The Ministry of Supply announced in 1957 that Britain had exploded its first Hydrogen Bomb over Christmas Island. This was the first of a proposed series of tests in the Pacific. Britain used the term "nuclear device" in describing the bomb, leading Scientists to believe it was not a fully developed bomb. In 1954, they started a thermo-nuclear program in an effort to produce a megaton Hydrogen Bomb, of a million tons of TNT.

Photo by Associated Press

The bomb was dropped from a Valient of NO 49 Squadron RAF Bomber Command, based at RAF Wittering Northants. The Valient is a four engined jet which dropped the bomb over Christmas Island from high altitude. Air Vice-Marshal WE Oulton, commander of the task force and WJR Cook, scientific director of the program informed the Minister of Supply of the Nuclear test. Results as to the success of the blast are being evaluated and will be made known as soon as completed.


The test raised a major debate on the dangers of Atomic and Hydrogen weapons, which led to a campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. In 1958 this group pushed for an international halt to the testing of all nuclear weapons. In 1963, many countries, including the Soviet Union, the UK, and the USA signed a Nuclear Test Ban treaty.

Source: RAF


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