The Berlin Airlift

Ref: C2419801

23rd June, 1948 Western Allies (France, UK, USA) Introduced a new currency – the Deutsche Mark in their occupation zones of Germany. Next day, Stalin ordered the Soviet occupation forces to close the access roads, railways even canals to Allied controlled West Berlin. The Berlin Blockade had begun. The Allied answer was the Berlin Airlift – 318 days, 275,000 flights, 1.5 million tons of supplies. We have six weeks in which to tell the story.

Course aim

The Berlin Airlift was a pivotal episode in Post-War Europe. Its role in the Cold War is fascinating. .The course will explore the background, course and consequences of the Airlift.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is for improvers
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • interest in the subject and a willingness to ask questions and/or raise points (even in dispute) will greatly enhance our mutual progress

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • outline the chief events of the Berlin blockade
  • comment on the scale of the effort involved
  • assess the risks involved on both sides
  • decide whether to do some more detailed personal research

How will I be taught?

  • Mainly illustrated presentations and the consequent opportunities to discuss the topics presented.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • Students usually do find materials that I have not seen. They bring them in and provoke further discussions. This can be amongst the most valuable parts of the course.

What else do I need to know?

  • interest and questions

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • This is "modern history" and there is a plethora of reading matter available.

Download full Course information sheet

The Berlin Airlift


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  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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