July, 1946. Bikini. It was the first of 23 nuclear tests the US government made in their race against the Soviets during the Cold War.
Radioactive Paradise - Bikini Atoll
A remote atoll in the Marshall Islands, set in the vast blue expanse of the Pacific Ocean between the Philippines and Hawaii. Ironically though, it was this isolation, that sealed the atoll's fate: During "Operation Crossroads" in July of 1946, two atom bombs were used to sink a ghost fleet of 84 vessels, destroying the natural environment and leaving parts of the huge atoll ring permanently contaminated in the process. The islanders are still reliant on imported food even today.
The American armed forces singled out Bikini Atoll as the place to detonate the first atomic bombs since Nagasaki. They assembled a huge fleet of decommissioned warships to be sunk in the most dramatic way possible. It wasn't just about testing the destructive power of the bombs though; at the outset of the cold war, they were also seeking to make an impression on the Soviet Union.
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||Kirstin Bergmann, Andreas Sawall, Uli Weidenbach
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