Why couldn't the Red Air Force have intercepted aircraft during the Berlin Airlift?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Color-Copycat, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Armored Diplomacy Trump/Beelzebub 2016

    Jan 31, 2012
    Sde Eliyahu, Israel
    Yeah, pretty much, though that's only if the Soviets got too aggressive and actually started actively hampering the airlift. Soviet fighters were allowed to penetrate the air corridor numerous times and harass cargo planes, because nobody wanted a war.
  2. Thoresby Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    I'm not sure about that. I though (and I might be wrong) that the air corridors were Soviet Airspace with Allied transit rights, i.e. the Soviets can't stop Allied aircraft from using them without backing treaties but they can send planes into the corridors.
  3. bsmart Well-Known Member

    Nov 9, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    Especially in the early days of the airlift most of the aircrew were veterans of WWII. The pilots were used to flying in close formation and there were a high percentage of pilots that had faced head on slashing attacks by the Luftwaffe over Germany or the Japanese in the Pacific. So they had the nerves to withstand the intimidating tactics of the Soviets. To the Soviets credit they were generally very experienced also. They knew their aircrafts capabilities and were very good at following orders, taking the threat exactly as far as ordered and making sure they didn't go further.
  4. Mr.J Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2010
    Basically, both sides were engaged in a campaign of trolling and counter-trolling, trying to make things inconvenient and/or embarassing enough for the other guy to give up. Nobody actually wanted war, especially the Soviets as they were at an atomic disadvantage (though this wasn't the "world ends" type of nuclear threat, as the US arsenal had no H-bombs and was still fairly small by Cold War standards).