam, until it was also closed by East Germany on 3 July This caused hardship for many West Berlin residents, especially those who had friends and family in East Germany.

However, East Germans could still enter West Berlin. A number of cemeteries located in East Germany were also affected by the closure.

Many church congregations in Berlin owned cemeteries outside the city, so many West Berlin congregations had cemeteries that were located in East Germany.

So many West Berliners wishing to visit the grave of a relative or friend on cemeteries located in East Germany were now unable to do so.

Train routes servicing these suburbs formerly went through West Berlin stations, but ceased to make stops in the western stations or terminated service before entering West Berlin.

Tramways and bus routes that connected West Berlin with its East German suburbs and were operated by West Berlin's public transport operator Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe Gesellschaft BVG West ceased operation on 14 October , after West Berlin tram and bus drivers had been repeatedly stopped and arrested by East German police for having western currency on them, considered a crime in the East.

The Reichsbahn shut down all of its West Berlin terminal stations and redirected its trains to stations in East Berlin, starting with Berlin Görlitzer Bahnhof — closed on 29 April — before serving rail traffic with Görlitz and the southeast of East Germany.

Travellers from East Germany were checked before entering any part of Berlin, to identify individuals intending to escape into West Berlin or smuggling rationed or rare goods into West Berlin.

On 4 June , the Bahnhof Hennigsdorf Süd station located next to West Berlin was opened solely for border controls, also to monitor West Berliners entering or leaving East Berlin, which they could still do freely, while they were not allowed to cross into East Germany proper without a special permit.

In , the Reichsbahn began construction work on the Berlin outer-circle railway line. This circular line connected all train routes heading for West Berlin and accommodated all domestic GDR traffic, thus directing railway traffic into East Berlin while by-passing West Berlin.

Commuters in the East German suburbs around West Berlin now boarded Sputnik express trains, which took them into East Berlin without crossing any western sectors.

With the completion of the outer-circle railway, there was no further need for express S-Bahn trains crossing the West Berlin border and thus their service ended on 4 May , while stopping S-Bahn trains continued service.

With the construction of the Berlin Wall on 13 August , any remaining railway traffic between West Berlin and its East German suburbs ended.

Rail traffic between East and West Berlin was sharply reduced and restricted to a small number of checkpoints under GDR control.

However, international visitors could obtain visas for East Berlin upon crossing one of the checkpoints at the Wall. This route was open only to persons bearing all the necessary East German permits and visas.

While East and West Berlin became formally separate jurisdictions in September , and while there were travel restrictions in all other directions for more than a decade, freedom of movement existed between the western sectors and the eastern sector of the city.

However, time and again Soviet and later East German authorities imposed temporary restrictions for certain persons, certain routes, and certain means of transport.

Gradually the eastern authorities disconnected and separated the two parts of the city. While the Soviets blocked all transport to West Berlin Berlin Blockade between 24 June to 12 May , they increased food supplies in East Berlin in order to gain the compliance of West Berliners who at that time still had free access to East Berlin.

This was seen as support by the communists and as treason by most Westerners. Until that time all over Germany food and other necessary supplies had been available only with ration stamps issued by one's municipality.

By July a mere 19, West Berliners out of a total of almost 2 million covered their food requirements in East Berlin.

The new currency was also introduced in West Berlin on 24 June and this, at least officially, was the justification for the Soviet Blockade due to which rationing in West Berlin had to continue.

However, in the course of the Berlin Air Lift some supplies were increased beyond the pre-Blockade level and therefore rationing of certain goods in West Berlin was stopped.

While West Berliners were officially welcome to buy food in East Berlin, the Soviets tried to prevent them from buying other essential supplies, particularly coal and other fuel.

For this reason, on 9 November , they opened checkpoints on 70 streets entering West Berlin and closed the others for horse carriages, lorries and cars, later 16 March the Soviets erected roadblocks on the closed streets.

They also opened so-called "Free Shops" in the Eastern Sector, offering supplies without ration stamps, but denominated at extremely high prices in Eastern Deutsche Marks.

Ordinary East and West Berliners could only afford to buy there if they had income in Western Deutsche Mark and bartered the needed Eastern Deutsche Mark on the spontaneous currency markets, which developed in the British sector at the Zoo station.

After the Blockade, when holders of Western Deutsche Marks could buy as much they could afford, up to five and six east marks were offered for one west mark.

In the East, however, the Soviets had arbitrarily decreed a rate of 1 for 1 and exchanging at other rates was criminalised. On 12 May the Blockade ended and all roadblocks and checkpoints between East and West Berlin were removed.

The Berlin Airlift, however, continued until 30 September in order to build up supplies in West Berlin the so-called Senate Reserve , in readiness for another possible blockade, thus ensuring that an airlift could then be restarted with ease.

On 2 May power stations in East Berlin started again to supply West Berlin with sufficient electricity. Before then, electricity supplies had to be reduced to just a few hours a day after the normal supplies had been interrupted at the start of the Blockade.

However, the Western Allies and the West Berlin City Council decided to be self-sufficient in terms of electricity generation capacity, to be independent of Eastern supplies and not to be held to ransom by the eastern authorities.

On 1 December the new powerhouse West German: However, for a time Eastern electricity continued to be supplied albeit intermittently.

Supply was interrupted from 1 July until the end of and then started again until 4 March , when the East finally switched it off.

From then on West Berlin turned into an 'electricity island' within a pan-European electricity grid that had developed from the s, because electricity transfers between East and West Germany never fully ceased.

The 'electricity island' situation was noticed most in situations of particularly high demand; in other areas of Europe peaks in demand could be met by tapping into electricity supplies from neighbouring areas, but in West Berlin this was not an option and for certain users the lights would go out.

Free entry to East Berlin remained possible until and the building of the Wall. Berlin's underground Untergrundbahn, U-Bahn and Berlin's S-Bahn a metropolitan public transit network , rebuilt after the war, continued to span all occupation sectors.

Many people lived in one half of the city and had family, friends, and jobs in the other. However, the East continuously reduced the means of public transport between East and West, with private cars being a very rare privilege in the East and still a luxury in the West.

Starting on 15 January the tram network was interrupted. Instead of changing the Western rules, so that the Easterly intended interruption of the cross-border tram traffic would not happen, the BVG West insisted on male drivers.

So cross-border tram traffic ended on 16 January. The underground and the S-Bahn networks, except the above-mentioned traverse S-Bahn trains , continued to provide services between East and West Berlin.

However, occasionally the East Berlin police — in the streets and on cross-border trains in East Berlin — identified suspicious behaviour such as carrying heavy loads westwards and watched out for unwelcome Westerners.

Occasionally, West Germans were banned from entering East Berlin. This was the case between 29 August and 1 September , when ex prisoners of war and deportees, homecomers German: Heimkehrer , from all around West Germany and West Berlin met for a convention in that city.

The homecomers released mostly from a long detention in the Soviet Union were unwelcome in East Berlin.

West Berliners were allowed, since the quadripartite Allied status quo provided for their free movement around all four sectors.

As the communist government in the East gained tighter control, and the economic recovery in the West significantly outperformed the East, more than a hundred thousand East Germans and East Berliners left East Germany and East Berlin for the West every year.

As there was freedom of movement between West Berlin and West Germany, Easterners could use the city as a transit point to West Germany, usually travelling there by air.

The Wall was directed against the Easterners, who by its construction were no longer allowed to leave the East, except with an Eastern permit, not usually granted.

The Soviets eased their restrictions on Allied military trains on 10 April , but continued periodically to interrupt rail and road traffic during the next 75 days, while the United States continued supplying its military forces by using cargo aircraft.

At the same time, Soviet military aircraft began to violate West Berlin airspace and would harass, or what the military called "buzz", flights in and out of West Berlin.

The Gatow air disaster exacerbated tensions between the Soviets and the other allied powers. On 9 April, Soviet officials demanded that American military personnel maintaining communication equipment in the Eastern zone must withdraw, thus preventing the use of navigation beacons to mark air routes.

Creation of an economically stable western Germany required reform of the unstable Reichsmark German currency introduced after the s German inflation.

The Soviets had debased the Reichsmark by excessive printing, resulting in Germans using cigarettes as a de facto currency or for bartering.

The Soviets believed that the only currency that should be allowed to circulate was the currency that they issued themselves.

The Soviets refused to accept this proposal, hoping to continue the German recession, in keeping with their policy of a weak Germany. Anticipating the introduction of a new currency by the other countries in the non-Soviet zones, the Soviet Union in May directed its military to introduce its own new currency and to permit only the Soviet currency to be used in their sector of Berlin, if the other countries brought in a different currency there.

Against the wishes of the Soviets, the new currency, along with the Marshall Plan that backed it, appeared to have the potential to revitalise Germany.

Stalin looked to force the Western nations to abandon Berlin. The day after the 18 June announcement of the new Deutsche Mark , Soviet guards halted all passenger trains and traffic on the autobahn to Berlin, delayed Western and German freight shipments and required that all water transport secure special Soviet permission.

That same day, a Soviet representative told the other three occupying powers that "We are warning both you and the population of Berlin that we shall apply economic and administrative sanctions that will lead to the circulation in Berlin exclusively of the currency of the Soviet occupation zone.

Rumors of a potential occupation by Soviet troops spread quickly. German communists demonstrated, rioted and attacked pro-West German leaders attending meetings for the municipal government in the Soviet sector.

On 24 June, the Soviets severed land and water connections between the non-Soviet zones and Berlin. Over the following months this counter-blockade would have a damaging impact on East Germany, as the drying up of coal and steel shipments seriously hindered industrial development in the Soviet zone.

Surface traffic from non-Soviet zones to Berlin was blockaded, leaving open only the air corridors. Relying on Soviet goodwill after the war, Britain, France, and the United States had never negotiated an agreement with the Soviets to guarantee these land-based rights of access to Berlin through the Soviet zone.

At the time, West Berlin had 36 days' worth of food, and 45 days' worth of coal. Militarily, the Americans and British were greatly outnumbered because of the postwar scaling back of their armies.

The United States, like other western countries, had disbanded most of its troops and was largely inferior in the European theatre.

In March , only 35 " Silverplate " atomic-capable Boeing B Superfortress bombers—just over half of the 65 Silverplate specification B aircraft built through the end of —and a few trained flight and assembly crews were available.

Three B groups arrived in Europe in July and August The first Silverplate bombers only arrived to Europe near the end of the crisis in April Clay , in charge of the U.

Occupation Zone in Germany, summed up the reasons for not retreating in a cable to Washington, D. We are convinced that our remaining in Berlin is essential to our prestige in Germany and in Europe.

Whether for good or bad, it has become a symbol of the American intent. Believing that Britain, France, and the United States had little option than to acquiesce, the Soviet Military Administration in Germany celebrated the beginning of the blockade.

He believed that Stalin did not want a war and that Soviet actions were aimed at exerting military and political pressure on the West to obtain concessions, relying on the West's prudence and unwillingness to provoke a war.

Although the ground routes had never been negotiated, the same was not true of the air. On 30 November , it had been agreed in writing that there would be three twenty-mile-wide air corridors providing free access to Berlin.

In the face of unarmed aircraft refusing to turn around, the only way to enforce the blockade would have been to shoot them down. An airlift would put the Soviet Union in the position of either shooting down unarmed humanitarian aircraft, thus breaking their own agreements, or backing down.

The airlift option critically depended on scale and effectiveness. If the supplies could not be flown in fast enough, Soviet help would eventually be needed to prevent starvation.

Clay was told to take advice from General LeMay to see if an airlift was possible. Initially taken aback by the inquiry, which was "Can you haul coal?

The American military government, based on a minimum daily ration of 1, kilocalories July , [50] set a total of daily supplies needed at tons of flour and wheat, tons of cereal, 64 tons of fat, tons of meat and fish, tons of dehydrated potatoes, tons of sugar, 11 tons of coffee, 19 tons of powdered milk, 5 tons of whole milk for children, 3 tons of fresh yeast for baking, tons of dehydrated vegetables, 38 tons of salt and 10 tons of cheese.

In all, 1, tons were required each day to sustain the over two million people of Berlin. Carrying all this in would not be easy.

The postwar demobilisation left the US forces in Europe with only two groups [53] of C Skytrain transports the military version of the Douglas DC-3 , which the British called "Dakota" , nominally 96 aircraft, each of which could carry about 3.

LeMay believed that "with an all-out effort" of daily round trips these would be able to haul about tons of supplies a day.

This was not nearly enough to move the 5, tons a day that would be needed, but these numbers could be increased as new aircraft arrived from the United Kingdom, the United States, and France.

The RAF would be relied on to increase its numbers quickly. It could fly additional aircraft in from Britain in a single hop, bringing the RAF fleet to about Dakotas and 40 of the larger Avro Yorks with a ton payload.

With this fleet, the British contribution was expected to rise to tons a day in the short term, a month, but even that at the cost of suspending all air traffic except for the airlift to Berlin and Warsaw.

Planners calculated that including Cs already ordered to Germany and drawing on those flying with civilian carriers, Skymasters could be available for an "extreme emergency.

Given the feasibility assessment made by the British, an airlift appeared to be the best course of action.

One remaining concern was the population of Berlin. Clay told Reuter, "Look, I am ready to try an airlift. I can't guarantee it will work.

I am sure that even at its best, people are going to be cold and people are going to be hungry. And if the people of Berlin won't stand that, it will fail.

And I don't want to go into this unless I have your assurance that the people will be heavily in approval. His endorsement of the airlift option gave it a major boost.

The British asked Canada to contribute planes and crews. It refused, primarily on the grounds that the operation risked war and Canada had not been consulted.

The next day 32 Cs lifted off for Berlin hauling 80 tons of cargo, including milk, flour, and medicine.

The first British aircraft flew on 28 June. At that time, the airlift was expected to last three weeks. On 27 June, Clay cabled William Draper with an estimate of the current situation:.

I have already arranged for our maximum airlift to start on Monday [June 28]. For a sustained effort, we can use seventy Dakotas [Cs].

The number which the British can make available is not yet known, although General Robertson is somewhat doubtful of their ability to make this number available.

Our two Berlin airports can handle in the neighborhood of fifty additional airplanes per day. These would have to be Cs, Cs or planes with similar landing characteristics, as our airports cannot take larger planes.

LeMay is urging two C groups. With this airlift, we should be able to bring in or tons a day. While 2, tons a day is required in normal foods, tons a day utilizing dried foods to the maximum extent will substantially increase the morale of the German people and will unquestionably seriously disturb the Soviet blockade.

To accomplish this, it is urgent that we be given approximately 50 additional transport planes to arrive in Germany at the earliest practicable date, and each day's delay will of course decrease our ability to sustain our position in Berlin.

Crews would be needed to permit maximum operation of these planes. By 1 July, the system was getting under way. Aircraft flew northeast through the American air corridor into Tempelhof Airport , then returned due west flying out on through the British air corridor.

After reaching the British Zone, they turned south to return to their bases. The British ran a similar system, flying southeast from several airports in the Hamburg area through their second corridor into RAF Gatow in the British Sector, and then also returning out on the center corridor, turning for home or landing at Hanover.

However, unlike the Americans, the British also ran some round-trips, using their southeast corridor. To save time many flights didn't land in Berlin, instead air dropping material, such as coal, into the airfields.

Flying from Finkenwerder on the Elbe near Hamburg to the Havel river next to Gatow, their corrosion-resistant hulls suited them to the particular task of delivering baking powder and other salt into the city.

Accommodating the large number of flights to Berlin of dissimilar aircraft with widely varying flight characteristics required close co-ordination.

Smith and his staff developed a complex timetable for flights called the "block system": Aircraft were scheduled to take off every four minutes, flying 1, feet higher than the flight in front.

This pattern began at 5, feet and was repeated five times. This system of stacked inbound serials was later dubbed "the ladder. During the first week the airlift averaged only ninety tons a day, but by the second week it reached 1, tons.

This likely would have sufficed had the effort lasted only a few weeks, as originally believed. The Communist press in East Berlin ridiculed the project.

It derisively referred to "the futile attempts of the Americans to save face and to maintain their untenable position in Berlin. Despite the excitement engendered by glamorous publicity extolling the work and over-work of the crews and the daily increase of tonnage levels, the airlift was not close to being operated to its capability because USAFE was a tactical organisation without any airlift expertise.

Maintenance was barely adequate, crews were not being efficiently used, transports stood idle and disused, necessary record-keeping was scant, and ad hoc flight crews of publicity-seeking desk personnel were disrupting a business-like atmosphere.

Tunner , command the operation. Vandenberg endorsed the recommendation. On 28 July , Tunner arrived in Wiesbaden to take over the operation.

MATS immediately deployed eight squadrons of Cs—72 aircraft to Wiesbaden and Rhein-Main Air Base to reinforce the 54 already in operation, the first by 30 July and the remainder by mid-August, and two-thirds of all C aircrew worldwide began transferring to Germany to allot three crews per aircraft.

Two weeks after his arrival, on 13 August, Tunner decided to fly to Berlin to grant an award to Lt. Lykins, an airlift pilot who had made the most flights into Berlin up to that time, a symbol of the entire effort to date.

A C crashed and burned at the end of the runway, and a second one landing behind it burst its tires while trying to avoid it.

A third transport ground looped after mistakenly landing on a runway under construction. Newly unloaded planes were denied permission to take off to avoid that possibility and created a backup on the ground.

While no one was killed, Tunner was embarrassed that the control tower at Tempelhof had lost control of the situation while the commander of the airlift was circling overhead.

Tunner radioed for all stacked aircraft except his to be sent home immediately. This became known as "Black Friday," and Tunner personally noted it was from that date that the success of the airlift stemmed.

As a result of Black Friday, Tunner instituted a number of new rules; instrument flight rules IFR would be in effect at all times, regardless of actual visibility, and each sortie would have only one chance to land in Berlin, returning to its air base if it missed its approach, where it was slotted back into the flow.

Stacking was completely eliminated. Wetter, Temperatur, Windrichtung und Geschwindigkeit, Luftdruck, relative Luftfeuchte und Bewölkungsgrad werden für den jeweiligen Ort Punkt zu einem bestimmten Zeitpunkt Termin auf der Zeitachse angezeigt.

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