During the multinational occupation of post-World War II Germany, the Soviet Union blocked the Western Allies' railway and road access to the sectors of Berlin under their control. Their aim was to force the western powers to allow the Soviet zone to start supplying Berlin with food and fuel, thereby giving the Soviets practical control over the entire city. In response, the Western Allies organized the Berlin Airlift to carry supplies to the people in West Berlin. The over 4,000 tons per day required by Berlin during the airlift totaled, for example, over ten times the volume that the encircled German 6th Army required six years earlier at the Battle of Stalingrad. The Royal Air Force, other Commonwealth nations, and the recently formed United States Air Force, flew over 200,000 flights providing 13,000 tons of food daily to Berlin in an operation lasting almost a year. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Hans Roth)
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