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German New Guinea



FIRST STAMPS German standard stamps from 1885.

FIRST STAMPS ISSUED 1900.


CURRENCY

1898, German.
1915, sterling.



Germany annexed the northern area of the island of New Guinea in 1884, together with islands in the Bismarck Archipelago (New Britain and New Ireland). In 1885 the boundaries of the Dutch, German and British spheres were settled. When war broke out in 1914, German New Guinea was quickly occupied by 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.


Postal History
When Germany annexed the northern part of the island in 1884, POs were opened quickly and began to use German adhesives, which were replaced by the standard German colonial design in 1900. These stamps were used throughout the German colonies in the area including New Britain (then New Pomerania), New Ireland (then New Mecklenburg) and Western Solomon Islands (including Buka and Bougainville). At the outbreak of World War I there were 17 POs. Stock of the colonial stamps were seized when the islands were occupied, and overprinted GRI with a value. They were first introduced in October 1914 and were used concurrently with the overprinted stamps of the Marshall Islands in December. The two issues were replaced by the issue 'North West Pacific Islands' (q.v.) in March 1915.


Territory of New Guinea


FIRST STAMPS German issues from 1885.

FIRST STAMPS ISSUED 1925.


CURRENCY

1925, sterling.



Mandated territory administered by Australia under the League of Nations. Formerly German New Guinea and the associated islands of the Bismarck Archipelago. Until World War II Nauru (q.v.) was included in this area for administrative purposes, but it had a separate postal service.


With the Japanese invasion in January 1942, the area of Papua and the territory of New Guinea were combined under the Australian New Guinea Administrative Unit (ANGAU), a military control. Civil administration was re-established, commencing on 30 October 1945 and completed by July 1946. The new trust territory combined Papua (q.v.) and the territory of New Guinea.


Postal History
Stamps of North West Pacific Islands continued to be used until the special stamps for the new territory were issued in 1925. By the outbreak of the Japanese war in 1942 there were 20 POs operating, including three in the Solomon Islands. All offices closed early in that year. Forces POs of Australia and New Zealand were used in New Guinea during World War II.



New Guinea & Bismarck Archipelago to 1925
Click map for larger view


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