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The Reunion

  • Season 21
  • 5 episodes
  • Documentary
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Episode 1: The Berlin Airlift

Summary

Sue MacGregor returns with the programme giving people whose lives were altered by shared life-changing experience the chance to revisit their memories together. She begins by reuniting five people who took part in the 1948-1949 Berlin airlift, a humanitarian mission to transport essential supplies into the city by air, which was launched when the Soviets closed all access routes into West Berlin. Her guests are British military personnel involved in the 11 month-long operation, including RAF Dakota pilot Dick Arscott, air traffic controller Joyce Hargrave-Wright, Fred Dackwardt, head of security at the British airbase Gatow, and Freddie Montgomery, who worked in British military intelligence in Berlin.

Review

Whereas the Cuban Missile Crisis may be remembered as the most infamous standoff between the West and the Soviets during the Cold War, it was by no means the first. In 1948, the Soviet Union closed all roads, railways and waterways into West Berlin and gave its people a frightening ultimatum: starve or accept Soviet rule.

The Western Allies’ response was an around-the-clock airlift to dispense food, coal and medicine to the beleaguered Germans. Here Sue MacGregor reunites five British personnel involved in the 15-month operation that saved a city but ushered in a new era of global tension.

How to listen

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Credits

Cast

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PresenterSue MacGregor
ContributorDick Arscott
ContributorJoyce Hargrave-Wright
ContributorFred Dackwardt
ContributorFreddie Montgomery

Crew

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ProducerEmily Williams
Series producerDavid Prest

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