# 3240

Associated Press [Photographer unknown]

Atomic bomb test, Monte Bello Islands, Western Australia, 16 May 1956

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Press photograph, 210 x 180 mm, verso with date stamp MAY 17 1956, and paste-down newspaper clipping from an American newspaper: ‘Near Monte Bello, off West Australia – This cloud took shape yesterday. The British Supply Ministry announced an “atomic device” had been detonated‘.

The British Government tested its first nuclear weapon in Australia at the Montebello Islands off the coast of northwest Western Australia in 1952, which was followed over the next decade by numerous tests in both South Australia and the Monte Bello Islands. The press photograph we offer here shows the atomic explosion which took place off Trimouille Island, near Monte Bello Island, latitude 20.23 S, longitude 115.55 E, on 16 May 1956. The test was the first in Operation Mosaic, a series conducted in the area by the British Government in mid 1956 to aid research in thermonuclear weapons development.