Drawing 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 ground. The 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 Organization.
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