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A cartoon map of the Berlin Airlift (1)

Updated: May 24, 2020

This 1949 map is something special. It is the cover of the last issue of der alt Task Force Times. This periodical was issued daily to inform and entertain the airmen that provided the people of Berlin with all the necessities to survive the Russian blockade of Berlin.

Berlin Airlift Cartoon Map

This map was drawn by Harold H. Sims, a navigator of the airlift taskforce. It shows, with much humor and eye for detail, the complex logistics of the operation, which consisted of almost 280.000 flights, over a 15 months period.

The so-called "chatter points" are the radio beacons used for navigation to and through the one-way corridors connecting the Allied sectors of Germany with the Allied sectors of Berlin. The planes, although depicted in a cartoonesque style, can be identified as the American Douglas C-54 Skymaster, the British Avro Lancastarian (with its distinct tail) and the Short Sunderland, which was capable of landing on water.


The Russians are all depicted equally: surprised-looking dark-haired uniformed men, all with Stalin-like mustaches and smoking a pipe. They warn the Allied airmen entering the corridor towards Berlin,with a sign in pseudo-Cyrillic, to keep out: KEEPSKY OUTSKY.


Berlin Airlift Cartoon Map - Detail


Berlin Airlift Cartoon Map - Detail

A second post on this map can be found here. More on the amazing details, puns and symbolism in this map in future posts.




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