Chapter 13 offers a reinterpretation of the Berlin blockade and its origins. Cold War claims that faith in Soviet goodwill led wartime planners to neglect postwar access to Berlin distort. Stalin imposed the blockade to stop the London program, not eject the West from Berlin. Despite common interests under attack, the Western powers found it hard to concert policy. The airlift began as an effort to buy time, not break the blockade, and Western governments were slow to commit themselves to an all-out effort. Truman did not choose between withdrawal and risking war; thanks to the airlift, he never had to. In the process, and without a conscious decision, the Western powers were assuming a commitment in Berlin, one that lasted as long as the Cold War itself.
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