This website is designed to give voice to the people of the Republic of the Marshall Islands [RMI] who have firsthand knowledge - in their bodies and DNA, in their memories and permanently in their atolls - of thermonuclear weapons and their destruction, having been at the receiving end of the United States' "foreign policy."


AtomicAtolls.org's primary mission is to provide a repository of the unfiltered history of the relationship between the U.S. and RMI through an archive of audio interviews [in both Marshallese and English*] on SoundCloud (previously unavailable to the public) and photographs of downwind Marshall Islanders who were caught in the radioactive fallout from the 67 atomic & hydrogen thermonuclear bombs detonated at Bikini and Enewetak Atolls between 1946-58.

 

In addition to these rare and powerful interviews conducted between 1981 and 2002 [by Glenn Alcalay & Kai Erikson], numerous unclassified U.S. government documents, U.N. testimonies, NGO reports, and other educational materials regarding nuclear testing issues in the Marshall Islands will also be made available to the public.  Lastly, a large archive of videos and documentary films about the Nuclear Age, from the Manhattan Project to Weapons in Space will be made available.

Our website is dedicated to aolep dri-Majol, people of the Marshall Islands - especially the youth - and all of the glorious people who reside on our dear Mother Earth.  If there is a theme or a meme that truly captures the character of this website, it is this:  America nuked the Gentle People.

Glenn Alcalay

Peace Corps Volunteer, Utrok Atoll 1975-1977

Jeramman wot!

Glenn Alcalay & Andrew Fuchs

www.AtomicAtolls.org

© 2015-2019

Modern History of the Republic of the Marshall Islands  1914 - 1952

1914-1919    The Marshall Islands were occupied by the Japanese during WW I.

 
1939-1945    The Marshall islands were captured by US forces during WW II.
 
1940s-1950s    The US conducted 67 above ground nuclear and thermonuclear tests in the Marshall Islands.
 
1942   Feb 1, Planes of the U.S. Pacific fleet attacked Japanese bases in the Marshall and Gilbert Islands.

 

1943   Dec 8, U.S. carriers sank two cruisers and down 72 planes in the Marshall Islands, Allied invasion of the Marshalls begins and occupation results
 
1944    Jan 31, During World War II, U.S. forces under Vice Adm. Spruance began invading Kwajalein Atoll and other parts of the Japanese-held Marshall Islands.

Battle of Kwajalein - 1944

Bob Hope entertaining troops in The Marshall Islands, 1944

Battle of Kwajalein, 1944.  American

     soldiers with a Japanese P.O.W. 

Japanese bunker, Wotje Atoll, 1990

1944    Feb 17, U.S forces landed on Eniwetok atoll in the South Pacific Marshall Islands. Battle of Eniwetok Atoll began. US victory on Feb 22.
 
1944    Feb 20, US took Eniwetok Island.
 
1944    Oct 28, The first B-29 Superfortress bomber mission flew from the airfields in the Mariana Islands in a strike against the Japanese base at Truk.
   
1945-1986 At the end of World War II control of the Marshall Islands was granted to the U.S.A. and it remained in control as part of a unique UN Strategic Trust Agreement.  Article 6 required the U.S. to "Protect the health of the inhabitants" . . . And to "Protect the inhabitants against the loss of their lands and resources." 
Go here for the original United Nations Strategic Trust Agreement of 1947:     https://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/RES/21%20(1947)

Commodore Ben Wyatt [C] arriving at Bikini in early 1946 to tell Iroij Juda [L] that after living on Bikini for 2,000 years they must immediately move for the series of A-tests called "Operation Crossroads"

The people of Bikini departing for their so-called "temporary" abandonment of their ancient homeland in 1946, giving new meaning to the word "temporary" since they are still without their traditional home.

1946-1958    The US conducted 67 nuclear test blasts at the Bikini and Eniwetok atolls over this period. The tests in the northern Marshall Islands released radioactive iodine said to be 150 times worse than the contamination from Chernobyl in 1986. A Nuclear Claims Tribunal was later set up by the government of the US and the Marshall Islands to compensate those displaced or suffering health problems due to the tests. The 150 million dollars the US provided for paying settlements ran out in 2005. The US State Department said there is no obligation to pay more.

1952 Nov 1, The United States exploded the first hydrogen bomb, codenamed "Ivy Mike," in a test at Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands. The element einsteinium was discovered in the debris of the 1st hydrogen bomb test. In 2002 Greg Herken authored "Brotherhood of the Bomb: the Tangled Lives and Loyalties of Robert Oppenheimer, Ernest Lawrence and Edward Teller."

This 88-ton building was essentially a gigantic refrigerator to keep the liquid H-bomb fuel, lithium-deuteride cooled.  This was the first successful ex-plosion of a hydrogen "device" insofar as it could not be used as a weapon. Note the men in the fore- ground to provide scale of this unit on Elugelab, Enewetak, November 1, 1952.  The vertical "sausage"

[L] contained the liquid lithium-deuterium fuel.

Ivy-"Mike" [short for Micronesia, btw] was equivalent to 750 Hiroshima atomic [fission] bombs, and was history's first hydrogen

[fusion] bomb.  The trick now was to miniaturize an H-bomb that could be deliverable in an airplane. 

 

Click here for more on the "History of Nuclear Testing" and to learn about 'Bravo."

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