Bombing of the Rainbow Warrior

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10 years ago on the 10th of July 1985 2 limpet mine bombs set by French DGSE agents on the Greenpeace flagship the Rainbow Warrior shook New Zealand’s history forever. A Portuguese Greenpeace crew member Fernando Pereira was killed in the explosions and it is a tragedy that New Zealand will never be able to forget.

It all started when the Americans bombed Hiroshima to end the Second World War in 1945. America had also won the race to be the first country to hold the power of the atomic bomb. There had been an unspoken rivalry between the great powers (France, USA, Britain, Italy and the USSR) to create an effective atomic bomb making them the most powerful country in the world. After America managed to do this the other great powers were desperate and began testing everywhere they could find space. This was a big problem for them as in Europe there was not enough space and they did not want to take the risk of harming any of their own people. This had not been a problem for the Americans as they had enough room to undertake their testing in the Nevada desert, the Russians were also able to in Siberia and space was not a problem for them. So the great powers began testing away from home. The British started using the Australian desert in 1952 and Americans decided that their own country did not have enough room so they conducted testing at an atoll called Bikini in the Pacific in 1954. The French also started testing in the Pacific. They tested in the Pacific as they saw it as a vulnerable place that would not have enough strength to fight back.

New Zealand began to realise the seriousness of the testing especially after a massive blast at Bikini Atoll and became involved. The first effort to stop the use of nuclear weaponry was the Quaker petition in 1956 which thousands of New Zealander’s signed but was not very effective and did not do much to change the current situation. The first sign of nuclear disarmament came when the great powers had a moratorium due

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