Resource list: videos of The Atomic Tests at Bikini Atoll

70th Anniversary of Operation Crossroads Atomic Tests in Bikini Atoll, July 1946

EXCELLENT VIDEOS and PHOTOS,  National Security Archive Government Films and Photographs Depict Test “Able” on 1 July 1946

Removal of 167 Bikinians from the Atoll Preceded the Atomic Tests

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 553  July 1, 2016 Edited by William Burr with Stav Geffner For more iThe Atomic Tests at Bikini Atoll, July 1946nformation contact: William Burr at 202/994-7000 or nsarchiv@gwu.edu.

The Atomic Tests at Bikini Atoll, July 1946 Washington, D.C., July 1, 2016 – Seventy years ago this month a joint U.S Army-Navy task force staged two atomic weapons tests at Bikini atoll in the Marshall Islands, the first atomic explosions since the bombings of Japan in August 1945. Worried about its survival in an atomic war, the Navy sought the tests in order to measure the effects of atomic explosions on warships and other military targets. The test series was named Operation Crossroads by the task force’s director, Rear Admiral William Blandy. The first test, Able, took place on 1 July 1946. Of the two tests, the second, Baker, on 25 July 1946, was the most dangerous and spectacular, producing iconic images of nuclear explosions. A third test was scheduled, but canceled. Photographs and videos posted today by the National Security Archive document Crossroads, focusing on the Able test.

Also documented is the U.S. Navy’s removal, in early March 1946, of 167 Pacific islanders from Bikini, their ancestral home, so that the Navy and the Army could prepare for the tests. The Bikinians had the impression that the relocation would be temporary but the islands remain uninhabitable due to subsequent nuclear testing in the atoll……….

Video gallery

Video 1Joint Task Force One, “Operation Crossroads Able and Baker Day Tests, Bikini Atoll, Summer 1946”, unclassified.

This 30 minute narrated film was the official Operation Crossroads documentary, prepared at the direction of Task Force One director, Admiral William Blandy. It may have been prepared for internal U.S. government use.

Source: U.S. National Archives, Motion Picture Branch, RG 428, Department of the Navy, 428-MN-6817 R 1-2.

Video 2: U.S. Navy film footage depicting the removal of Pacific Islanders from Bikini atoll on March 6/7, 1946.

Source: U.S. National Archives, Motion Picture Branch, RG 428, Department of the Navy, 428-NPC-18023.

Video 3Unedited and visually poor quality footage of the Navy’s staging of Commodore Ben Wyatt’s official request to the Bikini population to leave their atoll. The meeting took place on 10 February 1946 and the Navy restaged it on 3 March 1946.  Wyatt, King Juda and the Bikinians did repeated takes of the meeting during which Wyatt asked Juda and his people to “be willing to sacrifice their island for the welfare of all men.”  King Juda, shown wearing a military uniform, restated his lines of acquiescence a number of times and by the last few minutes of the scene (ending at 7:41) was plainly unhappy with the situation.  The performances concluded with the Bikinians having their last church service on the atoll and then meeting at the graveyard.[4]

Source: U.S. National Archives, Motion Picture Branch, RG 428, Department of the Navy, 428-NPC-18022.

Video 4: This footage, excerpted from a longer film, depicts pre-test aerial activity and the detonation of Able as seen from the air.

Source: U.S. National Archives, Motion Picture Branch, RG 111, Records of the Chief Signal Officer, 111-ADC-7179.

Video 5: As shown by the slate at the first few seconds of this film, this footage of the Able shot was taken from a tower on Enyu island.

Source: U.S. National Archives, Motion Picture Branch, RG 428, Department of the Navy, 428-NPC-18358.

Video 6: This U.S. Navy film, an excerpt from a longer film, depicts the Able detonation from the perspective of sailors aboard an observation ship.

Source: U.S. National Archives, Motion Picture Branch, RG 428, Department of the Navy, 428-NPC-18301.      http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/nukevault/ebb553-70th-anniversary-of-Crossroads-atomic-tests/

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