In 1948 conflict in West Berlin tested President Truman's containment policy and presented him with one of the most important decisions of his presidency. In an attempt to gain control of Berlin, the Soviets blocked all roads crossing the eastern zone and effectively cut off West Berlin from receiving any supplies. West Berlin's 2 million residents were suddenly hostages in a cold war. Truman, faced with the choices of either surrendering West Berlin or sending an armed convoy to confront the Soviet blockade, chose an unlikely alternative. His solution, the Berlin Airlift, would be opposed by some, thought infeasible by many, and declared a humanitarian success by all. This Web site shows how the Berlin Airlift overcame challenges and managed to satisfy Truman's containment policy.
Destination Title: The Berlin Airlift
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Start at the Berlin Airlift Web site.
- Scroll down and click on The Airlift Begins topic in the right-hand column.
- Browse through the site, taking notes as you go. To read through the pages, click on the page numbers at the top or bottom of the page.
After you have read through the information, answer the following questions.