Berlin airlift began in 1948. After World War II, Germany was divided into four parts. The Soviet Union controlled the portion that held Berlin. Berlin itself had been divided into four parts. Hoping to create a blockade, the Soviet Union denied access to the city. The United States, France, and Great Britain responded by airlifting food and other supplies into Berlin. Over 2,300,000 tons of supplies were lifted in via 277,000 flights. The airlift lasted until May 12, 1949.