Northern Eurasia 1948: Berlin Blockade
As a result of the War, Germany had been divided into Allied zones of occupation. The German capital, Berlin, was also divided, even though it was completely surrounded by Soviet-occupied Germany. In 1947, the Americans and British united their zones in Germany. The Soviets, who opposed any restoration of German power, responded by cutting off land and water access to Berlin from the west. However, the western allies were able to save Berlin from choosing between starvation and Soviet dominance 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.
14–15 Dec 1946 Reoccupation of Iranian Azerbaijan▲
Following the Soviet withdrawal from northwest Iran, Iranian troops moved into Tabriz, capital of the Azerbaijan People’s Government. The following day, Iran also occupied the Republic of Mahabad. Many of the Azerbaijani and Kurdish supporters of the two separatist republics fled to neighboring Soviet Azerbaijan.
1 Jan 1947 Bizone▲
In response to the growing economic isolation of the Soviet occupation zone– in violation of the Potsdam Agreements– the United States and United Kingdom agreed to merge their occupation zones and ensure the free movement of agricultural and industrial goods to rebuild the German economy.
10 Feb 1947 Paris Peace Treaty with Finland▲
Under the Paris Peace Treaties, Finland ceded Petsamo to the Soviet Union, as had been agreed in the 1944 Moscow Armistice Agreement.
10 Feb 1947 Paris Peace Treaties▲
Under the Paris Peace Treaties, Hungary’s borders reverted to those which had existed before the 1938 Munich Agreement. So too did Czechoslovakia, except for Ruthenia, which was ceded to the Soviet Union. Romania agreed to return to its prewar boundaries, with the exceptions of southern Dobruja, which was ceded to Bulgaria, and Bessarabia and Bukovina, which were restored to the Soviet Union.
15 Aug 1947 Partition of India▲
Under the direction of Lord Louis Mountbatten of Burma, the last Viceroy of the British Indian Empire, British India was partitioned into the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India. As Pakistan was designated as a Muslim homeland, the religiously mixed provinces of Punjab and Bengal were also divided between the two new states. The princely states were advised to choose between Pakistan and India, rather than retain independence.
31 Mar 1948 Marshall Plan▲
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.
24 Jun 1948–12 May 1949 Berlin Blockade▲
In 1948 the Soviet Union blocked land and water access to Western-occupied West Berlin, in an attempt to pressure the Western Allies to withdraw the newly introduced Deutsche Mark from West Berlin and thereby roll back attempts to economically reintegrate Germany. In response, the Americans, British, and other Western nations organized airlifts to supply the 2 million inhabitants of West Berlin, eventually more than making up for the cargo that had previously been delivered by rail. Unwilling to intercept the flights for fear of provoking open conflict, the Soviets eventually lifted the blockade in May 1949.