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Blockade Running & Battleships

30 September 1949 – The Berlin Airlift officially ends.  The Berlin Blockade was one of the first international crises of the Cold War. Due to conflicting relations with the Western Allies after WW2, the USSR cut off all supply routes to West Berlin from the Allies. With the population of West Berlin being cut off from all food, water and medical supplies from being brought in by ground, a plan was made to deliver all supplies by air. It was determined that daily some 1,534 tons of food would be needed to be flown in, to supply a daily calorie intake of 1,990 kilocalories per a person in West Germany. 3,475 tons of coal, diesel and gas would need to be flown in daily as well to power the city. Over 15 months the Allied air forces would deliver a total of 2,325,510 tons of supplies to the blockaded city. At the height of the airlift a plane was landing every 30 seconds. The planes would fly a combined total of over 92,000,000 miles, nearly the distance of the Earth to the Sun. A British RAF aircrew would make an astonishing 404 flights during the airlift. 

30 September 1968 –The USS New Jersey arrives in Vietnamese waters. The USS New Jersey was the only active battleship in the world at this time, with all of here sister ships sitting inactivated. She would arrive in Vietnam to supply Naval Gun Fire Support, to alleviate air losses from bombings and support missions. She would unleash her nine, 16 inch guns against Vietnamese positions near the 17th Parallel, firing 29 rounds. These rounds were the first time she had fired her guns in anger for over 16 years. During the USS New Jerseys several month deployment she would fire 5,688 rounds from her 16 inch guns and 14,891 from her 5 inch guns in support of operations around the coast of Vietnam. The USS New Jersey had three turrets, each with three 16 inch guns that were able to operate somewhat independently. It took a crew of 79 to operate each turret and the guns were able to fire rounds that could reach up to 24 miles in range.

3 October 1993 – Battle at Bakhara Market. Blackhawk Down. I wanted to cover this event but as I wrote out the facts I quickly realized I was writing a novel, and unable to compress this insane battle down to a paragraph. Most of you know at least something about this battle, whether through watching the 2001 film or reading the book. If you find this tidbit at least somewhat interesting, I highly recommend reading more into it because it is a insane and important battle for the US during the 1990’s. 

3 October 2010 – 92 years after the end of WW1, Germany completes their last reparation payment for damage caused over the four years of bloody war. In order to pay the reparations Germany had to take out foreign bonds, which quickly bankrupted the country. Germany would suspend its payments during the Great Depression and Nazi Germany would again decline payments. After WW2 West Germany would restart payments, and after reunification with East Germany continue to pay off loans taken out. The reparations that Germany paid used by Britain and France to payoff their own debt incurred by the loans they took out from the USA. The massive amounts of money that Germany was deemed responsible to pay had their part in the discontent that led to the rise of Nazi Germany and WW2. In total Germany would pay around $400 Billion in reparations to the Allies after WW1. 

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