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The Oceania Portal

An orthographic projection of Oceania

Oceania (UK: /ˌsiˈɑːniə, ˌʃi-, -ˈn-/ OH-s(h)ee-AH-nee-ə, -⁠AY-, US: /ˌʃiˈæniə, -ˈɑːn-/ OH-shee-A(H)N-ee-ə) is a geographical region including Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. Outside of the English-speaking world, Oceania is generally considered a continent, while Australia is regarded as an island or a continental landmass contained inside of the larger continent of Oceania. Spanning the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, at the centre of the water hemisphere, Oceania is estimated to have a land area of about 9,000,000 square kilometres (3,500,000 sq mi) and a population of around 44.4 million as of 2022. When compared to the continents (which it is often compared to, not including Australia), Oceania is the smallest in land area and the second-least populated after Antarctica.

Oceania has a diverse mix of economies from the highly developed and globally competitive financial markets of Australia, French Polynesia, Hawaii, New Caledonia, and New Zealand, which rank high in quality of life and Human Development Index, to the much less developed economies of Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Western New Guinea, while also including medium-sized economies of Pacific islands such as Fiji, Palau, and Tonga. The largest and most populous country in Oceania is Australia, and the largest city is Sydney. Puncak Jaya in Highland Papua, Indonesia, is the highest peak in Oceania at 4,884 m (16,024 ft).

The arrival of European settlers in subsequent centuries resulted in a significant alteration in the social and political landscape of Oceania. The Pacific theatre saw major action during the First World War with the Japanese occupying many German territories. During the Second World War, Allied powers the United States, Philippines (a U.S. Commonwealth at the time) and Australia fought against Axis power Japan across various locations in Oceania. (Full article...)

The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's five oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean (or, depending on definition, to Antarctica) in the south, and is bounded by the continents of Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east.

At 165,250,000 square kilometers (63,800,000 square miles) in area (as defined with a southern Antarctic border), this largest division of the World Ocean and the hydrosphere covers about 46% of Earth's water surface and about 32% of the planet's total surface area, larger than its entire land area (148,000,000 km2 (57,000,000 sq mi)). The centers of both the Water Hemisphere and the Western Hemisphere, as well as the oceanic pole of inaccessibility, are in the Pacific Ocean. Ocean circulation (caused by the Coriolis effect) subdivides it into two largely independent volumes of water that meet at the equator, the North Pacific Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean (or more loosely the South Seas). The Pacific Ocean can also be informally divided by the International Date Line into the East Pacific and the West Pacific, which allows it to be further divided into four quadrants, namely the Northeast Pacific off the coasts of North America, the Southeast Pacific off South America, Northwest Pacific off Far Eastern Asia, and the Southwest Pacific around Oceania. (Full article...)
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A group of men in slouch hats struggle with a large object. In the background is a jeep and a Dakota.
A 25-pounder of the 2/1st Field Regiment is unloaded from a Dakota on the airfield at Wau. The gun was assembled and fired at Japanese positions around Wau later that day.
The Battle of Wau, 29 January – 4 February 1943, was a battle in the New Guinea campaign of World War II. Forces of the Empire of Japan sailed from Rabaul and crossed the Solomon Sea and, despite Allied air attacks, successfully reached Lae, where they disembarked. Japanese troops then advanced overland on Wau, an Australian base that potentially threatened the Japanese positions at Salamaua and Lae. A race developed between the Japanese moving overland, hampered by the terrain, and the Australians, moving by air, hampered by the weather. By the time the Japanese reached the Wau area after a trek over the mountains, the Australian defenders had been greatly reinforced by air. In the battle that followed, despite achieving tactical surprise by approaching from an unexpected direction, the Japanese attackers were unable to capture Wau. (Full article...)
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