On this day: Sinking of the Rainbow warrior

Some minutes before midnight, two explosions rocked the flagship of the Greenpeace movement called Rainbow Warrior anchored in the port of Auckland, New Zealand on July 10, 1985. The first detonation caused only minor damage, but following the second more powerful one the ship sank to the bottom of the sea with an activist on board.

In order to develop nuclear warheads, France resumed nuclear tests conducted underground in Moruroa Atoll, French Polynesia, in the 1980s. In the summer of 1985, Greenpeace activists, fed up with the experiments polluting the Pacific with radioactive waste, decided to navigate the Rainbow Warrior inside the designated military zone where the test took place. The French intelligence service was fully aware of the activists’ plan and launched its counter offensive codenamed “Operation Satanique”.

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Aftermath of Shipwreck After the Rainbow Warrior Bombing

The Rainbow Warrior is in Auckland Harbour after the bombing by French secret service agents.


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