The Berlin Airlift involved a clash between some of the strongest personalities of the twentieth century: Truman, Stalin and the American General Clay.
When Europe is carved up between Western and Soviet powers at the end of World War II, there is one western outpost deep in the heart of Soviet-controlled territory: Although Germany has been literally torn down the middle, the former capital Berlin lies in the center of the Soviet occupied eastern sector – and Berlin is jointly administered by all four victorious Allies: France, Britain, America and Russia.
By 1948, the three western powers have considerable military forces stationed in their sectors of Berlin.
Stalin tries to force them to leave. He mounts a massive land blockade, using a huge occupation army to physically prevent food, fuel and other essential supplies from reaching Berlin.
In a word - blackmail, on an enormous scale, and involving the lives of millions of innocent people.
So now the crucial question is whether the Allies, led by the USA, will stand up to the Soviets or give in. A military response could trigger WW III, and even lead to a nuclear exchange.
How though, will it be possible to keep Berlin supplied with literally thousands of tons of food and fuel each day?
In this city lives Luise, a young German woman whose husband has been killed in the war. For years, she hasn’t received any sign that her missing husband is still alive, and at this point she is coming to terms with the fact that Alex is dead.
She takes a job working for Turner, the brilliant American general in charge of the airlift. Almost against her will, Luise finds herself falling in love with General Turner.
Just as she begins to dream of a new life, Alex suddenly reappears, having spent the last years in a Soviet prisoner-of-war camp.
Alex, a doctor by training, also becomes engaged in the struggle to save the city from a new danger – a rapidly spreading outbreak of tuberculosis.
Can Turner get the medical supplies urgently needed by Alex and his colleagues – and get them into Berlin in time to stop the epidemic?
Thanks to the courage and sheer obstinacy of the American and British forces, planes that had only three years earlier rained death on the city now carry life.
Stalin is forced to back down. Luise must now make the impossible choice between a sense of duty to the husband she no longer knows and her new sense of belonging to Turner.
For choose she must, because the success of the airlift means that Turner is soon to be transferred out of Berlin…