The Berlin Airlift The Effort And The Aircraft
The Douglas C-124 "Globemaster II" was coming and the plan was to use C-97's and 124's to continue the operation without as many flights. Supplies could be airlifted in by C-47 and there was nothing the Soviet Union could do about because, in 1945, someone had foresight. Within the first 10 days, more than 1,000 tons of cargo had been carried to Berlin, including the first shipment of coal loaded in GI duffel bags. That man came in the form of Maj. Their first major concern was aircraft maintenance. As if the weather was not enough to discourage the Allies, Soviet fighters continually harassed the unarmed cargo planes by making diving passes at them as they lumbered through the corridors.
This was what became known as the "Little Lift". The RAF marshaled some of its Douglas C-47 Dakota, Handley Page Hastings and Avro York aircraft and also began to fly the air corridors to Gatow, an airfield in the British sector of Berlin. A C-47 can haul 3.5 tons. There was a mysterious explosion one day, and the tower disappeared. FLYING THE CORRIDORS Pilots flying in the corridors encountered numerous problems; one was the erratic German weather. In order to do that, much planning was necessary, and it was decided that on Easter Sunday, the only cargo was to be coal. Putnam Colorado Springs, Colorado Major Edwin C. Logistics experts quickly calculated that it would require 2,000 tons of coal and 1,439 tons of food per day to meet the minimum basic needs of the 2 million inhabitants. In the end, over three tons of candy was dropped over Berlin, some even in the Soviet sector. The weather seemed to put a death grip on the city as deliveries dropped off.
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