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Bismarck Archipelago (Papua New Guinea)

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Collins English Dictionary

A group of over 200 islands in the SW Pacific, northeast of New Guinea: part of Papua New Guinea. Main islands: New Britain, New Ireland, Lavongai, and the Admiralty Islands. Chief town: Rabaul, on New Britain. Population: 424 000 (1995 est.). Area: 49 658 sq. km (19 173 sq. miles).

Group of over 200 islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean, part of Papua New Guinea; area 49,660 sq km/19,200 sq mi. The largest island is New Britain. Coconut fibre, copra, cotton, rubber, coffee, tortoiseshell, trepang (sea cucumbers), mother-of-pearl, and fruit are the chief products. The population is mostly Papuan. History Their former name was New Britain Islands. The English explorer and navigator William Dampier landed on them in 1699, and in 1885 Britain assigned them to the German sphere of influence, under which cotton plantations were started. In September 1914 they were occupied by Australia and administered as a UN Trust Territory until independence in 1975, when the Bismarck Archipelago became a part of Papua New Guinea. The islands were occupied by Japan during World War II. Physical The principal islands are New Britain, formerly called Neu-Pommern (area 38,850 sq km/15,000 sq mi), and...    Continue Reading
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