Speak of war and the flashes of blazing machine guns, thundering tanks and whistling missiles pass through our minds. Wounded and dead soldiers, bloody battle fields, shrill cries of agony and pain – it’s a horror that has kept coming back to us again and again and again… Someone wins and someone loses. The Emu War or better known as the Great Emu War was no different! One side own, the other lost but with a whole different twist that you probably cannot even think of in your wildest dreams! Let us learn 25 interesting Emu War facts that will simply blow away your mind!
Interesting Emu War Facts: 1-10
1. The Great Emu War was a [highlight]fierce battle between the machine gun armed Australian soldiers and the large Emu birds[/highlight]. Yeah, yeah, you read it right! It was a war between the Emus and the Australian soldiers.
PRELUDE TO THE WAR: As the history goes – every war is a result of a series of events and the Emu War was no different!
2. It was after WWI that many British veterans and Australian soldiers picked up farming in Western Australia.
3. Then came the Great Depression of 1929 when the government of Australia asked the farmers to increase their production of wheat and promised to pay subsidies for the same. As expected, the government failed to keep the promise.
4. Increased production, no subsidies – the result was a steep and continuous fall in prices of wheat and by October 1932, the farmers prepped up for harvesting the crops but at the same time refused to load the wheat.
5. As if the problems weren’t already enough, in an unfortunate twist of events, an awfully big flock of 20,000 Emus descended down towards the coastal areas into the cultivated lands.
6. This migration of the Emus from inland to coastal areas was a result of their post-breeding-season hunt for fresh water and significant food supplies.
7. The Emus went on a rampage and ate the crops and destroyed the fields. As if they weren’t happy with what they did, they even left gaps – large gaps in fences, giving easy entrance to rabbits that brought down further destruction.
8. It was a major concern for the farmers. An ex-soldiers’ deputation met Sir George Pearce, the Minister of Defence. These soldiers were pretty much aware of the power of machine guns because of their WWI experience and asked for the deployment of the same in order to combat the Emus.
9. Sir George Pearce agreed but gave conditions – (a) only military personnel will be handling the machine guns, (b) the Western Australian Government will be financing the troop transport and (c) ammunition payment, accommodation and food will be the responsibility of the farmers. Yet another reason why the minister agreed was that the killing Emus will help with target practice.
10. Military involvement was supposed to start in October 1932 but heavy rainfall delayed the operation and troops were deployed on November 2, 1932. The troop actually included 2 soldiers carrying 2 Lewis Automatic Machine Guns along with 10,000 rounds of machine gun ammunition.