Operation Crossroads was a pair of nuclear weapon tests conducted by the United States at Bikini Atoll in mid They were the first nuclear weapon tests since Trinity in July , and the first detonations of nuclear devices since the atomic bombing of Nagasaki on August 9, The purpose of the tests was to investigate the effect of nuclear weapons on warships. The Crossroads tests were the first of many nuclear tests held in the Marshall Islands , and the first to be publicly announced beforehand and observed by an invited audience, including a large press corps.
History of Bikini Atoll
Bombs and the Bikini Atoll | JSTOR Daily
Bikini Atoll is a coral island in the Pacific Ocean, consisting of a ring-shaped reef surrounding a mile by mile oval lagoon. The atoll includes 23 small coral islands within its reef. The atoll is part of the Marshall Islands , which is an island chain located between Hawaii and the Philippines. The United States government took administrative control of the Marshall Islands from Japan in , and retained control until , when the islands gained their independence. Today, the Republic of the Marshall Islands is a sovereign nation in free association with the United States. While the Marshall Islands were officially under the purview of the U.
Bombs and the Bikini Atoll
The U. The plus indigenous people living on Bikini Atoll at the time were moved to other islands in order to enable nuclear testing to begin. Between and , there were 23 nuclear devices detonated at various spots on, within, above, or beneath Bikini Atoll. Operation Crossroads was an attempt to better understand the effect of atomic weapons on naval targets.
The haute beachwear known as the bikini was named after a string of islands turned into a nuclear wasteland by atomic bomb testing. The Bikini Atoll—a series of limestone formations in the Pacific Ocean that comprise part of the Marshall Islands—is, or rather was, a tropical paradise. Between and , the United States military detonated several nuclear bombs in the area, wiping out plants and wildlife, and leaving behind a toxic wasteland. That tumultuous history is now preserved in haunting photos, diaries, papers and studies, assembled by the University of Washington into the Lauren L. The colonial history of the Bikini Atoll and the Marshall Islands is somewhat shorter than many other tropical nations.