The World at War



1898September 10 Spain agrees to sell its possessions in the Caroline Islands to Germany.
1899February 12 Germany agrees to pay Spain 25,000,000 pesetas (16,600,000 marks) for its possessions in the Caroline, Palau and Mariana Islands (except Guam).
October 12 Rudolf von Bennigsen, Governor of German New Guinea, arrives in Pohnpei aboard SMS Jaguar to take possession of the Eastern Caroline Islands of Kosrae, Pohnpei and Chuuk from Spain.
The Carolines become an administrative district of German New Guinea under direction of a vice-governor.
November 3 Germany takes possession of the western Caroline Islands and Palau in ceremonies held on Yap.
1904Population: Micronesians 38,264, Europeans 145 including 43 Germans.
1905April 28 The Yap station on the Menado-Yap-Guam-Shanghai undersea cable route is opened. German possessions in the Pacific are no longer dependent on British controlled cables.
April 19 – 20 Typhoon devastates the Eastern Caroline Islands of Kosrae, Pingelap, Pohnpei and Mokil. District Commissioner Berg takes advantage of the distressed situation of the natives to peacefully disarm those of them who hitherto had refused this measure.
1906A 230 meter long coral block causeway connecting the islands of Yap, Map and Rumung is completed.
1907Population continues to decline. 200 natives die of dysentery on Yap during the year.
Mortlock islanders are relocated to Ponape.
1909January The Mortlock islanders, who had been relocated on Ponape in 1907, are sent to Saipan for final resettlement. Resettlement of the central Carolines’ surplus population to other more thinly populated islands is planned. February
The Deutschen Südsee-Phosphatgesellschaft (German South Seas Phosphate Corporation) of Bremen begins mining phosphate on Anguar in the Palau group. The company attempts to hire native labor from Yap, Palau and the central Carolines after encountering difficulties with Chinese laborers.
March 2 A landing party from S.M.S. Jaguar crosses Ponape on the new 20km cross island path broken by police troops in the wake of continued unrest among the natives in the Western Carolines.
During the Year Ponape native chiefs accept the District Commissioner’s suggestion to abolish feudalism and agree that the natives will work 15 days per year without pay for the district administration. 1910
German mandated social changes spark Sokeh’s Rebellion, a native uprising in the eastern Carolines. The district commissioner, Captain Boeder and several German officials are killed before a patrol boat arrives and restores order. 1912
January 1 The Westkarolinen-Gesellschaft begins operations on Yap. The company’s plantations employ 132 Europeans and 14,000 native workers. A similar enterprise is planned for the Eastern Carolines. 1914
August 12 Two British gunboats appeared off Yap. A shore party destroys the island’s wireless station. August
A shore party from a British gunboat destroys the wireless station on Angaur and leaves a note proclaiming the entire protectorate of German New Guinea to be occupied in the name of George V. The Japanese occupy the island at a later date.
October 7 The Japanese occupy Yap and Ponape without resistance.
October 12 The Japanese occupy Truk without resistance.
1919June 28 Germany signs the Treaty of Versailles and cedes all sovereignty over the Caroline Islands.

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