The Watering Hole: December 17 – The Airport at Tegel

A C-54 (DC-4) landing at Tempelhof during the Berlin Airlift

Soon after the outbreak of World War I, the area now identified today as Tempelhof Airport was used for training military aerial reconnaissance crews and as an aircraft testing and fabrication center. Following WW I all aviation was discontinued by conditions from the Treaty of Versailles. On September 27, 1930, Rudolf Nebel began a rocket testing and research facility on the site. This was called the Raketenschießplatz Tegel. It was the base of German rocket development until 1937 when development was moved to the secret Peenemünde army research center.

During World War II, Tegel was used as a military training base. Tegel was leveled by Allied air forces in the war.


The Berlin Airlift

On June 24, 1948 all rail, road, and water access from the Western zones to Berlin was blocked by the Soviet Union and on the next day, the Soviets declared that they would not send any supplies to West Berlin. There was only enough food for 36 days and coal for 45 days. On June 26, the Berlin airlift began with 32 flights by American C-47 aircraft in West Germany to the Tempelhof airport in Berlin. (The commercial version of the C-47 (the DC-3) first flew on December 17, 1935.) Eighty tons of provisions were delivered that first day. This marked the start of the Berlin airlift. On July 7, the first coal shipment arrived at Gatow airport in the British sector. The enormity of the effort was too difficult for those existing airports to handle.

A new runway was completed at Gatow on July 17, 1948. On July 12 construction began on a new runway at Tempelhof. It was completed 90 days later. At this point, the C-54 became the workhorse in the effort.

Pilot Gail Halvorsen speaking with a group of children watching the planes arrive at Tempelhof gave them some of his gum and promised to drop more from his aircraft the next day. The word spread and by January, 250,000 candy-laden parachutes were dropped into the city.

On May 12, 1949,: At one minute after midnight, the Soviets lifted their barricades and restored access from West Germany to Berlin. A British convoy immediately drove through, and the first train from the West arrived in Berlin at 5:32 that morning.

The Berlin Airlift was over.

The whole sequence was a propaganda victory for the United States, Britain and France as well as a propaganda disaster for the Soviet Union.

This is your Open Thread. Time for you to step up to the plate.

92 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: December 17 – The Airport at Tegel

    • nope. I’ve researched a local eviction ordinance, worked on putting up the Christmas tree lights, and pulled the pump off the washing machine so far. Just came in for a bite of breakfast and a quick surf of the intertubes.

  1. Good luck on the interview Zooey!
    I don’t know how the myth that women love shopping, let alone shoe shopping, got started. Shopping is hard work and I for one can’t see it as fun.

  2. From today’s D.K. Hate mail:

    Why is it that liberals hate Christmas more than terrorism or crime? Are you so afraid of the message of Jesus Christ that you are willing to repress every American Christian? You forget that we have endured government repression for decades. We have become accustomed to shameless attacks from rabid liberal elites and we are not intimidated by your thuggery. Our schools have criminalized Christianity, our president considers Christians the enemy, our politicians are constantly making new laws that can be used to harass peaceful Christian families. This is reality for us, and this is why your yearly campaign to eradicae Christmas from our minds will fail. We have survived for years, because your war on our faith makes us stronger. We will continue to celebrate Christmas and our lord Jesus even if it means harassment and ridicule. At the end of the day, we are on the side of angels. I shudder to think whose side you are on.

    Maybe you should use this Christmas to think about your own place in God’s plan. God loves you Mr. Moulitsas, and if you abandon the leftist dogma of hate and arrogance, then maybe you can find your way to Him again. The left may control all earthly power, but all the earthly power in the world will not help you when you stand before God and face his judgment. You can be a soulless lackey to the atheist left, or a beloved child of God. Choose wisely.

    • To a true christian, the lefty atheist is no less a “beloved child of God”. I’ve been a christian for 54 years and have never felt harassed or been treated like a criminal. All I can figure is that these poor christian victims are desperate to see themselves as martyrs for their faith without ever having to do much of anything.

      • That’s what I found so fascinating about the writer’s letter: his persecution complex, the notion that all who don’t see things through his glasses are out to get him. Must be tough to live in such fear, and with such loathing of all who have a different view.

    • The only thing I can figure from this is that this joker lives in a fundamentalist enclave somewhere in the northern woods. His little cult, which approves of the rape of young girls and the abandonment of boys, has been “repressed” by evil laws. I did not know that the left controls all earthly power, but someone needs to tell the House Republicans.

  3. I have been uncomfortable with all the fond memories of Christopher Hitchens, including a very good segment on All Things Considered last night, because it seemed to me that everyone was forgetting how Hitchens turned to the dark side in 2003. A friend on Facebook posted a link to a piece from Gawker that I find to be very refreshing.

    He loathed sentiment, welcomed combat, and delighted in inflicting hard truths. In that spirit, it must not be forgotten in mourning him that he got the single most consequential decision in his life horrifically, petulantly wrong.

    • Hitchens, IMHO was an educated boor who could run rings around the average ‘upper-echelon’ American socio-political commentator (David Brooks for instance) and sad to say lately, quite a few of the British punditry too.

      Clearly if one compares his disbelief of religion with his acceptance and vociferous defense of the cult of the “Global War on Terror AKA the Iraq War” then it is evident that his “reasoning”n was entirely subjective and self-fulfilling. In both cases he insisted he was empirical;y correct when empircally he is correct on only one of these two subjects.

      That Hitchens could reject the ‘intellectual’ arguments for religious belief and be a rational atheist, yet still be a staunch theist of the tangible and provable lies and failures of the GWOT/Iraq War illustrates his possession of a cognitive dissonance equal of a ny of the recent crop of Republican/conservative ‘intellectuals’ we are still subjected-to today as people of worthy opinions and expertise (Gingrich, McCain, Bolton, Cheney, to name a few).

      Hitchens,, above all. was a WANKER, in the purest sense of the British word. The present encomiums regarding his career and demise, are as cognitively dissonant as the man himself. The best I can say of him is that he was erudite, but he clearly influenced NOTHING of impact: religion remains a divisive and destructive force overall in the affairs of mankind in general and in particular in the most powerful nation on earth, and his support of the Bush Administration in it’s illegal, unjustifiable war on Iraq and the corollary dismantling of democratic instituions and the U.S. Constitution , in the process places him clearly in the debit column of social and political improvement.

      If Hitchens was so smart, and so intellectual, and HONEST, he would have admitted his errors in judgement, his submission to emotion and prejudice instead of acknowledging reason and fact and consequential logic and HONESTY.

      Instead he continued to indulge in his own fantasies, and a clearly equally deluded press is passing offf his bullshit as some kind of admirable integrity.

      Fuck him, and fuck them, Hitchens was right on the emptiness of religion, but wrong in his validation of GWOT/The Iraq War and all that that entailed and the latter is the present crime of the greatest immediate significance to which he is an accomplice.

  4. Just made one more quick trip to a store for christmas shopping. Only took one hour that I will never get back – 5 min drive to store, 10 min to find a parking spot, 2 min to find what I was looking for, 30 min in line to pay for it, 10 min to get out of the parking lot and 3 min to drive home. I’m with all shopping haters and I’m in no way organized enough to do it well ahead of time.

    • We live 30 miles from the nearest shopping mall and hardly ever waste the gas. I don’t need much (if anything) that I can’t get here at the hardware store or the market/pharmacy, and Deb does all her shopping on Amazon Prime (clothes and shoes included) — it arrives in two business days, on the front step by noon. No shipping charges, no sales tax, priced properly. Besides, we both HATE malls and box stores.

      • 30 miles is a nice distance to make you think about making the trip. Sometimes being too close is too tempting. My wife is baking and asked me to go get a gift. I’d rather have stayed home and eaten some raw dough!!!

    • I know of Etta James’ rendition of “At Last” thanks it’s use in the movie ‘Pleasantville’
      where the combination of art direction in the scene and the music never fails to give me goose-bumps of romantic delight.

      Per the article though, everyone can pray all they want, but if Etta James is terminally ill, she’s terminally ill and all the prayers on her behalf aren’t going to do squat.
      She was born in 1938, She’s 73. It’s not an uncommon age to die, especially from a specific disease.

      Her singing that song, ‘At Last”, has been my good fortune to hear and remember. Other than that Ive significant nothing to offer in return. Prayers? Stupid. self indulgence.. . .

  5. MN GOPer resigns over alleged ‘inappropriate relationship’

    In yet another case of the GOP failing to uphold its “Family Values” mantle, Minnesota Republican Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch resigned from her leadership post after facing allegations of an “inappropriate relationship” with a staffer.

    According to the Minnesota Star Tribune, Koch was confronted by her Republican colleagues about the matter, and removed herself from the top spot afterwards.

    Hey Pete or Zxbe! How big a deal is this?

    • Koch ( really?!) was confronted by her Republican colleagues about the matter, and removed herself from being on top, afterwards.
      Earlier in the week, Koch neither confirmed or denied that the allegations were true to her state senators when they asked her over a cup of “international” coffee and a low calorie muffin, but given how she giggled it was pretty obvious she’d ‘got some’.

      “We’re here today with a lot of humility and some sadness and even shock, because we are BFF’s and we are supposed to dish about EVERYTHING! ” said interim Senate Majority Leader Geoff Michel Friday evening, who declined to identify the staffer. “There is no doubt that a manager cannot have such a relationship with someone they oversee, whose budget they oversee.”
      Koch became Minnesota’s first female majority leader after leading Republicans to control the Senate for the first time in four decades. She is married and has a daughter, and apparently a hot boyfriend and probably a very disorganized desk, know what I’m saying? The news comes after
      Greg Davis, a Republican mayor of Southaven, Mississippi, admitted he was gay after an audit revealed that he spent taxpayer money at a gay adult store in Canada, which he swears “doesn’t count” because “hey, it’s Canada! Knowwhatumsayin? Canada! Cummmonnn! Canadaa!!!!.”

    • It’s always amazing to me how quickly Republicans fall after gaining power.

      Of itself, it could easily be dismissed as an isolated incident within the party. However, a few weeks ago the state GOP chair resigned leaving the party deeply in debt.

      Taken together, we could be seeing the implosion of the GOP within Minnesota.

    • Rick Perry: Double Dipping As A ‘Retiree’

      Texas Governor and current Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry appears to have pulled something of a fast one on his state’s taxpayers by officially “retiring” earlier this year so that he could begin collecting an annual pension of $92,376 at the same time as he continues to draw his $150,000 a year salary as governor.

      The arrangement went into effect last January but became public knowledge only this week, when Perry’s presidential campaign filed the personal financial disclosure statement after having previously received two successive delays.

      Not that he needed to sink any faster, but this will probably do it.

  6. Vanguard documentaries on Current have gotten a lot better since Keith took over.
    I’d rather watch ‘The 99 Percent’ than ‘Lockup’ on MSNBC any day.

  7. MMM, just tapped my keg of German Martz lager, a black chocolatey lager recipe with homegrown hops from my friend in Kamas, Wa.

    • Slowly he reaches for it; so cool to the touch; appreciative of its exquiste design and efficiancy; he spins the cylinder listening to the clicking sound of its ultimate purpose; the nickle plating shines the royalty it seeks to elevate its ultimate authority over my failures to post a simple song (see above for reference). But no, I resist its seductive, simple finality to my humanity. I will try again, but not now as I seek to replenish my sapped personal power reservoir.

      • (Glad the thought process moved away from that action, nwog. You would be sorely missed)

        Friday -you successfully posted a few vids.

        The url paste needs to be on its own line.
        Commenting on a line above the url works.
        Commenting after pasting url messes up.

      • Put down the gun! It’s not worth it! 😀

        Somehow, you’re getting your cursor inside the sentence you’ve just written, and pasting the YouTube URL within the sentence. It will never come up that way.

        Try hitting the ‘enter’ key a couple times, then paste. 🙂

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