Although it played second fiddle to their huge naval base in nearby Rabaul, Kavieng in New Ireland was in fact a very strategic location for the invading Japanese forces in World War II as they fought to gain complete control of Papua New Guinea and prepare for the invasion of Australia.
Seized by the Japanese on the 21st of January in 1942, just seven weeks after the surprise air attack on Pearl Harbour which brought America into WWII, Kavieng protected their rear and was an important part of their miliary supply chain.
And so it became an important target for the Allied forces in 1943 and 1944 as they turned the tide of the war in the Pacific and eventually defeated the Japanese invaders in 1945…
The majority of the diveable wrecks in and around Kavieng harbor are the remains of WWII aircraft – five Japanese and one Australian. While in neighboring New Hanover there are two large two large Japanese WWII shipwrecks, the Sanko Maru and the Kashi Maru, plus a very intact Type C midget submarine.
You can also access my detailed location guide the Complete Guide to Diving New Ireland on the link provided – just follow the links at the bottom of each page to take you through all the pages.