The ‘Great Emu War’ where flightless birds battled the military and won

This is a bizarre historical event where the Australian Military waged war against birds in the early 1930s.

The Great Emu War was not a war in the traditional sense, but rather a pest control operation that went awry.

The war was a short but intense conflict between the Australian military and a large number of flightless birds known as ’emus.’

The background

The Australian army had about 210,000 casualties following World War I, of which 61,519 were killed or died from their wounds. For a country with a population of under five million people, these were devastating losses. Many veterans returned home with gruesome wounds that prevented them from being able to work, and because of this problem, many of the Australian veterans were given land by the government to farm as a way to reintegrate them into civilian life.

This was when the problems with the emus arose.

The ‘Great Emu War’

The war began in November 1932 when a flock of emus descended on the farms in the Campion district of Western Australia and began destroying crops, causing havoc for the newly settled farmers. The local farmers had to call on the military for help, and the Australian government provided machine guns and ammunition to the farmers and ex-soldiers to help cull the emu population.

The military also sent a detachment of soldiers armed with Lewis guns to deal with the problem.

A soldier using the Lewis Gun [TheNationalInterest]

The soldiers arrived in Campion on November 2, 1932, and began hunting the emus. Unfortunately, the emus were very difficult to kill. They were fast and agile, and they could easily outrun the soldiers. The soldiers also found that the emus were very tough-skinned. They could survive multiple gunshot wounds, and they tended to run away before dying from their wounds.

The defeat

After a few days of fighting, the soldiers were forced to withdraw. They had killed a number of emus, but they had not been able to control the population. Less than 100 emus had been killed, and from an army of 20,000 emus, this was hardly a dent.

The Emus were becoming a pest in Australia []

The emus continued to destroy crops, and the farmers were left to fend for themselves.

The soldiers restrategised and the Great Emu War continued for about a month. During that time, the soldiers killed an estimated 2,500 emus. It was still a dent, as the emus continued to damage crops in their numbers.

The war was a humiliating defeat for the Australian military, as they were not prepared to deal with a threat from emus. The soldiers were armed with Lewis guns designed for warfare, not for hunting birds.

In the end, the emus “won” the war in the sense that they managed to evade every effort of the military and continued to thrive in the region.

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