During my daily Wikipedia dive, I found something that shocked me: The Great Emu War of Australia. Now, Australia seems like both an awesome place to visit, and a horrifying deathscape straight out of Mad Max. Australia is where the British dumped their prisoners, who grew up to be hearty, resilient people, who then got beaten by flightless birds. This historical event makes me even less likely to visit Australia, just in case I run into an emu with a grudge against humans.
The Great Emu War happened in 1932 due to the ever-increasing number of emus, leading to the decimation of crops. The farmers, understanding that you probably shouldn’t fuck with a bird that can keep up with your car, called the government for aid. By the time the army arrived, over 20,000 emus were causing a ruckus across Australia. Australian leadership dispatched Major G.P.W Meredith to take care of them.
On the first day, there were 50 emus, and the Army had machine guns. No problem, right? Wrong. Those crafty little bastards used guerrilla tactics and divided the Australian forces, making it so that they were only pursuing a single emu at a time. Only 12 emus were killed before the machine guns started to jam, and the emus retreated. Emus-1, People-0.
This went on for around a month, with the emus displaying similar tactics to Zulu warriors. In the first 6 days of fighting, 2,500 rounds were fired, and only 50-100 emus were killed. Shortly after, the soldiers ambushed over a thousand emus, firing tens of thousands of bullets, and only killing around a dozen emus. Emus-2, People-0.
During the course of the conflict, the soldiers observed the emus following pack leaders, and obeying commands from them. This is a terrifying idea, that giant birds that can outrun my Honda can communicate with each other well enough to defeat a military unit.
After too many defeats from flightless birds, the Australian government had enough, and pulled the troops out. Emus-3, People-0.
This blew me away, I’ve seen emus in nature documentaries, YouTube videos, and Kangaroo Jack, but I never would’ve thought they were capable of defeating humans. If you’re from Australia, I really want to know more about this, is this taught in schools? Are there any other wacky wars like this? Let me know, I’m super interested in your crazy country.