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Series Three: The Cold War
(Public Record Office Class FO 371 & Related Files)

Part 1: The Berlin Crisis, 1947-1950
(PRO Class FO 371 - Germany/70489-70528, 76537-76562, 84977-84994 & related AIR, CAB, DEFE, DO, FO, PREM, T & WO files)

The Berlin Crisis, culminating in the massive Allied Airlift, June 1948-May 1949, was one of the first major episodes of the Cold War and helped to shape the nature and outline of modern Germany before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1948 the first American B29 Superfortress squadrons arrived in Britain in East Anglia - the vanguard of a force which was to steadily expand as the Cold War intensified.

In this microfilm project we offer comprehensive coverage of:

  • FO 371 files on the situation in Berlin, the Soviet blockade of access to Berlin, Western counter measures and retaliation via trade channels, the massive airlift, the Berlin railway strike, the administration of Western Berlin, as well as Minutes of Meetings of Commandants in Berlin, Weekly Intelligence Reports from Berlin, Allied Control Council documents on Berlin, papers on UN Security Council debates on Berlin, Operation "Plainfare" and the use of civilian aircraft for the Berlin airlift
  • Berlin weekly political summaries and the Tripartite agreement on the Control of the Western Sectors of Berlin.
  • Discussions on the future political structure of Germany where these have a direct bearing on events in Berlin.

This strong body of British Foreign Office files is full of high level diplomatic correspondence, telegrams, records of meetings, briefing papers and analyses of events.

We also include related AIR, CAB, FO, DEFE, Treasury and PREM files providing material on the Cabinet Committee on Germany and records of the Control Commission for Germany, the RAF Ferry and Transport Command, the British Air Forces of Occupation (BAFO) and Ministry of Defence Papers. These papers allow scholars to see the day by day and week by week workings of Operation "Plainfare", collaboration at various levels between Britain and America, the sheer volume of supplies airlifted and the manpower and expenditure involved.

US aircraft

Digital Guide
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