The World at War

NAURU 1870 - 1946

NAURU Timeline

1870s Tribal warfare decimates the local population. German traders on Nauru request protection from the Imperial Government.
1886Anglo-German Convention signed recognizing German sovereignty over Nauru.
1888April 14 Nauru annexed to the German colony of the Marshall Islands.
1898First resident German administrator arrives on Nauru. Alcohol is banned and firearms and ammunition confiscated from the natives.
1899First Christian missionaries arrive on Nauru. Development of Nauruan orthography and translation of the Bible into Nauruan begins.
1900Albert Ellis an employee of J.T. Arundel Ltd. of London examines a chunk of wood being used for a doorstop in his office in Sydney. The specimen, brought back as a souvenir of a visit to Nauru, turns out to be high quality phosphate.
1906April 1 Nauru is annexed to German New Guinea along with the other Marshall Islands.
1907The British owned Pacific Phosphate Company begins mining operations on Nauru.
Translation of the Bible into Nauruan completed.
1914November Nauru is occupied without resistance by the Australian Navy.
1919An influenza epidemic kills one third of Nauruís population. June 28
Treaty of Versailles signed. Germany renounces sovereignty over Nauru.
July 2 The British, Australian and New Zealand Governments purchase the assets of the Pacific Phosphate Company for £3,500,000. A three member board of British Phosphate Commissioners (one from each country) is appointed to oversee mining operations on Nauru.
1920December 17 The League of Nations ratifies a joint Australian, British and New Zealand mandate over Nauru (administered by Australia).
1940December 6 The British Phosphate Commission ship Triona, bound for Nauru, is intercepted by a German raider north of the Solomon Islands. The passengers and crew are held captive while the Germans loot the ship before scuttling it.
December 7 Ė 8 German raiders Orion, Komet and Kulrnerland disguised as Japanese merchant ships sink four phosphate freighters off Nauru.
December 27 German raider Komet shells British Phosphate Commission facilities and the wireless station on Nauru.
1941December 8 Japanese aircraft bomb Nauruís wireless station.
1942February 23 Le Triomphant, a Free French destroyer, arrives from the New Hebrides and evacuates 61 Europeans, 391 Chinese and 49 members of Nauruís military garrison.
August 26 A 300 man Japanese taskforce lands on Nauru. The remaining 191 Europeans are made prisoner. The 1,850 Nauruans are allowed the freedom of the island but place on food rations.
1943January A Japanese airfield built by 1,500 Korean laborers and 300 Nauruan and Gilbertese conscripts becomes operational.
March 25 American bombers destroy 15 Japanese aircraft and damage airfield facilities on Nauru. The Japanese execute 5 British prisoners in retaliation. Afterward, 1,200 Nauruans are deported to Truk in the Caroline Islands to alleviate food shortages on the island.
1945September 13 Japanese forces on Nauru surrender to HMAS Dimantina.
1946January The 737 surviving Nauruan deportees are repatriated from Truk.

UP - Homepage - Timeline Index