Berlin and the Dawn of the Cold War

In the aftermath of World War II, amongst the shattered ruins of Berlin a new conflict was born, the Cold War. With the common purpose of defeating Nazi Germany gone the allied powers were soon no longer allies. Berlin had been divided before the end of the war at the Yalta Conference between the British, French, United States and Soviets. However, Berlin was deep in the Soviet-occupied zone of Germany and Stalin wished to wrest control of it from the other allied powers. The situation became so tense that it almost sparked another world war and the allies remained steadfast in their determination to hold onto their sectors of the city. This culminated in the Berlin Airlift where many thousands of tons of supplies were flown into the city daily to defy the Soviet blockade and keep its residents from starvation. The fantastic historian and writer Giles Milton is today's guest to discuss his new book Checkmate in Berlin which explores the history of Berlin in the immediate post-war period. Giles and Dan discuss how tensions between the former allies flared, the flourishing black market in Berlin at the time, how the British and Americans were able to pull off the extraordinary feat of the airlift and its consequences.


 

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