4. German New Guinea and Queensland
They had a gig wireless station on the island, but it was too far inland for us to take it then and I suppose we had other work on, so we left that day until we got land troops and took possession properly, that was nearly a month after, so it gave the Germany plenty of time to defend the wireless stations, but I must proceed to tell you my wanderings before we came back to take possession. There are so many islands in this part of the Pacific that it is easy for a ship to hide away, so, after leaving Simpson Haven, we steamed slowly through the Solomon Group of Islands, which was a fine trip, although we were having spasms all the time, taking trees for masts of ships, etc., we were on our way to Rossel Is. for coal and oil, we coaled in a great reef with the entrance facing the island, we there met the Melbourne, for the first time since the outbreak of the war; from Rossel Is. we made for Sandy Cape, off the coast of Queensland, we picked up a transport there loaded with troops formed in Sydney, she was the “Berrima” one of the latest P. & O. Branch Boats, we escorted her into a small harbour at Palm Is. further north of Queensland. We then went into Townsville for coal, provisions, etc., after we had got all ready for sea again, we all went for a route march through Townsville, we stopped in batches at two hotels and were allowed to have one drink, only one, of course, and as many more as you could get in the time allowed, it was very hot weather you know, and we marched back to the ship singing songs and all happy and satisfied. We then returned to Palm Island and as we were waiting orders, we had a fairly easy time for a couple of days, there were a few seining (fishing) parties; while at Palm Is. we picked up our two submarines and together with the transport, we proceeded to Port Moresby, British New Guinea. We there met another transport the “Kanowna” which had been formed in Queensland, she was ordered with us to Rossel Is. again, but on our way something went wrong with her and our skipper ordered her to proceed to Townsville and disband, we carried on to Rossel Is., we then picked up the remainder of the Fleet, and went to Rabaul again, landed troops and after quite a few exciting spasms took possession of G. N. Guinea and Bismark Archipelago. While we were there, we lost a submarine A.E.1 with all hands. We were ordered to Sydney, but we first steamed up the coast in search of the submarine.
Image 1, painting of Pomonahaven, New Guinea by Frank Bukacs via Traditionsverband
Image 2, HMAS Melbourne via Wikipedia
Image 3, painting of Apia, Samoa by Frank Bukacs via Traditionsverband
Image 4 painted by Themistokles von Eckenbrecher, German New Guinea via Traditionsverband
International colonial interests claimed much of the land of the Pacific. In New Guinea, the main parties were Britain, Japan and Germany. The sustainable production of the indigenous inhabitants was disrupted to produced plantations for export. In German tropical colonies, Coffee, cocoa, tobacco and peanuts were grown for export around the globe, as can be read in the painting by von Eckenbrecher (upside down at the top), where a pricelist is offered free of charge. Control of the colonies meant control of the supplies of resources.(ed.)