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Bon and Mal (Napoleon's World)

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Bon et Mal (English: Good and Bad) were 20 kiloton nuclear devices developed by the French Empire as part of Project Zeus in 1958 and early 1959 and which were detonated off of the northern Anatolian coast on July 9, 1959, bringing the nuclear age to fruition. At the time of their detonation, Bon and Mal were the only atomic warheads in the French armory, as the Zeus researchers were still developing technology for rapid construction of nuclear weapons.

Detonated within view of both a major Turkish naval base and within miles of the 2nd Black Sea Fleet of the Turkish Navy, the bombs were intended as a show of force. Waves from the explosions capsized small vessels in the vicinity, killing seven Turkish Navy sailors and injuring an additional eleven. In August of 1959, Turkey agreed to a ceasefire after France openly threatened to use these devices against Turkish population centers in Thrace and Anatolia, particularly the industrial hub of Izmir. The bombs are believed to have directly led to the end of the Black Sea War.

The revelation of French nuclear technology led to the 1960s and early 1970s arms race, accentuated by the United States developing atomic bombs in 1962, France testing fusion weapons in 1966, the United States completing the same feat in 1968, and both China, Ireland and Japan becoming nuclear states by 1968, 1972 and 1973, respectively. Nuclear proliferation became a global issue with the development of this technology.

See also: Nuclear weapons

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