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No parades for these veterans
November 3, 2012 1:37 PM   Subscribe

Eighty years ago Australia went to war against a fierce and terrible enemy threatening the very foundations of life in Western Australia. An enemy so tough the Australian commanding officer described them as "like Zulus whom even dum-dum bullets could not stop". Though the army did have the upper hand in the first engagements, dreams of a quick victory were dashed when the enemy's central command let its "unwieldy army split up into innumerable small units that made use of the military equipment uneconomic. A crestfallen field force therefore withdrew from the combat area after about a month". Yes, it's eighty years since the Emu War.
posted by MartinWisse (27 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Meredith's official report noted that his men had suffered no casualties."
posted by zippy at 1:48 PM on November 3, 2012


Excellent. WA always seems to be under extreme threat from something or other requiring (para)military intervention.... rabbits, emus, young people, 'hoons'.....
posted by MT at 1:50 PM on November 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


There is so much right in the Wikipedia entry for Hoon, in particular this passage:

“Former Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton was described as a ‘hoon’ by a magistrate as he fined him A$500 after being caught by Victoria Police performing fishtails and burnouts in his Mercedes-AMG C63 two days before the 2010 Australian Grand Prix.”
posted by zippy at 1:56 PM on November 3, 2012


They don't like it up 'em Sir.
posted by arcticseal at 2:02 PM on November 3, 2012


If we had a military division with the bullet-carrying capacity of these birds it would face any army in the world.

"...And then I realized... like I was shot... like I was shot with a diamond... a diamond bullet right through my forehead. And I thought, my God... the genius of that! The genius! The will to do that! Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they were stronger than we, because they could stand that these were not monsters..."
posted by jquinby at 2:09 PM on November 3, 2012


Right up there with the War Against Camels.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 2:16 PM on November 3, 2012


Breed them for size and good nature, splice in some canary DNA to make them yellow and we'll finally have real Chocobos.
posted by Blue Meanie at 2:26 PM on November 3, 2012


Breed them for size and good nature, splice in some canary DNA to make them yellow and we'll finally have real Chocobos.

As long as your typical gamer isn't in charge of the breeding program.
posted by curious nu at 2:38 PM on November 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I sense the basis of a sequel to Rabbit Proof Fence.
posted by localroger at 2:55 PM on November 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


It sometimes seems like humanity has only two settings with regards to wildlife: exterminate them all or breeding programs and reintroductions.
posted by Pyry at 2:55 PM on November 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Let's just be clear about which was the nuisance species in this instance...
posted by toodleydoodley at 3:10 PM on November 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


exterminate them all or breeding programs and reintroductions.

Either way we're in control. Being not in control is unacceptable to those who themselves control human society.
posted by localroger at 3:12 PM on November 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


exterminate them all or breeding programs

Sex and violence are humanity's two favorite pastimes.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 3:17 PM on November 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Don't forget eating. I assume emus are not particularly tasty, then?
posted by elizardbits at 3:54 PM on November 3, 2012


Emu pies are better than what normally goes in to an Australian pie.
posted by kithrater at 4:11 PM on November 3, 2012


I assume emus are not particularly tasty, then?

posted by elizardbits


Au contraire, elizardbits. I've had emu sausages and marinated emu steaks, and it was delicious. And it's very low-fat and high in iron. Like kangaroo though, you have to cook the right cut by the right method to ensure it's tender and tasty.

This is why we eat the animals on our coat of arms. They're yummy AND good for you. Apparently the (white) residents of WA back then weren't adventurous enough to try it.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 4:21 PM on November 3, 2012


The Emu war used to have a much better Wiki Page.

Casualties and losses: 10 000 rounds of ammo. Dignity.
posted by Grimgrin at 5:03 PM on November 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


If only they'd known how talented emus can be, they could have put them to work.
posted by orme at 5:39 PM on November 3, 2012


I love emus and accidentally discovered the Emu War while looking up emu facts to share with my preschoolers. I was like, "WHUT." And then I was like, "I am not sure I feel so good about the free-roaming zoo emu exhibit now ..." Except I love the free-roaming zoo emu exhibit because EMUS.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:43 PM on November 3, 2012


I sense the basis of a sequel to Rabbit Proof Fence.

LOL, or Schindler's List!!!!
posted by threeants at 6:03 PM on November 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Australia was probably killing them because of their involvement in a paedophile ring.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:23 AM on November 4, 2012


I've never had Emu, but ostrich has some wonderful tenderloin.
posted by Goofyy at 10:00 AM on November 4, 2012


If the Zulus had ridden Emus, the sun would have set on the British Empire a century earlier.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:05 AM on November 4, 2012


I have had emu. A few years back an emu farmer bought one of our products, and surprised the workers of the remote office who sold it to him with some bonus meat. Most of which sat in the fridge until I visited, and everyone said "Sure, you can have it."

It is eerily similar to beef steak, but extremely lean and a bit more tender. Quite good stuff, but a bit expensive if you have to buy it because of no economies of scale.
posted by localroger at 12:22 PM on November 4, 2012


Emus are lovely birds. I often admired the DC Zoo's emu, and once or twice engaged her in conversation. The way to engage an emu in conversation is to belch, preferably loudly. If you're lucky, the emu will answer with a soft basso profundo rumble from deep within its chest. If you're unlucky, the emu will just eyeball you skeptically and other zoo visitors will not be so subtle in their disdain.
posted by Pallas Athena at 5:19 PM on November 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


"If you're lucky, the emu will answer with a soft basso profundo rumble from deep within its chest."

This is the craziest sound! I thought it was nearby truck engines idling at first when I heard it! It's so deep it's hard to locate where it's coming from.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:55 PM on November 4, 2012


Australia Hotel in the Rocks (scene of past meetups) does a coat of arms pizza that is pretty good.
posted by bystander at 2:52 AM on November 5, 2012


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