#BookReview for The Berlin Airlift: The World’s Largest Ever Air Supply Operation by John Grehan #ImagesofAviation #TheBerlinAirlift @penswordbooks @penswordebooks

The fate of the free world hung in the balance. Stalin’s Soviet Union sought to drive the Western democracies from Germany to continue the communist advance across Europe. The first step in Stalin’s scheme was to bring Berlin under Soviet control. Berlin was situated deep inside the Soviet-occupied region of the country, but the German capital had been divided into two halves, one of which was occupied by the Soviet Union, the other, in separate sectors, by Britain, France and the USA. Stalin decided to make the Allied hold on West Berlin untenable by shutting down all the overland routes used to keep the city supplied.

The choice faced by the Allies was a stark one – let Berlin fall, or risk war with the Soviets by breaking the Soviet stranglehold. In a remarkably visionary move, the Allies decided that they could keep Berlin supplied by flying over the Soviet blockade, thus avoiding armed conflict with the USSR.

On 26 June 1948, the Berlin Airlift began. Throughout the following thirteen months, more than 266,600 flights were undertaken by the men and aircraft from the US, France, Britain and across the Commonwealth, which delivered in excess of 2,223,000 tons of food, fuel and supplies in the greatest airlift in history.

The air-bridge eventually became so effective that more supplies were delivered to Berlin than had previously been shipped overland and Stalin saw that his bid to seize control of the German capital could never succeed. At one minute after midnight on 12 May 1949, the Soviet blockade was lifted, and the Soviet advance into Western Europe was brought to a shuddering halt.


I really enjoy the books in this series and this one was no different, it was a great set of images that were chosen to bring the events that covered and explained the Berlin Airlift.

I do like that the books in this series in that they allow the photos to tell the story, they let the reader study images to make their own impressions

I think books like this are must reads as the pictures used can show so much more than written words can portray. This for me, is necessary reading for anyone interested in the aftermath of World War II and this book is a great addition to the Images of War series.

It is 5 stars from me for this one – very highly recommended!