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Coming in to land: The Berlin Airlift
Coming in to land: The Berlin Airlift
Bob Clarke with one of the few remaining flying aircraft
Bob Clarke with one of the few remaining flying aircraft

Press Release - 08 March 2007

Lunchtime lecture: A taste of The Berlin Airlift

The Berlin Airlift, the biggest humanitarian aid programme in history, will be brought to life through the experiences of men and women who were there, in a public lunchtime lecture at the University of Bath.

The lecture, Another Ten Tons for Templehof: The Berlin Airlift 1948/9 will take place on Friday 16 March from 12.15pm-1.30pm at Carpenter House in the city centre and includes a sandwich lunch.

Bob Clarke, QinetiQ Field Archaeologist, will discuss some of the operational aspects of the Berlin Airlift, show photos of the period and recount personal stories he has uncovered during his research.

“The Berlin crisis is widely recognised as the first battle of the Cold War and set the pace for East-West relations for the next fifty years,” said Mr Clarke.

In the face of Soviet aggression a multi-national air armada transported over 2,300,000 tons of supplies to the Western controlled areas of Berlin. Britain’s aircraft transported food, coal, equipment, children and even a complete power station.

“Incredibly the British contingency alone used over 35 million gallons of aviation fuel, the burning of which produced more than 200,000 hours of flying over a massive 30 million miles,” said Mr Clarke.

“It was quite a commitment to the former enemy, especially when Britain itself was bankrupt and still running a harsh rationing system.”

Mr Clarke is director of the Broad Town Archaeological Project and teaches archaeology in the University’s part-time courses run by the Centre for Lifelong Learning. He is publishing a book on The Berlin Airlift later this month.

Tickets for the lecture cost £5 and need to be booked in advance online at, or call into Carpenter House to complete an application form.

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