Play / pause Never Trust a Russian

Never Trust a Russian

  • Brian Conway
  • Interview by: Jess Boydon

Transcript

Gradually, the tonnage going

into Berlin everyday increased.

And I think it was the 12th of March

they had nearly 1300 tons,

can you imagine that?

Going in by air, landed at Gatow.

Gradually, of course, Stalin realized

that we were succeeding, although we couldn't get in

by rail or by water or by road,

we were doing it by air.

And the three air corridors which we used,

there was one for the Americans to Tempelhof,

ours was to Gatow and the French went to an airport

which had a lake, Tegel.

Didn't have a runway to start, grass runway,

they built tarmac runways

so they could take the aircraft properly

but that was important because all the salt

which was required by the civilians

went by flying boat and landed on Lake Tegel or Lake Havel.

The Havel is a river on the western edge of Berlin

but it was wide enough to allow flying boats to land

with their supplies of salt.

And Stalin, I think scratched his head a bit

and thought, "Well, I'm not going to succeed."

So on the 12th of May 1948,

'49?

'48.

'49.

Getting it right, '49.

He opened up the roads and a lot of people think,

"Right okay, that was it."

It wasn't because know what the Russians were like.

You've probably come across it in history.

One minute they say, "Yes, you can do this."

And next minute, "No, you can't do that."

So we went on taking supplies in,

building up stocks of everything that they required.

And it actually officially finished

on the 30th of September 1949.

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