What is an Emu?
An Emu, as far as current scientific understanding goes, is a powerful military individual so far beyond that of a regular solider it would be considered an insult, in Emu culture, to refer to an Emu as a simple 'soldier'.
These majestic and ferocious animals, nay, Gods of the land, are designed for the sole purpose of outwitting and overcoming any and every enemy in their path. Including several idiots with guns.
Why did this occur?
Let us first be clear that this happened in 1932, though the story doesn't end or begin there. After the First World War some Australian ex-soldiers and some British veterans were gifted farming land in Western Australia. Which is a lovely gesture I'm sure you'll agree.
The Great Depression arrives and these very people are told by the Australian government to up their wheat crops, but not to worry, as the always amazing Australian government will provide financial aid.
Now I'm sure you can guess what happened next. The government didn't do what it said it would! What? Outrageous, this has never been heard of or seen by anyone prior or since. A government unable to follow up on their promises? Ha, I say. Ha! From my high horse perch up here on the Olympus-like mountain that is... A still somehow mid-Brexit Britain.
So as the farmers struggled to get their crops together and also didn't really want to give it to the government a new foe arrived and had to be dealt with almost immediately by force and gunfire.
Why? What do you mean why? Isn't that the only known way of a bunch of ex-soldiers and veterans dealing with the natural migration of native birds?
An Emu's Thoughts
"Listen, all I'm saying is that if you needed a place to stay out West, nearer the coast, after a long and painstaking breeding season, and you arrived to find lush clear lands with additional water supplies you might stop and think about how kind the Gods and even the humans are. Providing such a wonderful hotel haven for our 20,000 kinfolk. Yes, I said kinfolk and not 'mob'. I wouldn't use the word 'mob' around here friend, just because your kind decided to label groups of us as a 'mob' doesn't mean that's what we are and frankly we find it to be incredibly insensitive." - Oz Tritch the Emu
400 words in before I talk about the actual war? Why am I wasting your time like this? I just felt that it would be helpful if you could understand how those involved in the war felt as the failed repeatedly to fight back against the truly unruly Emus of 1932.
So here we are on November 2nd, Major G. P. W. Meredith is in command of soldiers Sergeant S. McMurray and Gunner J. O'Halloran. They are armed with two Lewis guns and 10,000 rounds of ammunition. The goal was to cull as many birds as possible in aid of the farmers and also to collect 100 Emu skins so that they could make some hats. And no this is not a collective fever dream based upon a side mission in a video game.
10,000 rounds. 20,000 Emus. Probably won't get them all but it seems a reasonable amount to kill some big birds.
On day 1 around 50 emus were sighted. Locals attempted to herd the birds towards the guns. This, surprisingly did not work. On top of this minor error in judgement was a rather major error in judgement especially for trained soldiers. The first barrage of bullets missed as the Emus weren't even in range.
Luckily, for the pride of these idiots, on their second attempt they waited for the birds to be in range and killed at least 10 maybe even 50. Who really knows?
2 days pass by and this time 1,000 Emus are sighted. Like the smart men they were they held off on fire until the Emus were in range. I assume this was due to their incredible ability to learn from mistakes. However, the gun jammed and not very many birds were killed. It's almost like the very essence of nature is saying; Hey, stop shooting my birds you bellends.
At this point, not very many birds have been killed and the soldiers have made multiple mistakes. The Emus to you, dear reader, may not yet seem like the incredible warriors I set them up to be. But do not fret. Your payoff has arrived.
"each pack seems to have its own leader now – a big black-plumed bird which stands fully six feet high and keeps watch while his mates carry out their work of destruction and warns them of our approach." -'confused Army observer', The Sunday Herald, July 5th 1953
That's right our hero and future saviours the Emus have developed their own version of Guerrilla tactics. Some say they were Che's inspiration and coincidentally favourite animal.
These glorious flightless birds understand to the core their weaknesses and strengths. A large group of them in one place allows the lesser animal, human, to fire blindly and potentially kill Emu kind. But in smaller groups with a lookout they become a missile-like moving target against enemies who have shown themselves to be a really bad aim who do not know the limits of their own weapons.
This does not mean there were no casualties however as by day 6 anywhere between 50 and 500 Emus had perished. I based on little evidence would say it was closer to the 50 side as the 500 estimate came from the people attempting t cull the birds who would therefore be seen as a success the higher they push the number.
Bad press followed the event and Major Meredith had he following to say:
"If we had a military division with the bullet-carrying capacity of these birds it would face any army in the world ... They can face machine guns with the invulnerability of tanks. They are like Zulus whom even dum-dum bullets could not stop." - The Sunday Herald, July 5th 1953
Yes the Emu though now slightly fewer in number were coming out on top as Tank-like Zulu warriors. We won't spend to long cross examining what Meredith meant by this.
But it is not yet over!
A follow up attempt began thanks to farmers requesting support against the native birds. Who were struggling to find proper food and water thanks to the hot weather and drought.
Meredith was once again sent into the battle. This time he managed an insanely convenient 986 kills with 9,860 rounds. Believe what you will the man said what the man said.
The Following Years
The wheat protecting method had proven to be unpopular but successful. If you don't like a group of living beings causing you a problem. Kill as many of them as possible.
In 1943, along with requests before and after this, the farmers once again asked for assistance. Because as we all know the world wasn't all that bust in the early 1940's and everyone had free time to come and shoot a few emu.
By 1950, Hitler had been defeated, (that's only in here incase you somehow didn't follow the previous paragraphs) Hugh Leslie raised the issue of Emus in parliament. Which seems an incredible achievement for the EMu. A once viciously attacked species now adding the running of government... Oh, oh no, sorry. He raised Emus as an issue in general whilst he was in parliament. My bad I see what happened there.
Anyway. Hugh was successful and managed to get 500,000 rounds of ammunition on his side. Because if it takes approx. 20,000 rounds to kill approx. 10,000 Emus then it would obviously take 500,000 rounds to kill off any murmurings of a better idea from anyone else near by.
Oh my, aren't we glad we're not in the 30's-50's now. Who would dream of shooting down 10,000 animals because there's a drought on and they being a problem?
I can hear you now. 'Cronan, this seems like a weird time to have a go at Australia.' Well of course I'm not having a go at Australia in general just whoever came up with and is following through on the idea to mow down 10,000 camels because they're stealing the water from people's air conditioning and it's, y'know, hot.
I'm sure there's many other factors I do not know of. I think it's unlikely they'll make this ok, but I am aware I don't know everything. Unlike the Emus who at present day have evolved into higher beings that speak to us all in our spirit. Even the camels are benefitting from Emu enlightenment as I've heard rumours the Emus have opted to be their war advisors.
I wish good luck to both sides except the side with helicopters and machine guns. Fuck you.
Thanks For Reading
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