The Australian Army Fought Wild Emus in 1932 With Machine Guns and They Still Lost

The Great Emu War is one of the most unusual wars ever recorded in history. It involved the conflict between the Australian Army equipped with machine guns and wild emus and it didn’t end in the way you would expect.

In the early 1930s, the emu population in Western Australia was getting out of hand. The birds were destroying crops and causing other damage while local farmers didn’t have the means to fend them off. As a result, the farmers asked the government for military help.

The government responded by deploying the Royal Australian Artillery in October of 1932. The goal was to thin out the emu population with the use of machine guns, but that proved easier said than done.

Once the soldiers arrived at the site, heavy rainfall caused the operation to be delayed. Once the clouds cleared, the soldiers proceeded to hunt down emus and found a flock of 1,000 birds. They engaged in “battle” but experienced a jammed machine gun after taking down a dozen of birds.

The soldiers soon learned that emus were smarter than they appeared, being aware of the danger and dividing into packs, each of which had its leader. The army tried to mount a machine gun on a truck to become more efficient but it proved futile due to lack of speed and rough terrain.

Several days later, the army managed to encounter a large flock of emus and fired 2,500 rounds of ammunition. However, they still only managed to kill around 50 birds. After failing in their goal, the government initially ceased the operation.

With emus still wreaking havoc on the farmlands, the army was later deployed once again with fairly better success.

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