It's a special bonus episode! Twitter user @ntpervis asked us if we could talk about the Emu War of 1932, calling it "one of the most bizarre wildlife management stories," which is pretty accurate. And although many people are listening to this on April Fool's Day, trust me ... this is a real thing that actually happened.
You can read so many historical newspaper articles about this and other emu management snafus (along with all kinds of other stuff) at Trove from the National Library of Australia.
I picked this one from the listener pile, and here's my research:
- Adams, Cecil. "Did the Australian army once wage war on emus?." The Straight Dope. http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2952/did-the-australian-army-once-wage-war-on-emus
- Encyclopædia Britannica. "casuariiform." Encyclopædia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2013. Web. 15 Mar. 2013. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/98874/casuariiform.
- Forgotten Weapons. Lewis Light Machine Gun. http://www.forgottenweapons.com/light-machine-guns/lewis-light-machine-gun/
- Johnson, Murray. "'Feathered foes': soldier settlers and Western Australia's 'Emu War' of 1932." Journal of Australian Studies. Issue 88. June 1, 2006.
- Parliament of Australia. Bills Digest No. 220 1997-98 Wheat Marketing Legislation Amendment Bill 1998: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/BD9798/98bd220
- Small Arms Defense Journal. "The Lewis Gun" http://sadefensejournal.com/wp/?p=1713
- State Barrier Fence of Western Australia. http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/43156/20040709-0000/agspsrv34.agric.wa.gov.au/programs/app/barrier/SBF_project.htm
I also correct when I accidentally said "the tomb of St. Peter" when I meant "the tomb of St. James" in that episode. Again.
We recommend that people read How Machine Guns Work for these lethal machines that turned out not to be all that lethal when used on emus.
A link to today's episode: Emu War of 1932
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