[Ebook] ↠ Daring Young Men: The Heroism and Triumph of the Berlin Airlift, June 1948-May 1949 Author Richard Reeves – Thomashillier.co.uk

Daring Young Men: The Heroism and Triumph of the Berlin Airlift, June 1948-May 1949 In The Early Hours Of June Phones Began Ringing Across America, Waking Up The Airmen Of World War II Pilots, Navigators, And Mechanics Who Were Finally Beginning Normal Lives With New Houses, New Jobs, New Wives, And New Babies Some Were Given Just Forty Eight Hours To Report To Local Military Bases The President, Harry S Truman, Was Recalling Them To Active Duty To Try To Save The Desperate People Of The Western Sectors Of Berlin, The Enemy Capital Many Of Them Had Bombed To Rubble Only Three Years Before Soviet Dictator Joseph Stalin Had Ordered A Blockade Of The City, Isolating The People Of West Berlin, Using Hundreds Of Thousands Of Red Army Soldiers To Close Off All Land And Water Access To The City He Was Gambling That He Could Drive Out The Small Detachments Of American, British, And French Occupation Troops, Because Their Only Option Was To Stay And Watch Berliners Starve Or Retaliate By Starting World War III The Situation Was Impossible, Truman Was Told By His National Security Advisers, Including The Joint Chiefs Of Staff His Answer We Stay In Berlin Period That Was When The Phones Started Ringing And Local Police Began Banging On Doors To Deliver Telegrams To The VetsDrawing On Service Records And Hundreds Of Interviews In The United States, Germany, And Great Britain, Reeves Tells The Stories Of These Civilian Airmen, The Successors To Stephen Ambrose S Citizen Soldiers, Ordinary Americans Again Called To Extraordinary Tasks They Did The Impossible, Living In Barns And Muddy Tents, Flying Over Soviet Occupied Territory Day And Night, Trying To Stay Awake, Making It Up As They Went Along And Ignoring Russian Fighters And Occasional Anti Aircraft Fire Trying To Drive Them To Hostile GroundThe Berlin Airlift Changed The World It Ended When Stalin Backed Down And Lifted The Blockade, But Only After The Bravery And Sense Of Duty Of Those Young Heroes Had Bought The Allies Enough Time To Create A New West Germany And Sign The Mutual Defense Agreement That Created NATO, The North Atlantic Treaty OrganizationAnd Then They Went Home Again Some Of Them Forgot Where They Had Parked Their Cars After They Got The Call


10 thoughts on “Daring Young Men: The Heroism and Triumph of the Berlin Airlift, June 1948-May 1949

  1. says:

    As a pilot, I am in awe of what these Berlin Airlifters did 5 Stars Daring Young Men The Heroism and Triumph of the Berlin Airlift, June 1948 May 1949 is an excellent account of the Berlin Airlift The author covers the major events, the key players at the political and military leadership levels, as well as the aircrew, mechanics and the people of Berlin The blockade by the Soviets started in Jun 48 and officially ended in May 49, although the RAF and USAF kept the airlift going until Sep As a pilot, I am in awe of what these Berlin Airlifters did 5 Stars Daring Young Men The Heroism and Triumph of the Berlin Airlift, June 1948 May 1949 is an excellent account of the Berlin Airlift The author covers the major events, the key players at the political and military leadership levels, as well as the aircrew, mechanics and the people of Berlin The blockade by the Soviets started in Jun 48 and officially ended in May 49, although the RAF and USAF kept the airlift going until Sep 49 to build up reserves in Berlin in case the Soviets tried to restart the blockade Some interesting aspects Credit is given to RAF Air Commodore Waite as the first to recommend and show an airlift could work The airlift was a huge learning ground that benefits anyone who flies into or out of a busy airport today The Allies showed strength and the result was a free West Germany, rather than a Soviet occupied reunited Germany The airlift showed the power of global airlift capabilities The Allies imposed a counter blockade on East Berlin East Germany USSR which was highly dependent on finished materials and goods from West Berlin This counter blockade was very successful.Three years prior, the participants were trying to kill each other Now, the victors were trying to save the defeated view spoilerWithin twenty four hours of arrival, Thompson was piloting ten tons of coal toward Berlin He knew the landscape below from twenty one bombing missions over Germany in the 3 175 of the Eighth Air Force More than 40 percent of his group s 450 crew members had been shot down or just crashed Below him now were the people who beat to death his buddy, Lieutenant Don Dennis, the man in the bunk next to him in 1945, who had parachuted onto farmland from his burning B l7 one spring day What happened next was not unusual civilians on the ground, local farmers, enraged by incessant Allied bombing, killed Dennis with pitchforks and clubs, and probably set dogs on him as well And now I m bringing them food, Thompson thought What a world The British flew 5,919 flights, carrying 29,053 tons an amazing contribution, considering that the people of Great Britain, their capital and country smashed, too, were living under postwar rationing that provided them with littlefood than the Berliners were receiving And, for the first time since the end of the war, the British instituted bread rationing after grain ships from the United States and Canada were diverted from English ports to Germany British airmen, who could often get back home if they had a couple of days off, would stop by American messes to get milk to bring to their childrenhide spoiler The joys of joint operations and a little humor view spoilerThe Americans chafed under strict British rules and they hated the overcooked food and bare housing arrangements of their Atlantic cousins For their part, the British were astounded by the informality of the Americans The latest indignity was the way American pilots kidded around on the radio Lieutenant Leonard Sweet, the man who found French wine under his seat, was listening in when a ground controller at Tempelhof told a pilot he was a minute ahead of schedule and to make a 360 degree turn before landing A three sixty will take me two minutes, the pilot said There was a slight pause and the controller answered OK, do a one eighty and back in Then there was an American pilot, ready for takeoff, who used a heavy Brooklyn accent to tell a British ground controller Just give me the woid and I ll make like a boid The British had their moments, though Master Pilot Walter Dougan, called Dickie, was leading a block of Dakotas from Gatow west, carrying passengers, one of whom was under medical supervision and listed on the manifest as an imbecile As the planes approached the British base at Lubeck, a medical officer radioed from the ground, KN566, what is the name of your imbecile Before Dougan could answer, a pilot flying behind KN566 answered Master Pilot Douganhide spoiler The aircrews in the Berlin Airlift had to live under terrible flying conditions Maintenance was delayed beyond reason sometimes Plus the aircrew usually pressed on with the mission despite airplane and weather conditions view spoilerWilliam Martin, who used a spotlight held to the cockpit windshield to melt some of the ice blinding him, said, A general principle evolved As long as you had one instrument that indicated something about what you needed to know, go ahead and take the plane, and if we ever get any parts for this we ll fix it Lieutenant George H Nelson, signing in the Fassberg logbook after a coal flight, read the entry above his No 4 right outboard engine fire warning light burns in flight Corrected bulb removed Prayer was practically on the preflight checklist of airlift pilots The RAF equivalent of the cartoonist Jake Schuffert was a York pilot, Flight Lieutenant Frosty Winterbottom, who did his work on the walls of Malcolm Clubs, the British officers canteens One of his cartoons showed his plane headed for Gatow The caption was Hello, York 274 Understand you are lost in the clouds on three engines, icing up, hydraulics jammed and short of fuel Visibility here is 800 yards Cloud base, 200 feet Repeat after me Our Father which art in heavenhide spoiler The French did not have much to do despite being one of the four powers in Berlin As anyone in the military knows, French politicians may be at odds with the other Allied politicians but the militaries usually get along pretty well In Berlin, the Soviets were in charge of Radio Berlin, which had tall radio towers just off the end of the Tegel airfield runways which was in the French sector The Soviets would not let the French move the towers out of the flight path The French took action after several months of asking politely view spoilerHerman did not know it, but French soldiers had surrounded the airport and nearby streets and were turning away both vehicle and pedestrian traffic Then they cut the telephone lines to the Radio Berlin station and detained Soviet and German employees, including several Red Army soldiers The French put them under guard in two buses that leisurely toured the city for a couple of hours and then dropped them off in East Berlin The twenty American officers assigned to the new field had been called to a small reception organized by the French commandant in Berlin, General Jean Ganeval in fact, they were locked in, too At 10 45, they were shaken by the same explosion that moved Herman s plane They rushed to the windows and saw the twin radio towers near the end of the runway crumpling to the ground in a huge dark cloud of smoke The French had blown up the broadcast towers of Berliner Rundfunk, Soviet controlled Radio Berlin Thirty French engineers had enclosed the tower legs in bags of plastique explosive, which had been flown into Tegel the day before by an American, Lieutenant Harold Hendler You will have notrouble with the towers, said Ganeval, raising a glass of champagne to his American guests Captain Herman and his crew climbed back into their plane and flew out over the smoking wreckage Within three hours, an outraged response arrived in the person of the city s Soviet commandant, Marshal Alexander Kotikov How could you do that was the French version of Kotikov s opening line.Ganeval s answer, so they said, was Tre simple Avec le dynamitehide spoiler


  2. says:

    An interesting read of an often forgotten time This book had some strong points and some weaknesses It did good job of explaining the politics of the airlift and surrounding events from both sides In that way it showed that the airlift could really be considered the opening salvo of the Cold War It s weakness seemed to be in the way it was organized The chapters were chronological, but still seemed all over the place, and some times repetitive This may have partly been due to the nature of An interesting read of an often forgotten time This book had some strong points and some weaknesses It did good job of explaining the politics of the airlift and surrounding events from both sides In that way it showed that the airlift could really be considered the opening salvo of the Cold War It s weakness seemed to be in the way it was organized The chapters were chronological, but still seemed all over the place, and some times repetitive This may have partly been due to the nature of the airlift though That said, it was a very quick and compelling read though it seemed to drag in parts That s to be expected I guess in a long book on a complicated issue that nonetheless spanned only 11 months, roughly a quarter of the time frame of the World War that came just before, and yet the feats of daring described were just as big if notamazing then some things in the war Over all a compelling read


  3. says:

    It s said Logistics wins wars When the Soviet Union cut off all land access to Berlin in 1948, hoping to send the Western powers packing as they could not hope to feed and provide heating by air supply to 2 million Berliners, they picked a logistics battle with the two biggest and most experienced logistical powers in the world, the USA and Great Britain Not that the Western powers were in any way prepared for the event, both the USA and Great Britain had disarmed after the war, sending most It s said Logistics wins wars When the Soviet Union cut off all land access to Berlin in 1948, hoping to send the Western powers packing as they could not hope to feed and provide heating by air supply to 2 million Berliners, they picked a logistics battle with the two biggest and most experienced logistical powers in the world, the USA and Great Britain Not that the Western powers were in any way prepared for the event, both the USA and Great Britain had disarmed after the war, sending most everyone home, and those that were in Europe, were the new draftees, who were itching to get home Author Reeves sets a fast pace in Daring Young Men that kept me eagerly reading, wondering what was going to happen next There is a great mix of personal stories with the high level history of the opening of the Cold War and the required insight of logistics, that is, the tonnage and the timing of cargo planes coming into the frozen airfields of West Berlin Stories like how the Candy Bomber got started show just what mankind is about all the while the potential of WW3 looming in the background This is not an in depth analysis of the history, that is, don t worry about charts and graphs of how much flour you can fit in a C 47 A couple of asides I did wonder why there was no comparison of Berlin being cutoff peacefully in 1948 w the great encirclement battles of the Eastern front It seem like the Soviets were just continuing their methods into the Cold War Also, General Patton died in a car accident in 1946, can you imagine if the Soviets had pulled this with him around He d have run an ard division from West Germany to Berlin before President Truman had a chance to open his mail


  4. says:

    I usually don t read non fiction for relaxing at night, but this book was available and I thought the topic would be interesting However, I found the treatment rather superficial and the book much too long It was mostly a bunch of repetitive one or two paragraph vignettes that made their point after the first few There was almost noting on the national politics or decision makers of the principal countries In fairness to the author, the book was focused on the Daring Young Men, but it actu I usually don t read non fiction for relaxing at night, but this book was available and I thought the topic would be interesting However, I found the treatment rather superficial and the book much too long It was mostly a bunch of repetitive one or two paragraph vignettes that made their point after the first few There was almost noting on the national politics or decision makers of the principal countries In fairness to the author, the book was focused on the Daring Young Men, but it actually told very little about them as people I finished the book, but did not enjoy it I think it would have been interesting boiled down to, say, 40 pages rather than its 300


  5. says:

    Most of us come through the school system with at least a vague understanding of what the Berlin Airlift was and why it existed Sadly for most of us, it s not something most history teachers spend a lot of time on There are some resoundingly good reasons you should read this, and merely filling holes left by the educational system isn t even the first reason.There are so many highly readable gripping stories here about American heroism and German courage that these accounts will stay with you Most of us come through the school system with at least a vague understanding of what the Berlin Airlift was and why it existed Sadly for most of us, it s not something most history teachers spend a lot of time on There are some resoundingly good reasons you should read this, and merely filling holes left by the educational system isn t even the first reason.There are so many highly readable gripping stories here about American heroism and German courage that these accounts will stay with you for years Soviet leaders assumed they could block the flow of food and other necessities to the people of the western sectors of Berlin Such a blockade, the Soviets reasoned, would force the Americans, Brits, and French out of the country, leaving Berlin undivided and entirely in Soviet hands But the Soviets, Americans, British, and French had agreed to flight paths that were reminiscent of an arrowhead between the eastern and western sections of the city The Communists were sure starvation would ultimately turn the German heart to communism, and while the Pentagon reportedly thought otherwise, President Truman determined that the U.S would not leave Berlin, nor would America allow Berliners to starve.For 11 months between 1947 and 1948, American flyers, using broken planes in bad need of maintenance in many cases, flew millions of pounds of food and industrial material to starving freezing Berliners.You ll read here about how forgiving and trusting American military personnel were when it came time to hire German mechanics to repair planes The French avoided hiring them the Brits hired them, but watched over them constantly, fearing sabotage The Americans hired them, recognizing that they had tremendous talent and skill as mechanics, and after converting a part names in manuals from English to German, the Americans stepped back and let their new hires get on with the job of fixing planes Americans exhibited a lot of forgiveness and trust, and German workers werethan eager to live up to the expectations of their new employers You ll read here about the not yet married Mormon guy who became known as the candy bomber for his efforts to parachute American candy to hungry German children.The airlift was far from a perfect venture It was supposed to take only two weeks it became a farinvolved experience The flight path was dangerous, and there s some speculation about whether Truman had sent some bombers capable of carrying atomic weapons in the event that the Soviets harassed U.S pilots to a tipping point Young men who had just regrouped and begun to get on with their lives after a war were suddenly pressed back into service, this time in the name of easing suffering More than one pilot who contributed information to this book expressed the sheer wonder that months earlier, he had been bombing along many of the routes he was now using to deliver food and manufacturing materials.Of course, there are sections here on the inevitable black market and how it worked, and there are sad accounts indeed of teenage German girls eager to engage in sex with American flyers for as little as a candy bar, a circumstance which numerous flyers put to their recreational advantage But there are love stories told here, too You ll read about young couples who pledged themselves to one another and remained faithful to those pledges even though those marriages couldn t happen until 1950, nearly a year after the airlift ended.The author s writing style is excellent, and you won t find a section of the book that you ll want to skip


  6. says:

    This was the perfect book to read to learnabout the Berlin Airlift What an amazing story I really appreciated getting to read about something really wonderful the US did for a people who were very recently their mortal enemy.See also the podcast on this page.My favorite passage A woman living in West Berlin during the airlift wrote, after the besieged citizens voted down the Soviet political party An admirable result considering that this decision most likely will have to be paid fo This was the perfect book to read to learnabout the Berlin Airlift What an amazing story I really appreciated getting to read about something really wonderful the US did for a people who were very recently their mortal enemy.See also the podcast on this page.My favorite passage A woman living in West Berlin during the airlift wrote, after the besieged citizens voted down the Soviet political party An admirable result considering that this decision most likely will have to be paid for with an intensification of the blockade, a winter without coal, nights without light and a permanent diet of dehydrated potatoes, dehydrated vegetables and canned meat We feel as if we had wings We feel it s great to be a Berliner It is wonderful to live in a city that prefers death to slavery, that has decided to sufferdeprivations rather than dictatorship And an interesting one The Army and Air Force are pre cooking meals for Berlin housewives to save coal in Berlin There is coal enough for heating one room for two hours a day and about 20 minutes of that is cooking time with heat sufficient to boil fluids Beans, for instance, are pre cooked for two hours by mess personnel, dehydrated and shipped in bags to families With but a nominal amount of fuel expended the housewife can heat the food for eating This is the general procedure for many other foods


  7. says:

    The problems with this book are that it has no narrative flow There is no historical set up There is no sense of place The author seems to assume that you are smart enough to know the history of post war Europe Germany in particular and that is presumption that kills the book from the beginning There is too much reliance on newspaper articles and diary excerpts to convey the necessary information People come and go and come back again There are too many people in this story and everyone The problems with this book are that it has no narrative flow There is no historical set up There is no sense of place The author seems to assume that you are smart enough to know the history of post war Europe Germany in particular and that is presumption that kills the book from the beginning There is too much reliance on newspaper articles and diary excerpts to convey the necessary information People come and go and come back again There are too many people in this story and everyone of them is important There is no main character to focus on or to have the narrative flow around Also there are seriously random pieces of information scattered throughout the book in the weirdest places, as if the author had no place else to put these tidbits of mostly useless information so he tacked them on where ever he could find room


  8. says:

    The Berlin Airlift was in 1948, 49, and was the first open move in the Cold War President Harry Truman said, We stay in Berlin as the Soviets cut access to West Berlin which was isolated in East Germany after WWII So, this book tells the somewhat forgotten story of the heroic pilots who flew in food and medicine and fuel to West Berlin and kept a city from starving.The story is fascinating and the characters heroic, but the writing needs editing And in this audio book, the reader was medi The Berlin Airlift was in 1948, 49, and was the first open move in the Cold War President Harry Truman said, We stay in Berlin as the Soviets cut access to West Berlin which was isolated in East Germany after WWII So, this book tells the somewhat forgotten story of the heroic pilots who flew in food and medicine and fuel to West Berlin and kept a city from starving.The story is fascinating and the characters heroic, but the writing needs editing And in this audio book, the reader was mediocre


  9. says:

    Great book, especially if you enjoy history The Berlin Airlift was America at its best, and was also the stepping stone for the creation of a true post war ally with Germany The author presents the story as well as Stephen Ambrose Citizen Soldiers could have done Every high school or college student should read this account of unselfish heroism by our men in uniform, and of the gratitude shown by the people of Berlin.


  10. says:

    This is what I call a good book to read, especially if you know just a little about the Berlin airlift that took place June 1948 May 1949 There are many facts interviews and stories that are interesting This book does get bogged down at times and a bit difficult to follow at times the only reason for my rating of a 3 Outside of that it s a good book on the Berlin airlift.


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