30 September 1399

Henry IV is proclaimed king of England.

Henry was the eldest surviving son of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, by his first wife, Blanche. Before becoming king, he was known as Henry Bolingbroke, and he received from his cousin Richard II the titles earl of Derby 1377 and duke of Hereford 1397. During the opening years of the reign of King Richard II ruled 1377–99, Henry remained in the background while his father ran the government. When Gaunt departed for an expedition to Spain in 1386, Henry entered politics as an opponent of the crown. He and Thomas Mowbray later 1st duke of Norfolk became the younger members of the group of five opposition leaders—known as the lords appellants—who in 1387–89 outlawed Richard’s closest associates and forced the king to submit to their domination. Richard had just regained the upper hand when Gaunt returned to reconcile the king to his enemies. Bolingbroke then went on Crusade into Lithuania 1390 and Prussia 1392. Meanwhile, Richard had not forgiven his past enmity. In 1398 the king took advantage of a quarrel between Bolingbroke and Norfolk to banish both men from the kingdom. The seizure of the Lancastrian estates by the crown upon John of Gaunt’s death February 1399 deprived Henry of his inheritance and gave him an excuse to invade England July 1399 as a champion of the nobility. Richard surrendered to him in August; Bolingbroke’s reign as King Henry IV began when Richard abdicated on September 30, 1399.

Henry IV used his descent from King Henry III ruled 1216–72 to justify his usurpation of the throne. Nevertheless, that claim did not convince those magnates who aspired to assert their authority at the crown’s expense. During the first five years of his reign, Henry was attacked by a formidable array of domestic and foreign enemies. He quashed a conspiracy of Richard’s supporters in January 1400. Eight months later the Welsh landowner Owain Glyn D?r raised a rebellion against oppressive English rule in Wales. Henry led a number of fruitless expeditions into Wales from 1400 to 1405, but his son, Prince Henry later Henry V, had greater success in reasserting royal control over the region. Meanwhile, Owain Glyn D?r encouraged domestic resistance to Henry’s rule by allying with the powerful Percy family—Henry Percy, earl of Northumberland, and his son Sir Henry Percy, called Hotspur. Hotspur’s brief uprising, the most serious challenge faced by Henry during his reign, ended when the king’s forces killed the rebel in battle near Shrewsbury, Shropshire, in July 1403. In 1405 Henry had Thomas Mowbray, the eldest son of the 1st duke of Norfolk, and Richard Scrope, archbishop of York, executed for conspiring with Northumberland to raise another rebellion. Although the worst of Henry’s political troubles were over, he then began to suffer from an affliction that his contemporaries believed to be leprosy—it may have been congenital syphilis. A quickly suppressed insurrection, led by Northumberland in 1408, was the last armed challenge to Henry’s authority. Throughout those years the king had to combat border incursions by the Scots and ward off conflict with the French, who aided the Welsh rebels in 1405–06.

30 September 1949

The Berlin Airlift come to an end.

C-54landingattemplehof

After 15 months and more than 250,000 flights, the Berlin Airlift officially comes to an end. The airlift was one of the greatest logistical feats in modern history and was one of the crucial events of the early Cold War.

In June 1948, the Soviet Union suddenly blocked all ground traffic into West Berlin, which was located entirely within the Russian zone of occupation in Germany. It was an obvious effort to force the United States, Great Britain, and France to accept Soviet demands concerning the postwar fate of Germany. As a result of the Soviet blockade, the people of West Berlin were left without food, clothing, or medical supplies. Some U.S. officials pushed for an aggressive response to the Soviet provocation, but cooler heads prevailed and a plan for an airlift of supplies to West Berlin was developed. It was a daunting task: supplying the daily wants and needs of so many civilians would require tons of food and other goods each and every day.

On June 26, 1948, the Berlin Airlift began with U.S. pilots and planes carrying the lion’s share of the burden. During the next 15 months, 277,264 aircraft landed in West Berlin bringing over 2 million tons of supplies. On September 30, 1949, the last plane–an American C-54–landed in Berlin and unloaded over two tons of coal. Even though the Soviet blockade officially ended in May 1949, it took several more months for the West Berlin economy to recover and the necessary stockpiles of food, medicine, and fuel to be replenished.

The Berlin Airlift was a tremendous Cold War victory for the United States. Without firing a shot, the Americans foiled the Soviet plan to hold West Berlin hostage, while simultaneously demonstrating to the world the “Yankee ingenuity” for which their nation was famous. For the Soviets, the Berlin crisis was an unmitigated disaster. The United States, France, and Great Britain merely hardened their resolve on issues related to Germany, and the world came to see the Russians as international bullies, trying to starve innocent citizens.

30 September 1949

c-54landingattemplehof

The Berlin Airlift comes to an end.

The Berlin Airlift has been succeeding in delivering more cargo and after fifteen months, it has officially ended on the 30th of September 1949. A total of 2,326,406 tons has been delivered which comprised of 1,783,573 tons delivered in the USA as well as 541,937 RAF tons and 278,228 tons of coals. 7,968 tons of freight and 6,964 passengers during 2,062 sorties was also delivered by the Royal Australian Air Force. Over 92 million miles flew together the C-47s and C-54s . Every thirty seconds, one plane reached West Berlin and pilots even came from different countries to support this operation.

As a result of the operation, a total of 101 aircraft fatalities were recorded which includes 40 Britons and 31 Americans. The cases were mostly due to non-flying accidents while 17 American and 8 British has crashed during operations.

Airlift’s cost was shared between the USA, UK, and Germany. The estimated costs ranges from $2.23 billion to $4.97 billion.