The Great Emu War of 1932

This is really off track from The Great War, but it is a hoot and I needed to share. Once I post this, I can get back to Persian and my Polish Armored Division projects. I promise Mark.

So I was taking Maya my administrative assistant and dog for a walk. I will often listen to podcasts at random. My wife and daughter will tease me about having an iPod and no music on it. Well today I was listening to one from the folks over at Stuff You Missed in History Class and it was dealing with returning Great War veterans to western Australia. (I knew if I tried hard enough I could get the tie in.)

I hope you will take the time to listen to it but in essence, these veterans went west to farm on substandard land and had to fight, bureaucracy, prices drops, droughts, the Great Depression and rabbits. The last straw was to be Emus, 20,000 of them.

537px-Flickr_-_aussiegall_-_Having_a_bad_hair_dayThe critter in question.

If you want, think of them as big locust that likes to eat, bugs, fruit and wheat. This was a huge problem for these substance farmers.

They asked their state government for help and they dispatched the army. Well it was a group of soldiers, a Major and two Lewis machine guns. So what could go wrong?

Well the Emus were not dumb and learned to avoid the solders. They were also hard to hit. They headed for different watering holes and in the process ran over the crops that they had not already eaten.

After 10,000 rounds of ammunition and a few dead birds the government in Canberra got wind of this and called a stop to it. A second attempt was tried and that failed as well.

My favorite line from the Australian House of Representatives over this has to be,

“They can face machine guns with the invulnerability of tanks. They are like Zulus whom even dum-dum bullets could not stop.”

It is hard to hit a 40mph bird running for the trees.

So for the gaming question, were can I buy a couple thousand emus in 28mm to go with these solders?

IMG_0101

Here is a cool link to YouTube about the war.
There is also more here.

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3 responses to “The Great Emu War of 1932

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