The Berlin blockade and airlift was a crisis that occurred from 1948 to 1949, caused by Allied economic unification of German sectors and Soviet ambitions to expel the Allies from their holdings in West Berlin. When Allied powers united their German holdings in March of 1948 and released the new currency of the Deutsche Mark in West Berlin (The Soviets viewed this as direct competition to the currency of East Berlin), the Soviets responded by blockading all land and water communications between the city of Berlin and all other countries. In order to transport critical supplies to the city as well as partially continue the exportation of West German industrial products, the U.S. and Britain organized “airlifts” in and out of West Berlin. Although war did not break our between the U.S. and the Soviets, it did heighten tensions between the two powers, partially precipitating the Cold War.