The Shortland Islands are a group of islands belonging to the Western Province of the Solomon Islands, at . Named by John Shortland, they lie in the extreme northwest of the country's territory, close to the island of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. The largest island is Shortland Island. Other islands include Balalae Island, Ovau Island, Pirumeri Island, Faisi Island, Magusaiai Island, Masamasa Island, Fauro Island, and Ballale Island (which was occupied by the Japanese in World War II, and is home to many abandoned World War II aircraft).
Germany claimed the islands and owned them as part of the North Solomon Islands Protectorate until 1900. On March 30, 1942, Japanese war ships entered Shortland Harbor and landed two special naval landing force platoons and met no resistance. One platoon remained in the area to begin establishing Shortland Harbor Seaplane Base. During 1942, the Japanese established a base and fortifications on the eastern portion of Shortland Island until the end of the war.
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