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[[quoteright:313:[[Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/skypirates_1612.jpg]]]]

->''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5g3PO-2jzd8 Take the sky by thunder!]] (Thu-under!)\\
It is so wonderful to plunder! (Plu-under!)\\
When a village needs a pillage. (Ooh-aaah)\\
Or my pockets need a fillage. (You know what I'm saying?)''
-->-- ''WesternAnimation/TaleSpin'', "[[VillainSong Sky Pirates]]"

AsYouKnow, TheSkyIsAnOcean, so it's only logical that it must have {{pirate}}s as well.

Following all of the tropes applicable to {{pirates}} except for using aeroplanes (or better yet, [[UsefulNotes/{{Airships}} airships]], especially [[CoolAirship cool ones]], or even better: [[IncrediblyLamePun flying boats!]]) instead of boats, Sky Pirates (sometimes referred to as "Air Pirates") were fairly popular in the early days of aviation, though they were soon eclipsed by SpacePirates once aeroplanes became less novel. Nowadays, Sky Pirates are mostly found in the yellowing pages of 1920s and 1930s comics and [[PulpMagazine pulp magazines]], [[TwoFistedTales in modern media intended to evoke that era]], and in {{Steampunk}} settings.
No Sky Pirate story is truly complete without at least one AirborneAircraftCarrier. Huge [[ZeppelinsFromAnotherWorld zeppelins]] and giant flying boats are par for the course as well, as are other MagnificentFlyingMachines. The punishment of [[WalkThePlank walking the plank]] is especially deadly when it's administered by a sky pirate after a HighAltitudeBattle.

See also SpacePirate, {{Pirate}}.
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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''CastleInTheSky'', of course, has Sky Pirates. They readily kidnap and steal, but actively assist two [[ChildrenAreInnocent innocent children]].
* ''PorcoRosso''
* ''Manga/CrossEpoch'', the official ''OnePiece''/''DragonBallZ'' {{crossover}} one-shot manga, had several sky pirate factions. One led by Vegeta (along with Robin, Trunks, and Usopp), one led by [[VillainDecay Buggy and Emperor Pilaf]] (in a ship with an intimidating facade made out of ''papier mache''), and one led by Dr. Gero (only alluded to).
** ''OnePiece'' itself has a [[WordOfGod canon]] movie villain, "Gold Lion" Shiki, that definitely qualifies. Considering [[Main/{{Flight}} his Devil Fruit power]] [[PowerFloats essentially gives him]] [[MindOverMatter near limitless telekinesis]], he doesn't have so much a flying ship as a ''flying armada made of a '''flying archipelago.'''''
* ''ElementalGelade'''s main character Coud was one at the beginning of the series.
* ''LastExile's'' ship ''Sylvana'' is more of a one-ship rebellion than a pirate ship, but it's [[SoCoolItsAwesome so cool]] that it's close enough.
** And then we have the group of sky pirates in [[LastExileFamTheSilverWing the sequel series.]]
* ''Anime/GalileiDonna'' involves (fish-themed) airships, so this trope was an inevitability. The main one is named Cicinho, and leads the Black Ganymede Troupe.
* Captain Liliana from ''Anime/QueensBlade Rebellion''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In TheDCU, the [[TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks Golden Age]] GreenLantern had a recurring foe called Sky Pirate who embodied this trope.
** The second Black Condor also fought a foe called Sky Pirate, who was essentially an updated version of the GreenLantern villain.
** The GoldenAge ComicBook/{{Superman}} also tangled with sky pirates at least once, who used the surprisingly low key method of using fast armed airplanes to force lumbering airliners into landing in a convient field before robbing them on the ground.
* Captain Fate in the MarvelUniverse is a FlyingDutchman SpacePirate. He occasionally visits Earth and acts as a Sky Pirate.
* Captain Plunder and his Sky Pirates in ''SonicTheComic'' including the first mate Filch and the cook Simpson the Cat.
** In ''SonicTheComicOnline'' after another recruitment drive Cream the Rabbit joins the sky pirates.
* Alexandre [=LeRoi=] appears as the main villain of the DC graphic novel ''Franchise/{{Batman}}: Master of the Future'', the sequel to ''GothamByGaslight'', as an air pirate who intends to stop Gotham City's 20th Century celebrations, and to keep the looming century's polluting technology from becoming a reality. He keeps a mobile base in a zeppelin-esque airship powered by gas, and controlled by a robot [=LeRoi=] calls Antonio.
* The ComicBook/{{Blackhawk}}s sometimes faced Sky Pirates, and were treated as such themselves, at least early on. In their second story, an English pilot lashes out at Blackhawk: "Why, you're nothing but air pirates and assassins!"
* The villains in the 1984 Marvel/Epic miniseries ''CrashRyan''.
* Captain Bloodhawke and her crew from ''Comicbook/TheWarlord''.
* In ''RequiemChevalierVampire'', there's a sky pirate league primarily composed of [[{{Hypocrite}} ghouls]].
* A minor GreenArrow foe was Skylark, a sky pirate who operated out of a blimp.
* Seems to be the direction Alex Ross and Dynamite Entertainment are taking the Black Terror within the ''ComicBook/ProjectSuperpowers'' universe, complete with a parrot-themed sidekick. Must be that Jolly Roger on his chest...
* In ''[[ComicBook/JonahHex All Star Western]]'' #17, Jenny Freedom of the 19th Century {{Stormwatch}} clashes with Smokestack Jack; SteamPunk anarchist MadScientist based on a CoolAirship.
* In ''ComicBook/AtomicRobo: The Flying She-Devils of the Pacific'', the She-Devils spend much of their time battling sky pirates (and are considered sky pirates themselves by some of their foes).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''Disney/TreasurePlanet'' falls between this and SpacePirates (the look and tropes of the former, the actual technology and planet-to-planet flying of the latter).
* [[spoiler:Charles Muntz and his dogs]] from ''WesternAnimation/{{Up}}'' could qualify as this.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Early serials, ''BuckRogers'' in particular.
* Captain Shakespeare of ''Film/{{Stardust}}'' is a more literal example, captaining a flying boat which is powered by lightning. (However, although they dress and act like pirates, they're [[ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything never seen attacking other boats]] -- if there ''are'' any other flying boats -- and seem instead to be smugglers.)
* The ''Sky Pirates'' from the Australian movie of the same name.
* ''Film/ThePhantom'' has Sala and her all-female air pirates.
* ''TheGrimnoirChronicles'' has the last piece of a super-weapon protected by Southunder, who preys on Imperium ships in the Pacific ocean from his zeppelin.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* OlderThanRadio: Creator/JulesVerne's ''Robur the Conqueror'', with his huge mega-helicopter vehicle, is the UrExample.
* ''Armageddon 2419 A.D.'' the book that introduced [[BuckRogers Anthony "Buck" Rogers]] to the world.
* Many 1930s pulps, ''DocSavage'' and ''Operator 5'' in particular. (Operator 5 was an early example of the Film/JamesBond-style super agent, complete with 1930s era high-tech gadgets.) Doc Savage twice faced SubmarinePirates as well.
* TomSwift and a whole host of copycat [[GadgeteerGenius Boy Inventor]] heroes.
* Prominently featured in ''Literature/TheEdgeChronicles'' - in six out of the ten books in the series, the protagonist is either a sky pirate, a former sky pirate, or a future sky pirate, and of the four short stories in the series, two of the protagonists are sky pirates.
* ''Airborn'' by Kenneth Oppel
* The Literature/DoctorWhoNewAdventures novel ''Sky Pirates!'' blurred the line between this trope and SpacePirates.
* The Syndicate of Pirates, who use flying machines (not yet invented at the time of writing) and secret rays to terrorise the adventurers of the Klondike Gold Rush at Alaska in George Griffith's ''The Great Pirate Syndicate'' (1899).
* Captain Mors, the "Air Pirate", from ''Der Luftpirat und sein Lenkbares Luftschiff'' (''The Air Pirate and His Steerable Airship''); a German dime novel with 165 issues from 1908-1911. Captain Mors is mentioned (by never actual appears) in the ''LeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen'' comic.
* KarlSchroeder's ''{{Virga}}'' novels are focused on justifying this in a relatively HardScienceFiction setting.
* The sky pirates in the ''Literature/JohnCarterOfMars'' novels of Creator/EdgarRiceBurroughs.
* ''Sky Pirates of Callisto'' is the sixth novel of Creator/LinCarter's Literature/{{Callisto}} series, and a homage to Burroughs.
* In the SteamPunk novel ''{{Boneshaker}}'' by CheriePriest the theft of an airship (itself recently stolen from the Confederate military) leads to a midair battle between two pirate gangs.
* StephenHunt's ''The Court of the Air'' features airships as the main fighting force of one nation, the sole power with access to the {{Unobtainium}} necessary to keep them afloat. Better yet, the eponymous Court of the Air is a secret, ultra-elite, {{Badass}} organization of magic-wielding OneManArmy types. And their base is a floating fortress that is not only higher into the atmosphere than any airships other than their own can reach, but remains anchored there ''permanently''.
* Inevitably, sky pirates were among the foes fought by Literature/{{Biggles}}, though lacking the {{Airborne Aircraft Carrier}}s or {{Cool Airship}}s. The plots featuring them usually played out more like an armoured car heist, with either mechanical sabotage or some unemployed war veteran in a surplus fighter forcing an aircraft carrying bullion or other valuables to land, with a gang on the ground waiting to loot it. Gangs pulling off an ArmedBlag on land and then using aircraft as getaway vehicles might also fall under this trope, however.
* The [=Alistair Maclean=] novel ''Fear Is The Key'' begins with an aircraft being shot down by a war-surplus fighter plane, in order for TheMafia to get their hands on the precious cargo inside. Unfortunately the plane crashes in an unusually deep marine trench, setting off the events of the main story.
* Mack Maloney's ''Wingman'' series, being a modern take on pulp fiction, features sky pirates in the DividedStatesOfAmerica. Since this setting doesn't involve the common conventions of CoolAirships or similar "flying towns" to attack, their activities mainly consist of forcing planes to land for robbery or engaging in air strikes on settlements.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* AbneyPark's "Airship Pirates" pretty much embodies this trope.
** The entire ''band'' embodies this trope, as their main theme involves them being a band of drunken rogue pirates operating off the airship ''Ophelia''. Although, if the lyrics of ''Airship Pirates'' and ''Post-Apocalypse Punk'' are anything to go by, they're not particuarly good at it.
*** This image is further reinforced by the title track from their 2009 album ''[=AEther=] Shanties'', which describes the ship as being about one good breeze from collapsing under its own weight, with a crew that's planning mutinies when they're not fighting each other.
* Alestorm are generally Nautical pirate themed, but a few of their songs have an element of Sky Pirates.
-->"We are Heavy Metal Pirates
-->We sail across the sky!
-->In our battleships of Cosmic Steal
-->With a terror up on high!"
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* ''BuckRogers'', of course. Interesting in that he started out fighting Sky Pirates and ended up fighting SpacePirates, all in the space of about 10 years.
* Sala and her AmazonBrigade Sky Band in ''ComicStrip/ThePhantom''.
* In ''ComicStrip/LittleNemo in Slumberland'' the Princess' royal airship is attacked by sky pirates in one issue.
* ''BarneyBaxterInTheAir'' was an aviation strip that ran from 1935 to 1950. Sky pirates were amongst the foes battled by the youthful hero.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop RPG]]
* Troll pirates from ''{{Earthdawn}}''.
* ''CrimsonSkies'', later made into several video games. In an AlternateHistory setting where the United States of America broke up early in the 30's, with the interstate road and railroad network gone freight is instead delivered by air cargo services operating [[ZeppelinsFromAnotherWorld massive cargo zeppelins]]; these are in turn preyed upon by air pirates.
* Indie game ''SwashbucklersOfThe7Skies''.
* Sky pirates operate out of the Rocky Mountains in ''{{Deadlands}}: Hell on Earth''.
* ''Abney Park'' recently came out with a Tabletop RPG called ''Airship Pirates''.
* Captain Gyrfalcon from ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'', who -- mainly out of greed and an old grudge -- harasses the airships of the Haslanti League, who are the only significant power with a meaningful air force in the entire North. He dresses like a classic pirate, and sports a sidearm (which is actually a small flamethrower, not a gun, but whatever).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/SkiesOfArcadia''. Strangely, [[OrphanedEtymology they are still called Air Pirates]] despite the lack of ''any other kind of pirates'' or sea as such in a world with no oceans and floating continents. It also draws a distinct line between idealized pirates and real ones: ''Real'' pirates are called, appropriately, Black Pirates. Blue Rogues, on the other hand, [[JustLikeRobinHood are generally adventurers and explorers who only attack]] TheEmpire's [[JustLikeRobinHood ships and Black Pirates.]]
* Several examples from the ''FinalFantasy'' series:
** Setzer in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI''. It's never ''explicitly'' stated, but he's a law-evading free spirit in an airship with a penchant for kidnapping beautiful women, whose "business" has taken a hit since the Empire started capturing more and more cities. All the trappings are there, anyway. He also happens to be the ''only'' man with an airship.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'', especially ''[[GaidenGame Revenant Wings]]'', features them. Balthier and Fran start as them, and it's Vaan's dream to become one in the original game. It's also Balthier's class when he cameos in the rerelease of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'', but Ramza laughs at him when he identifies himself as one, since airships are a thing of the past by that point.
*** This is also a Vaan-only Job Class in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsA2''.
* ''CrimsonSkies'', as noted above.
* ''RiseOfLegends'', the Vinci sub-faction called the Pirata are the source of all fliers for that side.
* The Sky Raiders of ''CityOfHeroes''.
** Complete with a named boss who is a CaptainErsatz of ''WesternAnimation/TaleSpin'''s Don Karnage.
-->'''Captain Castillo:''' The breaking of into the base was of no great difficulty for one such as I am. You may all count yourselves as blessed for to be seeing my skills in such operation.
* ''VideoGame/{{Klonoa}} 2: Lunatea's Veil'' features a [[spoiler:former trainee priestess turned]] sky pirate as the main antagonist. [[spoiler:At one point, she turns into a giant robotic chicken, and you have to fight her.]] She comes with a NonHumanSidekick in the form of Tat, a sort of cat creature with the skin tone of [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries Lokai and Bele]]. (For non-Trekkies, that's black on one side and white on the other. [[spoiler:Turns out Tat can split into black and white forms.]])
* The Jellyfish Air Pirates of ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear''.
* Captain Homard and his crew of incredibly annoying cats fly the ''Escargot'' in NipponIchi's ''LaPucelle''.
* Lance Banson from ''HenryHatsworthInThePuzzlingAdventure''.
* The basic premise of at least one of the classes in the semi-{{Steampunk}} flash game ''VideoGame/BattleStations''.
* The Flash MMOG ''VideoGame/{{Skyrates}}'' is set in a world recovering from an apocalyptic war which reduced the remaining viable landmass to a collection of scattered islands. Ripped from the ground and cast adrift in the sky through the use of {{Unobtainium}}, these Skylands carried with them the last remnants of civilization. Now split into several color-coded factions, the descendants of these survivors travel and trade between the Skylands and are preyed upon en route by air pirates operating from smaller, unmapped 'skylets'.
* [[MrFanservice Captain Phoenix]] and his band in ''JakAndDaxter: The Lost Frontier''.
* The Bonne family from ''MegaManLegends'' and ''The Misadventures of Tron Bonne''.
* ''FreedomWings'' takes place on an alternate Earth in an era resembling the 1940ís. Air Pirates have taken to the skies and have placed fear into the hearts of others world wide. The player assumes the role of a nameless, faceless pilot whose parents were murdered by air pirates, motivating the character to join the Air Patrol Association (APA), a squadron of mercenary pilots hired to clear the skies of Air Pirate activity.
* In ''SepterraCore'', travelers between the [[WorldShapes World Shells]] are often preyed on by pirates from Shell 6.
* The Captain in ''CargoTheQuestForGravity'' pilots an airship and at least looks and talks like a pirate, though he doesn't actually seem to engage in piracy.
* Because ''{{Academagia}}'' takes place on a WorldInTheSky where the surface (and its oceans) are present but unreachable, they are usually referred to as simply "pirates". Like the legitimate sailors of Elumia, the pirates mostly use wind-powered flying ships that are either specifically enchanted or made with of a rare wood that [[AWizardDidIt "naturally" floats in the air]]. Although there are some [[ZeppelinsFromAnotherWorld mundane lighter-than-aircraft]]. Pirates are practically the default villain in this game, since they are the most prevalent antagonists in events and adventures, even eclipsing the local ThievesGuild.
* The main enemies in ''TailConcerto'', the somewhat DarkerAndEdgier sequel ''{{Solatorobo}}: Red the Hunter'' treats them as a joke, mostly appearing in side quests.
* ''Videogame/GunsOfIcarus'' is all about defending your own airship from Sky Pirates.
* The setting of the ''Air Buccaneers'' mod for [[VideoGame/UnrealTournament2004 Unreal Tournament 2003]] is heavily pirate-influenced. The weapons are blunderbusses and old-style-fuse cannons, the clothing is straight out of a pirate film and although the gameplay does not involve actual piracy in the strict sense of the word, the taking of enemy airships to be used against your foe is a common occurrence.
* ''{{Pirate101}}'' has this since it takes place in the Spiral, a ShatteredWorld with few large bodies of water. (Yes, that's the same Spiral as in ''{{Wizard101}}.'') It's currently assumed that the ships fly due to the magic from [[AWizardDidIt a wizard]].
* The Capua Family from ''LegendOfHeroesVI''
* Sophia has an unfortunate run-in with a band of these, led by a giant talking minotaur, in the playable epilogue of ''{{VideoGame/Awakening}}: The Skyward Castle''.
* The Aetherblade of ''VideoGame/GuildWars2'' are a massive faction of these, using airships stolen from [[TheAlliance the Pact]] and technical support from [[MadScientist the Inquest]]. They were created by [[BigBad Scarlet Briar]] as part of her lengthy preparation to [[spoiler:awaken an Elder Dragon]].
* ''VideoGame/SkyNations'' has this as it's whole shtick. Well, that and [[MemeticMutation a potentially deity in disguise dimension hopping cat.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' with its airship traffic has these. [[PerkyFemaleMinion Bangladesh Dupree]], for one, was a pirate queen and retains [[PirateGirl her old style]] while employed by Klaus.
** One of the [[SideStoryBonusArt radio plays]] featured Bang's brother and fellow sky pirate Deathwish Dupree, of whom she is heartily ashamed.
** Klaus himself, despite being the closest thing to a unified government, has elements of this due to his might-makes-right sort of rule-at-death-ray-point (with a strong admixture of "don't make me come over there"). "Castle Wulfenbach" is really an ''enormous'' airship, which turns out to be convenient because they ''keep making him come over there''.
* ''[[http://www.revenant-braves.schala.net/ Circumstances of the Revenant Braves]]''
* In the ''{{Insecticomics}}'' Laserbeak and whatever crew she happens to have along at the time are part-time sky pirates. However, this mostly consists of dressing up, hunting treasure, and yelling "arr!" at people.
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' has [[TheObiWan Julio Scoundrel]], who owns a large Airship, the Mechane, and "[[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0392.html admits to nothing, but has it on good authority that there are several attractive young heiresses that are quite shamefully lax in securing their most valuable jewelry.]]"
* In ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'', the Sky Pirates of the O'Houlihan Clan are the ancestral enemies of the [=McNinja=] Clan (Y'know, [[MemeticMutation Pirates Vs. Ninja]] and all that.)
* In ''TheDreamlandChronicles'' the pirates from the Nightmare Realm get around in a flying wooden ship.
* ''MobTies'' has a storyline that starts out with Sky Pirates. Just...[[http://www.drunkduck.com/Mob_Ties/index.php?p=725460 look]].
* ''[[http://skypiratesofvalendor.com Sky Pirates of Valendor]]'': The name says it all.
* ''[[{{Aleste}} Power Strike II]]'' for the SegaMasterSystem has pirates menacing Italian skies in the early 1930s, a premise suspiciously similar to ''PorcoRosso''.
* ''Webcomic/ChairmanJackEmerge'' begins with the protagonist helping the locals to defeat some sky pirates operating out of an airship. Since the world is some land suspended in an endless void, it's not like there can be any sea pirates.
* Sky pirates are confirmed to be in future chapters of ''Webcomic/{{Cloudscratcher}}''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Not technically part of the canon, but a popular [[FanNickname joke]] in the ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' fandom since season 3 is [[http://aliwildgoose.deviantart.com/art/Sky-Pirate-Zuko-71531311 Sky Pirate Zuko]].
* ''DastardlyAndMuttleyInTheirFlyingMachines''
* Two episodes of ''DragonTales'' involved the main characters teaming up with a pirate who flew across Dragon Land on a giant blimp.
* The "Pirate of the Airways" in ''GoldieGoldAndActionJack''.
* ''{{Skyland}}''
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/StormHawks'' features a band of sky pirates who fly around in a boat-shaped airship and fight a giant MobyDick-esque monster.
* Turmoil from ''WesternAnimation/SWATKats''.
* Don Karnage and his men in Disney's ''WesternAnimation/TaleSpin''.
* Laser Pirate from ''TeamoSupremo''.
* An episode of ''MaxSteel'' involved a young inventor build a gigantic aircraft that literally swallowed planes. When the titular character's VoiceWithAnInternetConnection is captured by the crew, the first thing he does is claim that such an aircraft cannot exist, citing off scientific reasons.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* In April 1917, in the midst of UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne, the Imperial German [[UsefulNotes/{{Airships}} Zeppelin]] ''L23'' that was on sea patrol came across an honest-to-goodness wooden sailing ship that was transporting a non-war related cargo. It was the Norwegian schooner ''Royal'', and was a holdover from a different era of shipping. TheCaptain of the Zeppelin then gave an order said to be unique in aircraft history: "Gentlemen, prepare to board our prize!" Unfortunately, as the boat from the Zeppelin was being lowered, the rough seas caused them to lose their machine gun overboard. So instead, the Zeppelin crew ''[[CrowningMomentOfAwesome bluffed the schooner into submission with a flare gun.]]'' They sailed the schooner all the way back to Germany! These boardings weren't all that unusual, either: Zeppelins sometimes boarded sea vessels to check their papers and cargo holds, but this was the only time they actually ''pirated'' a vessel.
* {{Privateer}} vessels are essentially private vessels given permission by their government to pirate vessels of other nations, or even conduct naval combat and raids on foreign military vessels. Although extremely obscure, the U.S. Constitution provides for the issuing of Letters of Marque -- documents permitting piracy -- by Congress. Congress exercised this power during the War of 1812, and while it never actually received a Letter of Marque, operating instead like an armed merchant vessel, the last U.S. vessel to operate as a privateer was the Goodyear blimp named ''Resolute'', which engaged in anti-submarine patrols in 1941 and 1942, armed only with a rifle.
* A group of British RAF veterans and supply workers managed to heist Berlin and various other German cities after the UsefulNotes/SecondWorldWar using Allied Transport planes, including one of the B-29 bombers stationed in Britain with all weapons and bomb-racks removed. Their mode of operation was to fly without any cargo but with counterfeit US army scrips, and buy/rob jewelry and firearms from Germans. Sometimes they would pretend to smuggle Nazi officers out of Germany but hand them over to genuine Allied officers to escape punishment. The whole operation started in 1945 and extended throughout the Berlin airlift.
[[/folder]]
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