In February 1960, during the Algerian War (1954-62) France detonated an atomic bomb in the middle of the Algerian Sahara desert.

Gerboise is the French word for  a desert rodent found in the Sahara. The color Bleue came from the first color of the French Flag.

This and 16 subsequent explosions of nuclear weapons in Algeria were seen as a display of French strength and development.


Source: Wikipedia