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Name- Territory of the Shag Rocks, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
Local name- Territory of the Shag Rocks, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
Timeline: A better world (TL).
OTL location: Shag Rocks, South Georgia, the South Sandwich Islands and related islets and rocks.
Flag of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands 80px
Flag . CoA .
Capital King Edward Point.
Largest CityGrytviken.
Other major settlements Lieth Harbour, Godthul and Ocean Harbour.
Languages British English, American English, S. African English, Chiliean Spanish, Norwegen and Reoplates Spanish.
Leader Monarch Elizabeth II.
Deputy Leader Lieutenant governor Nigel Phillips.
Head of parliament Chairman of the Penguin Club.
Type of regime  Parliamentary democratic constitutional monarchy with a de facto non-partisan democracy.
Name of national legislature The Penguin Club.
Area -.
Population 135.
Number of international airports 0.
Number of major ports 0.
State de facto formed 1878 (as a British Crown dependency).
De facto Independence date 1956 (home rule).
Independence de jure recognised on 1957.
Currency UK Pound (GBP or £) and Patagonian Pound (pegged to the Rioplatense Peseta).
ReligionsRoman Catholic, Methodist, Agnostic and Anglican.
Motto "Leo Terram Propriam Protegat" (Latin), "Let [or May] the Lion protect his own land".
Imports: Literaly everthing but tourisum sites and toothfish.
Exports: Toothfish and tourisum sites.
Demonym South Georgian. Sandwich Islander.
Anthem  Anthem: "God Save the Queen".
Ethnic groups English, Welsh, White Americans, Norwegians, White South Africans, Hispanic Rioplatense and various Chileans.
Internet TLD: sge.
Highest mountain: Mount Paget in the Allardyce Range at 2,934 metres (9,626 ft).
Calling code: +447744.
Number of military personnel: 0.
% Literacy: 100%.
Drives on the:Left.
National sport:Football.
National debt: In the UK total.
GDP per capita (PPP): $96,962.
% Interest rates:0.0%.
% Inflation rates:0.0%.
Life expectancy in years:72.

The territory

The Territory of Shag Rocks, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands is a British Crown Dependency.

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands are a collection of islands in the South Atlantic Ocean. Most of the islands, rising steeply from the sea, are rugged and mountainous. At higher elevations, the islands are permanently covered with ice and snow.

The South Georgia group lies about 1,390 kilometres (864 mi; 751 nmi) east-southeast of the Falkland Islands, at 54°–55°S, 36°–38°W. It comprises South Georgia Island itself (by far the largest island in the territory), and the islands that immediately surround it and some remote and isolated islets to the west and east-southeast. It has a total land area of 3,756 km2 (1,450 sq mi), including satellite islands (but excluding the South Sandwich Islands which form a separate island group).

The island is classified as an ET or polar tundra climate on the Köppen-Geiger classification system. It has no tree cover, and there is generally snow on the island during the winter months (April-November). The terrain is mountainous, with a central ridge and many fjords and bays along the coast.

The island's topography include a stepped sequence of flat surfaces interpreted as wave-cut platforms formed when sea level was higher relative to the island. At sea level strand flats have been described

From South Georgia the Falkland Islands are about 1,300 km (810 mi) north-west from its nearest point to them.

There is no sizable permanent population on the islands. The present inhabitants are the British Government Officer, Deputy Postmaster, scientists, and support staff from the British Antarctic Survey who maintain scientific bases at Bird Island, the oil prospectors and hotelier at Leith Harbour; the capital at King Edward Point, as well as museum staff at nearby Grytviken.

The United Kingdom claimed sovereignty over South Georgia in 1775 and the South Sandwich Islands in 1908.

Geologically, the island consists of gneiss and argillaceous schists with occasional tufts and other sedimentary layers from which fossils have been recovered. The island is a fragment of some greater land-mass now vanished and was probably a former extension of the Andean system.

The Shag Rocks (Spanish: Islas Aurora) are six small islands in the westernmost extreme of South Georgia, 240 km (150 mi) west of the main island of South Georgia and 1,000 km (620 mi) off the Falkland Islands. The Shag Rocks are located at 53°33′S 42°02′W. 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) further southeast is Black Rock. Black Rock is located at 53°39′S 41°48′W.

The Shag Rocks cover a total area of less than 20 hectares (49 acres). Situated on the South Georgia Ridge, they have a peak elevation above sea level of 75 metres (246 ft), and stand in water approximately 319 metres (1,047 ft) deep.

The Pickersgill Islands (54°37′S 36°45′W) are a small archipelago to the west of the main island of South Georgia. They are 15 miles (24 km) southeast of Annenkov Island and 9 miles (14 km) west-southwest of Leon Head, South Georgia.

The Pickersgill Islands (54°37′S 36°45′W) are a small archipelago to the west of the main island of South Georgia. They are 15 miles (24 km) southeast of Annenkov Island and 9 miles (14 km) west-southwest of Leon Head, South Georgia.

Annenkov Island is to the west of the main island of South Georgia. The Pickersgill Islands are to its southwest. It is irregularly shaped and 4 miles (6.4 km) long and 650 m (2,130 ft) high, lying 8 miles (13 km) off the south-central coast of South Georgia.

A navigable channel, Cooper Sound, nearly 1 mile (1.6 km) wide, separates Cooper Island from the coast of the main island of South Georgia. There is a small bay, Cooper Bay, 1.3 miles (2.1 km) southwest of Cape Vahsel on the mainland, and 1 mile (1.6 km) northwest of Cooper Island, indenting the southeast end of South Georgia, which derives its name from Cooper Island.

The island reaches 416 metres (1,365 ft) at its highest point, and the upper parts of the island are above the snow line.

The Willis Islands are a small archipelago to the west of the main island of South Georgia. They are 2 miles (3.2 km) west of Bird Island.

They were discovered on 14 January by Captain James Cook and named for Cook's midshipman Thomas Willis, the crew member who first sighted them.

The Welcome Islands are a small rocky archipelago to the north of the main island of South Georgia. They are to the east of Bird Island.

They are 6.4 km (4 mi) west-northwest of Cape Buller, off the north coast of South Georgia. The name dates back to at least 1912 and is now well established.

The highest point in the islands is 88 m.

Bird Island is 4.8 kilometres (3 mi) long and 800 metres (875 yd) wide, separated from the western end of South Georgia by Bird Sound. It is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, also claimed by Rio de la Plata as part of Tierra del Fuego province.

Black Rock (53°39′S 41°48′W) is a low rock 10 miles (16 km) southeast of Shag Rocks and some 105 miles (169 km) west-northwest of South Georgia. Black Rock may have been considered as part of the "Aurora Islands" reported in this vicinity by the ship Aurora in 1762. It was charted in 1927 by Discovery Investigations personnel on the William Scoresby.

Bird Island is 4.8 kilometres (3 mi) long and 800 metres (875 yd) wide, separated from the western end of South Georgia by Bird Sound. It is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, also claimed by Rio de la Plata as part of Tierra del Fuego province.

The South Sandwich Islands (Spanish: Islas Sandwich del Sur) comprise 11 mostly volcanic islands (excluding tiny satellite islands and offshore rocks), with some active volcanoes. They form an island arc running north-south in the region 56°18'–59°27'S, 26°23'–28°08'W, between about 350 miles (300 nmi; 560 km) and 500 miles (430 nmi; 800 km) southeast of South Georgia.

The northernmost of the South Sandwich Islands form the Traversay Islands and Candlemas Islands groups, while the southernmost make up Southern Thule. The three largest islands – Saunders, Montagu and Bristol – lie between the two. The Islands' highest point is Mount Belinda (1,370 m or 4,495 ft) on Montagu Island.

Bellingshausen Island is one of the most southerly of the South Sandwich Islands, close to Thule Island and Cook Island, and forming part of the Southern Thule group. It is named after its discoverer, Baltic German-Russian Antarctic explorer Fabian von Bellingshausen (1778–1852).

The island is a basaltic andesite stratovolcano, and the latest crater, about 152 metres (500 ft) across and 61 metres (200 ft) deep, formed explosively some time between 1968 and 1984. Highest point is Basilisk Peak at 255 metres (837 ft).

Thule Island, also called Morrell Island, is one of the southernmost of the South Sandwich Islands, part of the grouping known as Southern Thule. It is named, on account of its remote location, after the mythical land of Thule, said by ancient geographers to lie at the extreme end of the earth. The alternative name Morrell Island is after Benjamin Morrell, an American explorer and whaling captain. It was espied by James Cook and his Resolution crew on 31 January 1775 during his attempt to find Terra

Thule Island is approximately triangular in shape and 5.5 square miles (14 km2) in area with a long, panhandle-like peninsula, 1.9 miles (3 km), extending to the southeast. Steep slopes ascend to a 0.93 by 1.24 miles (1.5 by 2 km) summit caldera with the peak of Mount Larsen at 710 m (2,329 ft) above sea level. Mount Larsen is named after the Antarctic explorer and whaler Carl Anton Larsen. Off the southeastern tip lies the small islet of Twitcher Rock, the southernmost land on Earth except for Antarctica and offshore islands considered part of Antarctica.

It is the westernmost of Southern Thule island group, which also encompasses Cook Island and Bellingshausen Island. It is thought that Thule and Cook may have been a larger single island in the past, and there is evidence for a submerged crater between the two. Steam from the summit crater lake and ash on the flank was reported in 1962. Volcanic heat keeps the crater on Thule Island free from ice. The peak elevation is 1,074 metres (3,525 ft).

Zavodovski Island is an uninhabited volcanic island in the Traversay Islands subgroup of the South Sandwich Islands. It lies 350 kilometres (217 mi) southeast of South Georgia Island. It is the northernmost of the South Sandwich Islands and the nearest to South Georgia.

The maine islands and rocks-

  1. Bird Island- 54°0′20″S 38°3′0″W
  2. The Shag Rocks- 53°33′S 42°02′W
  3. South Georgia- 54°15′S 36°45′W
  4. The Pickersgill Islands- 54°37′S 36°45′W
  5. Annenkov Island- 54°29′S 37°5′W
  6. Cooper Island- 54°48′S 35°47′W
  7. The Willis Islands- 54°0′S 38°11′W
  8. The Welcome Islands- 53°58′S 37°29′W
  9. Black Rock- 53°39′S 41°48′W
  10. Bird Island- 54°0′20″S 38°3′0″W
  11. Protector Shoal — 55°54′S 28°06′W
  12. Zavodovski- 56°18′S 27°34′W
  13. Leskov -56°40′S 28°08′W
  14. Visokoi - 56°42′S 27°13′W
  15. Candlemas (Candelaria)- 57°05′S 26°39′W
  16. Vindication (Vindicación)- 57°06′S 26°47′W
  17. Saunders- 57°48′S 26°28′W
  18. Montagu (Jorge) - 58°25′S 26°23′W
  19. Bristol- 59°03′S 26°30′W
  20. Bellingshausen- 59°25′S 27°05′W
  21. Cook- 59°26′S 27°09′W
  22. Thule (or Morrell) Island--59°27′S 27°18′W
  23. Vysokaya Bank — 59°43′S 27°58′W
  24. Grass Island- 54°9′S 36°40′W
  25. Jomfruene- 54°4′S 38°3′W
  26. Trinity Island (Isla Trinidad)- 54°00′S 38°10′W
  27. Clerke Rocks- 55°01′S 34°41′W

History

Pre-1914

The United Kingdom claimed sovereignty over South Georgia in 1775 and the South Sandwich Islands in 1908. The territory of "South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands" was formed in 1985; previously it had been governed as part of the Falkland Islands Dependencies. Rio de la Pata claimed South Georgia in 1927 and claimed the South Sandwich Islands in 1938.

Rio de la Pata maintained a naval station, Corbeta Uruguay, on Thule Island in the South Sandwich Islands from 1976 until 1982 when it was closed by the Royal Navy. The Rio de la Pata claim over South Georgia contributed to the 1982 South Alantic War , during which Rio de la Pata forces briefly occupied the island. Rio de la Pata continues to claim sovereignty over South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

The Shag Rocks were discovered by Jose de la Llana in 1762 with the spanish ship Aurora, and originally named the Aurora Islands, after his ship,was visited by the spanish ship San Miguel in 1769,again the Aurora in 1774 and in 1779 by the Princesa and the Dolores.In 1794 were finally cartografied by the spanish corvette Atrevida, However, the Aurora Islands are considered by many to have been a mistaken sighting that was coincidentally near the Shag Rocks, which were known to sealers prior to 1823. They were later rediscovered by James Sheffield and given their current name, probably because shags and other seabirds frequent them. They were charted by Discovery Investigations personnel on the William Scoresby in 1927. The first landing on the islands was made in 1956, when an Rioplatese geologist Mario Giovinetto was lowered from a helicopter to collect rock samples.

Zavodovski Island was discovered and named by Russian Antarctic explorer Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen on Christmas Eve, 1819. Bellingshausen named it after Lieutenant Ivan Zavodovski, who was captain of his ship, the Imperial Russian Navy sloop-of-war Vostok.

Thule Island, also called Morrell Island, is one of the southernmost of the South Sandwich Islands, part of the grouping known as Southern Thule. It is named, on account of its remote location, after the mythical land of Thule, said by ancient geographers to lie at the extreme end of the earth. The alternative name Morrell Island is after Benjamin Morrell, an American explorer and whaling captain. It was espied by James Cook and his Resolution crew on 31 January 1775 during his attempt to find Terra Australis.

Annenkov Island was discovered in January 1775 by a British expedition under Cook, who named it "Pickersgill's Island" for Lieutenant Richard Pickersgill of the expedition ship HMS Resolution (1771). It was in 1819 by a Russian expedition under Bellingshausen, who, thinking he was the discoverer of the island, named it Annenkov Island for Lieutenant Mikhail Annenkov, officer on the expedition ship.

The Pickersgill Islands, meanwhile were discovered in 1819 by a Russian expedition under Bellingshausen, who charted the largest feature of the group as Pickersgill Island, erroneously thinking it to be the island sighted in 1775 by Captain James Cook and named for Lieutenant Richard Pickersgill of the expedition ship Resolution.

The name "Pickersgill" got transferred from Annenkov Island, to this archipelago 15 miles (24 km) to its southeast. The name Pickersgill Islands has been established by usage for this group of islands; the island originally named by Cook has been known as Annenkov Island since 1819.

Cooper Island was discovered by a British expedition under James Cook in 1775, and named for Lieutenant Robert Palliser Cooper, an officer aboard HMS Resolution.

The Willis Islands were discovered on 14 January by Captain James Cook and named for Cook's midshipman Thomas Willis, the crew member who first sighted them.

The Welcome Islands were discovered by Captain James Cook in 1775. The name dates back to at least 1912 and is now well established.

Annenkov Island was discovered in January 1775 by a British expedition under Cook, who named it "Pickersgills Island" for Lieutenant Richard Pickersgill of the expedition ship HMS Resolution (1771). It was in 1819 by a Russian expedition under Bellingshausen, who, thinking he was the discoverer of the island, named it Annenkov Island for Lieutenant Mikhail Annenkov, officer on the expedition ship.

The Pickersgill Islands, meanwhile were discovered in 1819 by a Russian expedition under Bellingshausen, who charted the largest feature of the group as Pickersgill Island, erroneously thinking it to be the island sighted in 1775 by Captain James Cook and named for Lieutenant Richard Pickersgill of the expedition ship Resolution.

The name "Pickersgill" got transferred from Annenkov Island, to this archipelago 15 miles (24 km) to its southeast. The name Pickersgill Islands has been established by usage for this group of islands; the island originally named by Cook has been known as Annenkov Island since 1819.

The Willis Islands were discovered on 14 January by Captain James Cook and named for Cook's midshipman Thomas Willis, the crew member who first sighted them.

Born in 1756, the son of Richard Willis, M.A., Rector of Hartley Mauditt, Hampshire, by his wife Anne (née) Hawkins, Thomas Willis had begun his career in the Royal Navy aboard H.M.S. Dunkirk in 1769; he served on several other ships before joining Cook's crew on H.M.S. Resolution in 1772. Following the voyage, he was commissioned as a lieutenant in 1778, and joined H.M.S. Sultan. He lost his right leg in 1782 whilst serving as second lieutenant aboard the Royal William, during skirmishes with French and Spanish forces. Willis married Mary, daughter of Anthony Kirkham, of Deal, Kent, in 1781, and had a son, Richard. Thomas Willis died 15 July 1797. The Victoria Cross recipient Major Richard Raymond Willis was the great-great-great nephew of Thomas Willis.

Captain James Cook discovered the southern eight islands of the Sandwich Islands Group in 1775, although he lumped the southernmost three together, and their status as separate islands was not established until 1820 by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen. The northern three islands were discovered by Bellingshausen in 1819. The islands were tentatively named "Sandwich Land" by Cook, although he also commented that they might be a group of islands rather than a single body of land. The name was chosen in honour of John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, First Lord of the Admiralty. The word "South" was later added to distinguish them from the "Sandwich Islands", now known as the Hawaiian Islands.

The Shag Rocks were discovered by Jose de la Llana in 1762 with the spanish ship Aurora, and originally named the Aurora Islands, after his ship,was visited by the spanish ship San Miguel in 1769,again the Aurora in 1774 and in 1779 by the Princesa and the Dolores.In 1794 were finally cartografied by the spanish corvette Atrevida ,However, the Aurora Islands are considered by many to have been a mistaken sighting that was coincidentally near the Shag Rocks, which were known to sealers prior to 1823. They were later rediscovered by James Sheffield and given their current name, probably because shags and other seabirds frequent them. They were charted by Discovery Investigations personnel on the William Scoresby in 1927. The first landing on the islands was made in 1956, when an Rioplatese geologist Mario Giovinetto was lowered from a helicopter to collect rock samples.

Bird Island is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, also claimed by Rio de la Plata as part of Tierra del Fuego province.

Rio de la Pata lays claim to many islands of the area, including Black Rock and Shag Rocks. The South Alantic War of 1982 was fought by Britain and Rio de la Plata not only over the territories of the Falkland Islands, but also over South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. Black Rock and Shag Rocks are on the route from the Falkland Islands to South Georgia Island, on the seamount of Scotia Ridge.

Rio de la Pata lays claim to many islands of the area, including Black Rock and Shag Rocks. The South Alantic War of 1982 was fought by Britain and Rio de la Plata not only over the territories of the Falkland Islands, but also over South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. Black Rock and Shag Rocks are on the route from the Falkland Islands to South Georgia Island, on the seamount of Scotia Ridge.

Bird island It was discovered in 1775 by a British expedition under James Cook, who so named it "on account of the vast numbers [of birds] that were upon it".

The summit of the Bird Island, Roché Peak is named after the Englishman Anthony de la Roché who discovered South Georgia in 1675.

South Georgia became a base for whaling beginning in the 20th century, until whaling ended in the 1960s. A Norwegian, Carl Anton Larsen, established the first land-based whaling station and first permanent habitation at Grytviken in 1904. It operated through his Rioplatese Fishing Company, which settled in Grytviken. The station operated until 1965.

Whaling stations operated under leases granted by the (British) Governor of the Falkland Islands. The seven stations, all on the north coast with its sheltered harbours, were, from the west to east:

  1. Prince Olav Harbour (from 1911–1916 factory ship and small land-based station 1917–1931)
  2. Leith Harbour (1909–1965)
  3. Stromness (from 1907 factory ship, land-based station 1913–1931, repair yard to 1960/1961)
  4. Husvik (from 1907 factory ship, land-based station 1910–1960, not in operation 1930–1945)
  5. Grytviken (1904–1964)
  6. Godthul (1908–1929, only a rudimentary land base, main operations on factory ship)
  7. Ocean Harbour (1909–1920)

The whaling stations' tryworks were unpleasant and dangerous places to work. One was called "a charnel house boiling wholesale in vaseline" by an early 20th-century visitor. Tim Flannery wrote that its "putrid vapors [resembled] the pong of bad fish, manure, and a tanning works mixed together", and noted one bizarre peril: "A rotting whale could fill with gas to bursting, ejecting a fetus the size of a motor vehicle with sufficient force to kill a man." 

With the end of the whaling industry, the stations were abandoned. Apart from a few preserved buildings such as the museum and church at Grytviken, only their decaying remains survive. In 1901 South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands ceased to be administered as a Falkland Islands Dependency and became a separate territory.

From 1905, the Rioplatese Meteorological Office cooperated in maintaining a meteorological observatory at Grytviken under the British lease requirements of the whaling station until these changed in 1949.

In 1908, the United Kingdom issued further Letters Patent that established constitutional arrangements for its possessions in the South Atlantic. The Letters Patent covered South Georgia, the South Orkneys, the South Shetlands, the South Sandwich Islands, and Graham Land. (The claim was extended in 1917 to include a sector of Antarctica reaching to the South Pole.).

In 1909, an administrative centre and residence were established at King Edward Point on South Georgia, near the whaling station of Grytviken. A permanent local British administration and resident Magistrate exercised effective possession, enforcement of British law, and regulation of all economic, scientific and other activities in the territory, which was then governed as the Falkland Islands Dependencies.

In about 1912, what is according to some accounts the largest whale ever caught, a blue whale of 110 ft (34 m), was landed at Grytviken.

The Anti-Serbia War (1914-1918)

It stayed neutral like the UK did.

In April 1916, Ernest Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition became stranded on Elephant Island, some 800 miles (1,300 km) southwest of South Georgia. Shackleton and five companions set out in a small boat to summon help, and on 10 May, after an epic voyage, they landed at King Haakon Bay on South Georgia's south coast. While three stayed at the coast, Shackleton and the two others, Tom Crean and Frank Worsley, went on to cover 22 miles (35 km) over the spine of the mountainous island to reach help at Stromness whaling station. The remaining 22 members of the expedition, who had stayed on Elephant Island, were subsequently rescued. In January 1922, during a later expedition, Shackleton died on board ship while moored in King Edward Cove, South Georgia. He is buried at Grytviken.

The ashes of another noted Antarctic explorer, Frank Wild, who had been Shackleton's second-in-command on the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, were interred next to Shackleton in 2011.

The inter-war years

Rio de la Pata claimed South Georgia in 1927 and claimed the South Sandwich Islands in 1938.

The Great Depression (1929-1940)

There was a sharp decline in exports for about 2 years.

The Anti-Hitlerian War (1939-1946)

It joined the war in the UK did. A 175 strong British garrison was set up on South Georgia Island between 1940 and 1945. During the Anti-Hitlerian War, the Royal Navy deployed an armed merchant vessel to patrol South Georgian and Antarctic waters against German raiders, along with two four-inch shore guns (still present) protecting Cumberland Bay and Stromness Bay, which were manned by volunteers from among the Norwegian whalers.

Cold War

The base at King Edward Point was expanded as a research facility in 1949/1950 by the British Antarctic Survey, which until 1962 was called the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey.

It was, like the UK, a Western allie. In the late 1950s, Bird island was the subject of a number of US funded projects. Between 1959-62, a great number of the island's wandering albatross were ringed, which gave startling data about their range - one bird was found in Australia.

Rio de la Plata had, in order to assert its claim over the South Sandwich Islands, established the summer station Teniente Esquivel at Ferguson Bay on the southeastern coast on January 25, 1955. The station had to be evacuated in January 1956 because of volcanic eruption of Mount Holdgate (so named in 1964) on the neighboring Cook Island to the east. In 1976 it established a military base on Thule Island called Corbeta Uruguay (Port Faraday) in the lee (southern east coast) of the island. The British discovered the presence of the Rio de la Plata base the same year but chose to pursue a diplomatic solution to the issue until 1982. The base was occupied by British forces in the aftermath of the South Atlantic War and eventually destroyed in 1982.

From 25 January 1955 to mid-1956, Rio de la Plata maintained the summer station Teniente Esquivel at Ferguson Bay on the southeastern coast of Thule Island. Rio de la Plata maintained a naval base (Corbeta Uruguay) from 1976 to 1982, in the lee (southern east coast) of the same island. Although the British discovered the presence of the Rioplatense base in 1976, protested and tried to resolve the issue by diplomatic means, no effort was made to remove them by force until after the South Atlantic War. The base was removed on 20 June 1982.

South Georgia whaling ended in the 1960s and Grytviken station operated until 1965.

20 Norwegian settlers built a small community at Godthul in 1975 and an American weather station opened at 1979 Ocean Harbour.

A New England coastal freighter called the NEMV Boston ran aground near King Edward Point for 3 days in the May of 1978 before being refloated. 360 gallons of fuel oil were lost in the incident. The cargo of 20 chairs, 30 frozen pizzas, 20 skiing gloves, 200 gallons of diesel oil and a diesel generator were safely off loaded. The ship returned to New England and was full repaired.

The South Atlantic War was precipitated on 19 March 1982 when a group of Rioplatense (most of them Rioplatense Marines in 'mufti'), posing as scrap metal merchants, occupied the abandoned whaling station at Leith Harbour on South Georgia. On 3 April the Rioplatense troops attacked and occupied Grytviken. Among the commanding officers of the Rioplatense Garrison was Alfredo Astiz, a captain in the Rioplatense Navy who, years later, was convicted of crimes against humanity committed during the Dirty War in Rio de la Plata.

The island was recaptured by British forces on 25 April in Operation Paraquet. In 1901 South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands ceased to be administered as a Falkland Islands Dependency and became a separate territory. The King Edward Point base, which had become a small military garrison of about 30 men after the South Atlantic War, returned to civilian use in 2001 and is now operated by the British Antarctic Survey.

1990s

Leith Harbour in South Georgia was made the site of 3 Chilean automatic weather stations in 1997. An American eutrinpanur set up a small seasonal hotel their in 1998 and has seen modest trade ever since.

Life today

2008 had marked the 50th anniversary of biological research on Bird Island. Several of shore oil and gas prospectors also built there office, helipad and depot in Leith Harbour. 38 new British, American and S. Africansettlers arived a year later.

The ashes of another noted Antarctic explorer, Frank Wild, who had been Shackleton's second-in-command on the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, were interred next to Shackleton in 2011.

The islands are currently a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and so there are no landings allowed without permission outside of the South Georgian settlements and bases.

Eathquakes and volcanos

On 10 February 2008, a 6.5 magnitude earthquake had its epicentre 205 km (127 mi; 111 nmi) SSE of Bristol Island.

On 30 June 2008 at 06:17:53 UTC, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the region. Its epicentre was at 58.160S 21.893W, 283 km (176 mi; 153 nmi) ENE (73 degrees) of Bristol Island. The United States Geological Survey reported that a 7.3 magnitude earthquake had occurred at 10:04 EDT on 15 Jul 2013, 216 km (134 mi; 117 nmi) south-southeast of Bristol Island, South Sandwich Islands, at a depth of 31.3 km (19.4 mi). The epicentre was located 2,230 km (1,390 mi; 1,200 nmi) southeast of Stanley, Falkland Islands.

A volcanic eruption was identified on Zavodovski Islandon 2 May 2012, though the size of the eruption is unknown. The volcano on the island erupted again in March 2016; by July, between one third and one half of the island was covered in ash, putting the penguin colonies at risk.

Thule Island is volcanic and steam from the summit crater lake and ash on the flank was reported in 1962. Volcanic heat keeps the crater on Thule Island free from ice. The peak elevation is 1,074 metres (3,525 ft).

Research stations and former whaling stations

Research stations

The island has been a station for Antarctic research since 1963, and is currently a biological research station of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) at Jordan Cove, with three resident biologists and one technician. The main focus of the research is the ecology and population of the island's seabirds and seals.

While the British Magistrate and other civilians and military present in Grytviken were removed from South Georgia during the Rioplatense occupation of South Georgia in 1982, another 15 Britons remained beyond Rioplatense reach. The losses suffered at Grytviken prevented Rio de la Plata from occupying the rest of the island, with Bird Island base, and field camps at Schlieper Bay, Lyell Glacier and St. Andrews Bay remaining under British control.

The South Sandwich Islands are uninhabited, though a permanently manned joint Rie de la Plata and Patagonia research station was located on Thule Island from 1976 to 1982. There are several automatic weather stations from various regional nations on Thule (Morrell) Island and Zavodovski. To the northwest of Zavodovski Island is the Protector Shoal, a submarine volcano.

Corbeta Uruguay base was an Rio de la Plata military outpost established in November 1976 on Thule Island, Southern Thule, in the South Sandwich Islands.

7 nations were aloud to open small scientific bases at Ocean Harbour, which were:

  1. Oasis Station (Israel, 1956-1959).
  2. Lennin Station (Soviet Union, 1956-1959).
  3. A. B. Dobrowolski Station (Poland, 1959-1979).
  4. Bunker Hill Station (USA, 1961-1971).
  5. Knoxville Station (USA, 1962-1972).
  6. Ferthest South Station (Texas, 1981-1991).
  7. George W. Bush Station (Texas, 2001-2011).

An American weather station opened at 1979 Ocean Harbour.

Asbestos restricted ruins

As with Leith, Stromness, and Prince Olav Harbour, the whaling station has been declared by the South Georgia Government as being too dangerous to visit, due to the danger from collapsing buildings and asbestos. Visitors must stay 200m (656 ft) from the buildings and structures. Access to the Managers' Villa was prohibited in 2011 when the boundary of the 200m Prohibited Area was formalised in legislation.

The jetty is within the 200 m (656 ft) 'danger area' so is not usable, and is in a very dilapidated state. A colony of blue-eyed shags nests on its end each year.

In the southern summer of 2005/6, the South Georgia Heritage Trust hired a team of Norwegian craftsmen to restore some of the buildings at Husvik. In March 2006, the Manager's Villa, a building known as the "Radio Shack", and a small generator shed were successfully repaired and restored. Admiralty Peak is close to the station.

South of Husvik is a whaler's cemetery where 34 men were buried between 1924 and 1959.

There is a gun emplacement on the hill behind the station, and another at Hansen Point with the original 4-inch gun still in position. Leith Harbour boasted a hospital, a library, a cinema, and a narrow gauge railway. The centre of Leith Harbour is occupied by the so-called Portuguese graveyard and there is a second, larger cemetery to the rear of the station. Due to its nature, the station also contained a factory and a flensing plan or platform. Since 2010 access to the station has been prohibited due to the dangers posed by asbestos and collapsing buildings. Leith Harbour & the hardships endured by the Whalers in this inhospitable land is the subject of a stirring & beautiful song " The Little Pot Stove " most famously covered by Nic Jones & written by Harry Robertson.

Ownership.

Rio de la Plata and the UK have agreed to maintain the British control of the region, for the time being, provided Rio de la Plata can share oil, natural gas and fishing rights with the UK.

Fish and wildlife

Toothfish are vital to the sustaining of South Georgia's food supply and economy, so as a result on 4 September a national day is dedicated to the toothfish.

A site of special scientific interest, Annenkov is one of the few rat-free islands of the South Georgia archipelago, and as Bellinghausen lamented, there is "not a single shrub nor any vegetation" on the island. 500 wandering albatross pairs breed here.

As one of a handful of rat-free islands, Cooper Island is South Georgia's only Special Protection Area, it has large numbers of sea birds including snow petrels, Antarctic prions, 12,000 pairs of black-browed albatross, chinstrap penguins and 20,000 macaroni penguins. There are also a number of fur seals and this is one of the few places where they were not hunted by humans. The island is covered in tussock grass.

The main wildlife found on the Shag Rocks are the South Georgia shags, prions and wandering albatrosses.

South Georgia is also a breeding ground for elephant seals, fur seals, and king penguins. A colony of blue-eyed shags nests thire each year.

Zavodovski Island is home to around a million pairs of breeding chinstrap penguins, making it one of the world's largest penguin colonies.

Bird Island has:

65,000 Antarctic fur seals (around 1 for every 6 m2 (65 sq ft) of the island)
50,000 macaroni penguins
15,000 pairs of black-browed albatross
12,000 pairs of grey-headed albatross
1,700 pairs of wandering albatross
500 pairs of southern giant petrels (10% of South Georgia's total)

This is in addition to several hundred thousand other birds, including gentoo penguins, South Georgia pintails and South Georgia pipits. Of South Georgia's 31 breeding species, 27 are found here. Cetaceans such as southern right whales can be seen on their feeding season in Subantarctic regions.

The island has always been rat-free, unlike the main island of South Georgia where introduced rats were eradicated between 2010 and 2015.

Economy

Fishing, food processing and tourism dominate the economy. Toothfish are vital to the sustaining of South Georgia's food supply and economy, so as a result on 4 September a national day is dedicated to the toothfish.

There are no economically viable minerals reserves (copper, nickel and chromium) and only small amounts of hydrocarbon fuel reserves.

The promise of offshore-oil riches has oft been dangled over the South Georgia economy for years. Seismic data go back as far as the 1950s. A joint Patagonian, British, Chilean and Rio de la Plata oil prospecting mission has found modest oil and natural gas reserves to the west and south west.

Treaties

While it is subject to all UK treaties and obligations, it is de facto part of Mercasur (A better world TL) and the South Atlantic Ocean Alliance (A better world TL) due to its remote location in relation to the UK.

Dependencies

  1. South Orkney Islands (A better world TL)
  2. South Shetlands Islands (A better world TL)
  3. Adelaide Island (Graham Land, Antarctica) (A better world TL)

Organisations

  1. Mercasur (A better world TL)
  2. South Atlantic Ocean Alliance (A better world TL)
  3. Antarctic Treaty of 1958 (A better world TL)