New Britain: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article discusses the island of New Britain in Papua New Guinea. For other uses of the name, see New Britain (disambiguation).
New Britain
Newbritain lrg.jpg
New Britain from space, June 2005. Clearly visible are ash plumes from Langila and Ulawun volcanoes
New Britain is located in Papua New Guinea
New Britain (Papua New Guinea)
Coordinates 5°44′S 150°44′E / 5.733°S 150.733°E / -5.733; 150.733
Archipelago Bismarck Archipelago
Area 35,144 km2 (13,569 sq mi)[1] (38th)
Length 600 km (370 mi)
Width 110 km (68 mi)
Highest point Mount Sinewit (2,438 m (8,000 ft))
Papua New Guinea
Population 404873 (as of 2000)
Density 10.71 /km2 (27.7 /sq mi)
Ethnic groups Papuans and Austronesians

New Britain, or Niu Briten, is the largest island in the Bismarck Archipelago (named after Otto von Bismarck) of Papua New Guinea. It is separated from the island of New Guinea by the Dampier and Vitiaz Straits, and from New Ireland by the St. George's Channel. The main towns of New Britain are Rabaul/Kokopo and Kimbe.

New Britain and New Ireland are so named because their outlines on a map roughly correspond to those of the British Isles in the Atlantic Ocean. While the island was part of German New Guinea, it was named Neupommern ("New Pomerania").



Topography of New Britain
New Britain, with selected towns and volcanoes

New Britain extends from 148° to 152° E. longitude and from 4° to 7° S. latitude. It is crescent-shaped, approximately 600 km (370 miles) along its southeastern coastline, and from 30 to 110 km (20–70 miles) wide, not including a small central peninsula. The island is the 38th largest in the world, with an area of 37,800 km² (14,600 mile²).

Steep cliffs form some sections of the coastline; in others the mountains are further inland, and the coastal area is flat and bordered by coral reefs. The highest point, at 2438 m (7999 ft), is Mount Sinewit in the Baining range in the east. Most of the terrain is covered with tropical rainforest, and several large rivers are fed by the high rainfall.

New Britain was largely formed by volcanic processes, and there are several active volcanoes on the island, including Ulawun (the highest volcano in Papua New Guinea), Langila, the Garbuna Group, the Sulu Range, and the volcanoes Tavurvur and Vulcan of the Rabaul caldera. A major eruption of Tavurvur in 1994 destroyed the East New Britain provincial capital of Rabaul. Most of the town still lies under metres of ash, and the capital has been moved to nearby Kokopo.

Administrative divisions

New Britain is part of the Islands Region, one of four regions of Papua New Guinea. It comprises the mainland of two provinces:




William Dampier became the first known European to visit New Britain on February 27, 1700: he dubbed the island with the Latin name Nova Britannia.

In November 1884, Germany proclaimed its protectorate over the New Britain Archipelago; the German colonial administration gave New Britain and New Ireland the names of Neupommern (or Neu-Pommern; "New Pomerania") and Neumecklenburg (or Neu-Mecklenburg; "New Mecklenburg"), and the whole group was renamed the Bismarck Archipelago. New Britain became part of German New Guinea.

In 1909, the indigenous population was estimated at about 190,000; the foreign population at 773 (474 white). The expatriate population was practically confined to the northeastern Gazelle Peninsula, which included the capital, Herbertshöhe (now Kokopo). At the time 5,448 hectares (13,464 acres) had been converted to plantations, primarily copra, cotton, coffee, and rubber. Westerners avoided exploring the interior initially, believing that the indigenous peoples were warlike and would fiercely resist intrusions.

On 11 September 1914, New Britain became the site of one of the earliest battles of World War I when the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force landed on the island. They quickly overwhelmed the German forces and German New Guinea became the Australian Territory of New Guinea.

World War II

Two photographs of native New British Islanders, 1944

During World War II the Japanese captured New Britain very early on. During January 1942, Japanese heavily bombed Rabaul. On January 23, Japanese Marines landed by the thousands, starting the Battle of Rabaul. The Japanese used Rabaul as a heavy base until 1944. It was used as the key point for the failed invasion of Port Moresby.

New Britain was invaded by the U.S. 1st Marine Division in the Cape Gloucester area of the very western end of the island, and also by U.S. Army soldiers at some other coastal points. As for Cape Gloucester, with its swamps and mosquitos, the Marines said that it was "worse than Guadalcanal".

The Allies were able to bypass attacking Rabaul by surrounding it with air and naval bases on surrounding islands and on New Britain itself Operation Cartwheel. The large neighboring island of New Ireland was bypassed altogether. The Rabaul air and naval base was abandoned by the Japanese in August 1945, and surrender by the Japanese followed on 2 September 1945 in Tokyo Bay.

Since 1945

People and culture

The indigenous people of New Britain fall into two main groups: the Papuans, who have inhabited the island for tens of thousands of years, and the Austronesians, who arrived around two thousand years ago. There are around ten Papuan languages spoken and about forty Austronesian languages, as well as Tok Pisin and English. The Papuan population is largely confined to the eastern third of the island and a couple of small enclaves in the central highlands. At Jacquinot Bay, in the south-east, they live beside the beach where a waterfall crashes directly into the sea.[2]

The population of New Britain was 404,873 in the 2000 census. Austronesian people make up the majority on the island. The major towns are Rabaul/Kokopo in East New Britain and Kimbe in West New Britain.

The traditional cultures of New Britain are diverse and complex. While the Tolai of the Rabaul area of East New Britain have a matrilineal society, other groups are patrilineal in structure. There are numerous traditions which remain active today, such as the dukduk secret society (also known as tubuan) in the Tolai area.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Tansley, Craig (24 January 2009). "Treasure Islands". The Age (Fairfax Media): pp. Traveller supplement (pp. 10-11). Retrieved 27 January 2009.  

Coordinates: 5°44′S 150°44′E / 5.733°S 150.733°E / -5.733; 150.733

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

New Britain is a city in Connecticut.

  • La Quinta Inn & Suites, 65 Columbus Blvd., +1 860 224-9161, [1].
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

NEW BRITAIN, a city of Hartford county, Connecticut, U.S.A., near the centre of the state, about 9 m. S.W. of the city of Hartford; land area 13.09 sq. m. in 1906. Pop. (1890) of the township, including the city, 19,007; of the city, 16,519; (1900) of the township, including the city, 28,202; of the city, 2 5,99 8, of whom 9293 were foreign-born, including 1869 Irish and 1811 Swedes, who have a weekly published here; (1910 census) 43,916. It is served by the New York, New Haven & Hartford railway, and by several inter-urban electric railways. The city is the seat of a state normal school, and has a free public library, formerly the New Britain Institute, and a public park of about loo acres. New Britain is an important manufacturing centre; its principal products are hardware, cutlery and edge tools, hosiery, and foundry and machine shop products. In 1905 the capital invested in manufacturing was $19,979,712 (an increase of 45.1% since 1900) and the value of the factory products was $14,959,543 (an increase of 34.8%). More than one-half of the product-value was in hardware ($7,537,625).

New Britain, which was settled in 1687, was originally a part of the township of Farmington. On account of ecclesiastical difficulties the "New Britain Society" - a parish - was organized in 1754. New Britain became a part of Berlin when that township was established in 1785. In 1850 the township of New Britain was incorporated, and in 1871 the city was chartered. By act of the state legislature in 1905 the township of New Britain and the city of New Britain were consolidated; the first election under the new charter was in April 1906. The city was one of the first in the country to build a municipal subway for electric light, telephone and telegraph wires.

See D. N. Camp's History of New Britain (New Britain, 1889).

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


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Proper noun

New Britain

  1. An island of Papua New Guinea


Simple English

New Britain is the largest island in the Bismarck Archipelago (named for Otto von Bismarck) of Papua New Guinea. It is separated from the island of New Guinea by the Dampier Strait, and from New Ireland by the St. George's Channel. The main towns of New Britain are Rabaul/Kokopo and Kimbe.

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Coordinates: 5°44′S 150°44′E / 5.733°S 150.733°E / -5.733; 150.733


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