Located in the south-western Pacific Ocean, about 2,580
miles southwest of Hawaii.
Oval in shape, it has a circumference of 12 miles and an area of
8 square miles, near the equator. Nauru's capital is Yaren administrative
center Nauru is the smallest republic in the world and has no capital.
In 1947 the island
was placed under United
Nations Trusteeship and Australia resumed administration on behalf
of the three partner governments: Australia, New Zealand and
Britain. Nauru became an independent republic on 31 January 1968.
Nauru existed as an independent island society until it was annexed
by Germany in 1888 as part of the Marshall Islands Protectorate.
1900 a British company discovered phosphate on the island and negotiated
with Germany for mining rights. In November 1914 Nauru was seized
by Australian troops and remained in British control until 1921.
At the end of the
war, a League of Nations mandate was granted to Australia, New Zealand
and Great Britain. The three countries provided for an Administration
and set up the
British Phosphate Commissioners (BPC) to run the phosphate industry.
World War II, the island had the distinction of being attacked by Germany,
Japan and the United States. During December, Komet and Orion sank five Allied merchant ships off Nauru.
On December 27, 1940 German Raider
Komet bombarded the phosphate mine.
the Japanese in late 1942, the garrison was commanded by Takeuchi.
1,200 Nauruans were deported to Truk in
September 1943. The garrison officially surrendered on September 13, 1945 aboard HMAS Diamantina (K377). Postwar, only 700 Nauruans survivors returned to the island.
German, Japanese and American missions against Nauru
December 27, 1940 - December 8, 1943
Japanese bunkers and trenches
Nauru Island has extensive wartime bunkers and trenches. At least one
80mm coastal gun remains in a bunker. All other weapons were
dumped into the sea in 1945.
Type 89 (1929) 127mm Naval Gun
Emplaced on Nauru.
Japanese 150mm Coastal Gun
Emplaced on Nauru.
View of barrel and view of breech.
Frequently, unexploded ordnance (UXO) is discovered when new
construction is undertaken or by excavation by the Nauru Phosphate Corporation occasionally dig up unexploded
munitions including a Japanese 60kg aerial bomb and a American 500 pound bomb, a
sight to walk down a trail and suddenly it stops where a 1,000
Built by Japanese, still in use today
of artifacts, weapons guns and aircraft wreckage
F6F-3 Hellcat Bureau Number 26088
Pilot Smith crashed December 8, 1943
Pilot James crashed June 29, 1944
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October 2, 2017