The Berlin Airlift: The World’s Largest Ever Air Supply Operation (Images of Aviation)

Written by John Grehan
Review by Edward James

This book is worth having for the illustrations alone.  The 1940’s were the golden age for black and white photojournalism and The Berlin Airlift is full of beautiful examples, not only pictures of aircraft but also children, factory workers, soldiers, every aspect of life.

The photos dominate the book, but the text is concise and informative, giving an almost day to day account of the airlift.  Grehan is not greatly concerned with the reasons for the Soviet blockade of West Berlin or its consequences.  This is the story of a complex practical problem for which the Western Allies were ill-prepared but which they successfully resolved, supplying West Berlin by air with over 2 million tons of fuel and food from June 1948 to May 1949, building a new airport in the process.  An impressive account of what can be managed in a crisis.