During the Cold War, West Berlin was militarily indefensible and symbolically vital. Had the Soviet Union wanted to, it could have defeated the token American, British and French garrisons in the city in a couple of days. West Berlin’s best and only defense was the Soviet belief – probably correct – that the result of aggression would be World War III.

It was for that reason President John F. Kennedy proclaimed “Ich bin ein Berliner” in 1963 after the Berlin Wall cut the city in two, threatening to throttle the Western enclave. The Soviet Union had to believe that the West still really cared about the grungy, grumpy former German capital, just as we had done during the Berlin airlift of 1948. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-wK – Michael’s Blog