British and German New Guinea


This 1906 map of British New Guinea, German New Guinea (also known as Kaiser-Wilhelms-land), and the Bismarck Archipelago was produced by the Geographical Section of the General Staff of the War Office of Great Britain. Germany annexed the northern area of the island of New Guinea in 1884, together with islands of New Britain and New Ireland. The Germans renamed the former New Pomerania and the latter New Mecklenburg. Also shown is Bougainville Island, which Germany annexed in 1889. When World War I broke out in 1914, German New Guinea was quickly occupied by British Imperial Forces and the whole area was placed under Australian administration in October 1914. At the end of the World War I, German New Guinea became an Australian mandate under the League of Nations as the territory of New Guinea. British New Guinea, German New Guinea, and the Bismarck Archipelago today are part Papua New Guinea, which became independent in 1975. The map shows a small part of Dutch New Guinea (part of present-day Indonesia), and the extreme northern tip of Queensland, Australia. Relief is shown by form lines and spot elevations. The scale of the map is in miles. A stamp at the bottom indicates that the map was “Loaned by the American Geographical Society to the Peace Conference at Versailles, 1918-1919.”

Last updated: April 13, 2016