Political map of Russia & the former Soviet Union 24 June 1948 (Berlin Blockade): As a result of the War (World War II), Germany had been divided into Allied zones of occupation (Allied-occupied Germany). The German capital, Berlin, was also divided, even though it was completely surrounded by Soviet-occupied Germany (Soviet occupation zone). In 1947, the Americans and British united their zones in Germany (Bizone). The Soviets, who opposed any restoration of German power, responded by cutting off land and water access to Berlin from the west (Berlin Blockade). 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.