"The Berlin Blockade was the turning point in the outbreak of the Cold War in the period 1945-1949." How far is this statement accurate?

Essay by serenity87 July 2005

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The Cold War is a prolonged state of tension and hostility held between the two major powers, namely the Soviets and the Americans after post-world war-two period. The term "turning point" implies that the Berlin blockade caused a turn of events and instigated the outbreak of the Cold War. Therefore, the statement made is only accurate to the extent that the Berlin Blockade was the direct factor regarding the outbreak of Cold War, yet it was not the only factor that sparked it off. Rather, it was the interplay of contributing factors such as mutual misunderstanding, conflicting security interests, willingness to support armed forces over and above those heeded for defence purposes, as well as the "doomsday rhetoric". Therefore, it is portrayed that the Cold War was not the product of one event or incident, but rather of the fundamental clash of ideologies and interests between the two powers.

The Berlin Blockade was the direct cause of the Cold War, stemming from the unhappiness of the Soviets over the issue of Germany in particular, thus proving to be a turning point in the Cold War.

Stalin was unhappy over the Allied plans in Western Germany as stipulated by the Marshall Plan, such as the currency reforms as it would actually stifle the Soviet's chance in increasing its sphere of influence into that area. The blockade therefore was an attempt made by the Soviets to diminish Western influence in Germany. However, the plan backfired due to the US superiority in air, using the Berlin airlift to transport the supplies into their own zone. This directly had negative repercussions in worsening the relations between the two powers, causing the definite split of Germany and leading to the outbreak of Cold War, showing how the Berlin blockade was the turning point in the...