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Christmas Bombs - Series Of Nuclear Weapons Tests

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As part of the British Christmas bombs program, Operation Grapple consisted of a four-part series of nuclear weapons tests involving early atomic bombs and hydrogen bombs that were conducted in 1957 and 1958 on Malden Island and Christmas Island in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands in the Pacific Ocean (modern Kiribati).

Nine nuclear explosions were started, and as a result, the United Kingdom was officially recognized as the third country in the world to possess thermonuclear weapons, and the nuclear special relationship with the United States was revived by the 1958 US-UK Mutual Defense Agreement.

The British nuclear weapons program, known as Tube Alloys, was integrated with the American Manhattan Project in August 1943 during the Second World War. The Manhattan Project included many outstanding scientists from Britain.

After the war, the British government restarted work on the atomic bomb, which is now called "High Explosive Research." They did this because they were worried that Britain might lose its status as a great power.

Island Life Is Disrupted

COPYRIGHT_JANE: Published on https://www.janeresture.com/christmas-bombs/ by Jane Resture on 2022-10-08T09:00:41.926Z

The exams were frightening and unpleasant for everyone on the island who remembered them. They spoke of the tests as perplexing situations, throngs of people, loudspeaker countdowns, and loud sounds.

An unexpected military commander transferred the community there at midnight. Before the testing, they were hauled offshore and placed into a ship, and they were so terrified they couldn't speak. No space was available for kids to play. They were treated like animals because there was no room for them.

Military Life

Numerous British military members involved in the operation of Christmas bombs, as well as their families, experienced trauma on the island that affected them in some manner for the rest of their lives.

As a result of what they had seen and the atmosphere of secrecy that surrounded their employment, the men experienced trauma. Additionally, the government's lack of concern for them once they got home hurt them.

The circumstances, dangers, and repercussions of military life influenced the servicemen's experiences when they were stationed in Kiritimati.

Although they felt that nuclear weapons constituted the biggest threat, their employment also came with numerous risks, such as sunburn, sunstroke, accidents, exposure to carcinogenic DDT, poor sanitation, diarrhea, and insufficient food. Several military members committed suicide because of poor morale.

Missile testing near Kiribati
Missile testing near Kiribati

Christmas And The Bomb - A Tale Of Two Churches

In the middle of the Pacific Ocean stands the small atoll of Kiritimati. It belongs to the archipelago of Kiribati, a country in the Pacific Ocean, and is sometimes referred to as "Christmas Island." There are around 6,500 people living in Kiritimati, spread out across the villages of Tabwakea, London, Banana, and Poland.

If you come here right now, you wouldn't even think that this little island was once the center of Cold War nuclear weapons testing by the United States and the United Kingdom.

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Christmas Island - In Search Of Britain's Nuclear Legacy

The name of the British military headquarters from fifty years ago is all that is still visible. Captain Cook, the only hotel on Christmas Island, is now located there. The reef is constantly booming from the sea surge and the blistering east wind, like a far-off locomotive in a tunnel. Nearby is a coral rock chapel that is in ruins.

A cement inscription that encourages church notices Who pinned the last one, and what was it saying? There have been several changes on Christmas Island. It is currently a part of the island nation of Kiribati, which is located in the Pacific Ocean.

It has a capital in the far-off Tarawa, which is reached by airplane through Fiji in a day. Kiritimati is the new name given to it. The Gilbert Islands' Kiribati population has trouble pronouncing the letter S. Thus, Christmas takes on the names Kritmat and Kiritimati, giving birth to a new name.

People Also Ask

What Happened On Christmas Island?

A minor conflict known as the Combat of Christmas Island started on March 31, 1942, during World War II.

What Types Of Bombs Were Dropped On Christmas Island?

On Christmas Island, hydrogen and atomic bombs were tested.

Is Christmas Island Still Contaminated?

The official story has not changed. It still says that safety measures were taken and that there is no evidence of radioactive contamination.

Conclusion

Christmas bombs are now at peace. This little island has a thriving tourism sector and is a very delightful destination to visit, despite its past with nuclear bombs and the lurking danger of climate change in the future. The struggle to ban weapons of mass devastation is ongoing.

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About The Authors

Jane Resture

Jane Resture - Since she embarked on her first world trip in 2002, Jane Resture spent the past decades sharing her personal journey and travel tips with people around the world. She has traveled to over 80 countries and territories, where she experienced other cultures, wildlife she had only read about in books, new foods, new people, and new amazing experiences. Jane believes that travel is for everyone and it helps us learn about ourselves and the world around us. Her goal is to help more people from more backgrounds experience the joy of exploration because she trusts that travel opens the door to the greatest, most unforgettable experiences life can offer and this builds a kinder, more inclusive, more open-minded world.

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