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The modern term "bikini" for a particular bathing suit design was first used by Heim and Reard (who were, in reality, the
re-inventors of the bikini). Heim was a couturier designer from Cannes, France, who had designed a very small bathing suit
called the "Atome" (french for atom). He hired a skywriting plane to advertise his design by skywriting "Atome -- the
world's smallest bathing suit" Three weeks later, Reard, a mechanical engineer, had another skywriting plane write "Bikini
-- smaller than the smallest bathing suit in the world.
In the early 1900's the Japanese began to administer the Marshall Islands. This domination later resulted in a military build up throughout the islands in anticipation of World War II. Bikini and the rest of these peaceful, low lying coral atolls in the Marshalls suddenly became strategic. The Bikini islanders' life of harmony drew to an abrupt close when the Japanese built and maintained a watchtower on their island to guard against an American invasion of the Marshalls. Throughout the conflict the Bikini station served as an outpost for the Japanese headquarters in the Marshall Islands, Kwajalein Atoll.
In February of 1944, toward the end of the war, in a gruesome and terrifying bloody battle, the American forces captured Kwajalein Atoll and thereby effectively crushed the Japanese hold on the Marshall Islands.