How come there were German Navy Ships in Australian waters in 1873

+2 votes
109 views
My Great Grandfather jumped ship fom a German Navy Boat in1873 in either Darwin or Brisbane
asked in Genealogy Help by JANETTE Jackson Jackson G2G Rookie (190 points)

2 Answers

+1 vote
The German Empire had many trading interests in the South Pacific from about 1850 until 1914, particularly in Samoa, Gilbert Islands and New Guinea.

The Imperial German Navy had an ever-increasing role in patrolling and protecting their settlements/plantations in those areas.

Darwin and northern Queensland are a matter of a few hours by ship from those areas - as evidenced by the number of refugee boats currently arriving in Australia.
answered by Peter Knowles G2G6 Mach 6 (64.8k points)
+1 vote

The German's established colonies in China, Samoa, New Guinea and other areas in the period of 1880-1900 and had already been trading in the area since at least 1850's as well as conducting the Eulenberg Expedition in the early 1860's: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eulenburg_Expedition

In the larger historical perspective, the 1870s and 1880s were pretty much the peak of western colonialism around the world, and even though German New Guinea (the earliest German Colony in the Pacific) was not established until approved by Bismarck around 1884, you can be sure that each country was doing it's best to keep tabs on what, and where, the other colonial powers were doing.

Germany was also very involved with Japan in this period of modernization: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germany%E2%80%93Japan_relations#Modernization_of_Japan_and_educational_exchange_.281871_to_1885.29

It seems reasonable to me that Darwin, Autralia may have laid 'near enough' the route of a German ship navigating it's way across the Indonesian Archipelago, for a ship blown off-course, or a Captain aiming to keep sight of land as much as possible, to have passed by. Alternatively, the ship could have been provisioning or doing repairs. Why, specifically, a military ship would have been in the area in the first place? Any number of tasks and roles come to mind... transporting and/or protecting dignataries and passenger ships, taking surveys and soundings, protecting trade ships from both pirates and other colonial powers.

 

answered by Rob Ton G2G6 Pilot (272k points)

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