Cherry on Top: Australia

by MB

One of the most bizarre and absurd incidents in the history of Australia is the Great Emu war. Emus ran amok in western Australia in 1932 and worsened the dire situation of local farmers during the Depression. The government therefore started a military operation to curb the population. Although the soldiers were armed with Lewis guns, they were rather unsuccessful. A demonstration of this powerful weapon is given by:

The targeted emus are rather impressive with their maximum height of 1.9 metres (6.2 ft) and speed of 48 km/h (30 mph). They furthermore employed superior and remarkable guerrilla tactics as noted by several observers:

The machine-gunners’ dreams of point blank fire into serried masses of Emus were soon dissipated. The Emu command had evidently ordered guerrilla tactics, and its unwieldy army soon split up into innumerable small units that made use of the military equipment uneconomic. A crestfallen field force therefore withdrew from the combat area after about a month.

As a consequence of this embarrassing situation the Australian government started a public relations campaign with footage like:

Because of the egg on the face of the Australian government, they weren’t forthcoming with details and official sources should be taken with a grain of salt. It can however be concluded with certainty that the overall campaign was a failure with at maximum 986 confirmed kills with 9860 rounds. Both the podcast Stuff You Missed in History Class and Ungeniused provide a concise and clear overview of the entire Emu War.

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ungeniused

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sources and starting point for more research:
Emu War on Wikipedia
Emu on Wikipedia

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