The Cold War
The Cold War in Europe (1 August 1948)
Historical Map of Europe & the Mediterranean
From 1947, the Western Allies began to economically and politically merge their zones in Germany. In response, the Soviets cut off land and water access to Berlin from the west. However, the Western Allies were able to save Berlin from being starved into surrender by providing to all the city's needs through airlifts. Unwilling to start a war by shooting down the supply aircraft, the Soviets were forced to back down.
Following World War II, US Secretary of State Gen. George Marshall developed a plan to aid the reconstruction of allied and occupied countries in Europe, passing as the Foreign Assistance Act in 1948. Although the law promised $5.3 billion in aid, the amount increased to $17 billion over four years of implementation. The plan was rejected by the Soviet Union and its satellites.
Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC) set up
Israeli Declaration of Independence
David Ben-Gurion, the Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization and the chairman of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, declared the establishment of the State of Israel. The declaration became effective upon the termination of the British Mandate over Palestine at midnight.
In 1948, the Soviet Union blockaded allied-occupied West Berlin, hoping to acquire the area as part of a contiguous Soviet occupation zone.