Why did the Germans want the Pacific?

Discussions on all aspects of the German Colonies and Overseas Expeditions. Hosted by Chris Dale.
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Why did the Germans want the Pacific?

Post by freefrench » 14 Feb 2006 16:15

What was the use for the Reich to get the Pacific islands? Was there any political/military strategy involved? Or was it just for "the List of Colonies"


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Chris Dale
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Post by Chris Dale » 18 Feb 2006 15:17

There were several reasons why Pacific colonies seemed a good idea.
I'm sure just adding to a list of colonies was an attractive idea in itself but also as with all colonies the German Empire hoped to make money from trade. The main export of the pacific colonies was coconuts, coconut oil and other coconut products. The German New Guinea Company was an established trading company before the colony of German New Guinea was established. German Samoa was one of the few German colonies to turn a profit.
A third reason for the colonies was strategic with radio stations and coaling depots for German ships on their way to Tsingtao. See http://www.geocities.com/peteroverlack/ for a good explanation of Germany's strategic interests.

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Post by soldat_m56 » 20 Feb 2006 02:35

The Ostasiatisches Geschwader spent (I think it was the winter) in Apia, Deutsche Samoa and the summer in Tsingtau for operations. As Chris Dale wrote, radio stations linking the colonies were also important in the South Pacific. I believe the radio stations at Rabaul and Palau being the most important.

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Post by lettow4beck » 26 Mar 2006 06:11

The Kaiser was interested in a navy to rival the British and colonies as well. It is worth noting that there was a German squadron shadowing the the Americans when they seized Manila in the Spanish American War. In fact the two forces almost exchanged fire. The Germans were hoping to pick up the Spanish colonies in the Pacific as a colony themselves, but had to settle for buying up the scraps that the Americans didn't feel like annexing (the Marianas minus Guam, and the Caroline and Marshall Islands).

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