Below are five sentences that could describe and sum up the Berlin airlift. This was an important Cold War victory for the United States and its allies, as West Berlin (like all of Berlin) was surrounded by territory controlled by the Soviet Union.
In March of 1948, Great Britain, France, and the United States formed their different sectors of Germany into one unit and introduced a unified currency, the deustche mark. In response to this, an act it perceived as a hostile violation of how Germany was supposed to be administered, the Soviet Union blockaded all the land routes into West Berlin, saying the Allies no longer had any rights in the city. The United States and Britain therefore airdropped food and supplies into West Berlin for eleven months rather than allow the USSR control of West Berlin. While the situation increased tensions and brought a heightened military presence into the area—and caused a considerable amount of hardship for the people trapped in West Berlin—the USSR finally backed down and ended the blockade. The standoff was one of the first events in the Cold War and showed the West was willing to stand its ground and stop Soviet advances into free Europe territory.