Did You Know Australia Lost a War in 1932 Against an Unarmed Enemy?

August 27, 2008

Emu - Like Zulus...

An Emu stands machine guns "like Zulus"
Source: wikicommons

If you hear about Australia’s military defeats you probably think of their participation in disasters like the Battle of Gallipoli, Vietnam War or the Iraq War. But Australia faced an even bigger military disaster in 1932. Australian troops well armed with machine guns fought an unarmed enemy and lost.

You probably never heard of such an action and think I’m making this stuff up. But no, it is the truth!

Australia’s largest bird the Emu (No not crying teenagers. These are called Emos) was the enemy. The Emu population in Murchison district of Western Australia had grown in the 1930s and Emus looking for food and water had caused destruction to local farms. Farmers started to fear for their crops and called in the Australian army.

A group of Australian soldiers equipped with machine guns went into action against about 20,000 soft-feathered, flightless birds. Probably everybody suspected this to be a quick action (a "turkey shooting"). But shooting blindly into a group of birds which can run up to 50 km/h (30 mph) did not brought the expected results. The birds simply ran away even after being hit by a machine gun round.

Major Meredith – the Australian commander in the "Emu war" – was astonished and noted "if we had a military division with the bullet-carrying capacity of these birds, it would face any army in the world. They could face machine guns with the invulnerability of tanks. They are like Zulus…".

After a few days the Defence Minister ordered a withdrawal. And thus the "Emu War" ended in a military defeat for Australia.

9 Responses to “Did You Know Australia Lost a War in 1932 Against an Unarmed Enemy?”

  1. michael Says:

    That’s quite interesting


  2. [...] 澳大利亚人民在1932年的时候控诉澳洲特产鸸鹋(传说是鸵鸟的亲戚)种群数量太多,成天到处溜达,导致当地食物与淡水匮乏。为了创建和谐社会,澳大利亚军队向鸸鹋们开战了!军方向参战部队总共配发了两挺机枪和1w发子弹,士兵们拿着这两挺机枪冲锋陷阵,对着鸸鹋们扫射。澳军的罪行令人发指,但是鸸鹋们以每小时50公里的速度轻巧的躲着子弹。战果必然不靠谱,一星期只打死了几只鸸鹋,而澳军的弹药几乎耗尽。澳军长官当时就震惊了,下令全军撤退,最终鸸鹋获得了胜利。via [...]


  3. [...] night and who they had killed. 5) Emu War: how Australia lost a war against birds The Emu War, also known as The Great Emu War, was a week-long military operation undertaken in Australia in [...]


  4. [...] Emu War, also known as The Great Emu War, was a week-long military operation undertaken in Australia in [...]


  5. [...] http://warbuff.wordpress.com/2008/08/27/did-you-know-australia-lost-a-war-in-1932-against-an-unarmed… « Radical Rodents Prawo na dziś: Tekst ujednolicony USTAWY z dnia 30 sierpnia 1991 r. o zakładach opieki zdrowotnej (Dz. U. Nr 91, poz. 408) Art. 33. ust. 4. Za świadczenia zdrowotne udzielone osobie znajdującej się w stanie nietrzeźwości publiczny zakład opieki zdrowotnej pobiera opłatę niezależnie od uprawnień do bezpłatnych świadczeń zdrowotnych, jeżeli jedyną i bezpośrednią przyczyną udzielonego świadczenia było zdarzenie spowodowane stanem nietrzeźwości tej osoby. 5. W celu stwierdzenia stanu nietrzeźwości lekarz kieruje osobę określoną w ust. 4 na badanie dla ustalenia zawartości alkoholu we krwi. Odmowa poddania się takiemu badaniu jest brana pod uwagę przy ustalaniu opłaty za udzielenie świadczenia zdrowotnego, z uwzględnieniem wszystkich okoliczności sprawy. » [...]


  6. [...] Emu War, also known as The Great Emu War, was a week-long military operation undertaken in Australia in [...]


  7. [...] Emugigs.com, Warbuff, Oddee.com,  Wiki: Emu War, Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]


  8. […] The Emu War, also known as The Great Emu War, was a week-long military operation undertaken in Australia in November 1932 to address public concern over the number of emus said to be running amuck in the Campion district of Western Australia. The emus were responding to a long, hot summer, which caused shortages of food and water. The “war” was conducted under the command of Major Meredith of the Royal Australian Artillery, commanding a force of soldiers armed with two Lewis machine guns and 10,000 rounds of ammunition. But shooting blindly into a group of birds which can run up to 50 km/h (30 mph) did not brought the expected results. The birds simply ran away even after being hit by a machine gun round. […]


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