The berlin airlift

A divided city: the Big Three fall out in post-war Berlin

When did the Cold War start? Not when the second world war ended. There were many differences between the Soviet Union and its western allies, but they did not then seem insuperable. It was not obvious that the post-war world would be divided by ideology. On the contrary, the victorious United Nations hoped for an era of peace. The Americans planned to pack up and leave Europe as soon as possible. The future of Germany had been decided before a single Allied soldier had crossed onto German soil. Meeting at Tehran in November 1943, the Big Three — Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin — had agreed that defeated Germany would be