Humans possess a very special superpower, which is very good at killing other species, this is especially true in Australia, where humans have inadvertently pushed hundreds of native animals to extinction. or appear on the endangered species list.
However, also on this continent, humans have also encountered a rare defeat in the “work” of slaughtering a native animal species – namely the “Emu Great War of 1932” – humans have completely failed. and can’t beat this particular ostrich.
Trouble began for Australia shortly after World War I. Australia sacrificed a lot of resources in that war – tens of thousands of its young men perished in the arduous Gallipoli Campaign.
Meanwhile, those who survived the war returned to their homeland but had difficulty adjusting to civilian life. At the same time, during this time, the vast interior of the continent was still very underdeveloped. So to be able to grow, the Australian government has introduced land grants under a sort of Homestead Act for each veteran – they will be able to own a lot of land to farm in areas of the world. remote and sparsely populated Australia. This was warmly received by veterans.
Just like in the United States, which was doing pretty much the same thing in Kansas and Oklahoma at the time, this almost immediately led to overplanting, but generally the same methods of farming the land. unsustainable.
Inland Australia has a very dry and unpredictable climate where drought is common. When the interior of the continent becomes exceptionally dry, native animals tend to migrate to the edges in search of food and water.
However, when the veterans took over the land and started farming, food and water were the two things the farms had in abundance, so the first emu migration wave began in late 1920s. Until 1932, they always walked in small groups and in general they kept an eye on the fields on the farms.
They are initially shy to humans, as they are herbivores and are relatively docile; when alone, Emu ostriches tend to stand at a distance from potential threats. .
And the most worrying thing for ranchers is that they can eat a large amount of plants in a day, even if they are alone, they can eat a whole vegetable garden in a few hours, and a swarm big enough to wipe out an entire field of wheat like a giant scythe.
Emu is essentially a dinosaur with a beak and feathers. In addition to the beak, their appearance is quite similar to those of prehistoric theropods like Gallimimus and Svimimus.
They don’t even have wings – this suggests that their ancestors never flew, instead emu ostriches possessed a set of prehistoric arms with bones and claws, but no muscles. or tendon to control.
However, to make up for the lack of hands, their legs are extremely special, this animal has extremely large, powerful feet and claws, their kicks can kill Defeat the Komodo dragon. They also tend to peck when angry, especially when humans bother them.
In the summer of 1932, a flock of more than 20,000 Emu ostriches appeared and migrated to farm areas in search of food. Worse still, in order to reach the veterans’ farm, the ostriches went through and broke the fence that was set up to keep the rabbits away from the farmland.
When the veteran farmers realized how dangerous this animal was to their crops, they took out their guns to shoot at the ostriches, but their single shots were like salt. just leave the tank.
Therefore, the farmers held a meeting to come up with a solution to this problem. They argue that Emu are wild animals and part of Australia’s native nature, so the problems of the ostrich will be under the supervision of the Home Office. However, the government’s failure to deliver the subsidies as promised and the continued fall in wheat prices made them lose confidence in the Interior Ministry.
Instead, they asked for help from the Department of Defense, and to their surprise their requests were granted. Before long, an elite fighting force of commandos and snipers was assembled under the command of Major GPW Meredith of the 7th Heavy Battery of the Royal Australian Artillery. Their mission is to kill or drive away all Emu ostriches within the range of the farms, regardless of the cost of life or material.
By November 1932, the great war officially began. On November 2, scouts discovered a small herd of about 50 animals sheltering in the trees a fair distance from the main road. After the first sniper shots, the ostriches separated, running in a chaotic fashion, scattering all over the surrounding areas, making it extremely difficult for the soldiers to aim. And this first wave of attacks only killed 10 to 20 ostriches.
The next action of the Great Emu War came two days later, on November 4, scouts reported that nearly 1,000 ostriches were gathering to drink water near a local dam.
Accordingly, Meredith ordered her gunners to get on the truck to launch a surprise attack in the hope that this time it would definitely wipe out the whole swarm.
However, when they reached the dam, they realized that the scout’s words were not true, the number of ostriches here is extremely large, there must be at least a few thousand. They carefully set up their guns (they only carried one, keeping the other in reserve in case something went wrong) and aimed at their first target.
Lewis’ gun began to ring… and then stopped immediately. It got stuck after only a few shots.
While the crew hurried to unload the machine guns to clear the jam, the ostriches alerted each other to flee, and by the time the guns were ready to fire again, there was not a single target in range.
Major Meredith’s report states that after the first week of fighting, hundreds of birds were killed, although another source asserts that the actual number is less than 50.
On November 8, the Australian Parliament decided to suspend this operation and withdraw the force. A month later, under renewed pressure from the regional government, they forced the soldiers to continue participating in the Great Emu War.
Major Meredith led his second assault against the Emu ostriches on November 12. Initial results were no better than the previous one, but at the end of the month Meredith’s men declared them dead. kill 100 ostriches per week. On December 10, Meredith was summoned again and his team also withdrew from this great war.
In his final report, Major Meredith claimed that his squads spent 9,860 rounds and killed 986 ostriches – an average of 10 rounds to kill an ostrich. When examining the carcass of a dead ostrich, nine bullets were found in its body, which must have been there for at least two weeks before the bird was run over by a truck.
Emu ostriches eventually ravaged wheat fields and farms. When the farmers again appealed for military aid in 1934, they were refused.
Instead, the government spent money on bounties and arming so that the peasants could do the work of tracking down and shooting emu – and this was actually a lot more efficient than asking for aid from the army. team. The farmers killed 57,034 birds in the first six months of 1934 and restored order.
After that, the Western Australian state government started a project to build a fence 217 km long, nearly 1.5 m high to prevent ostriches from destroying farms.
Today, the Emu still live in remote areas of Australia and do not cause too much trouble for farmers. The 1932 battle with the Emu is recorded as the first and only time the bird won a military campaign in history.