In 1964-1965 Colonel Mike Hoare led 300 ‘Wild Geese’ across the Congo to crush a communist rebellion, rescue 2000 nuns and priests from barbarity, beat Che Guevara … and become a legend.
Of Irish blood, Mike was schooled in England and, during World War 2, was the ‘best bloody soldier in the British Army’. He demobbed as major, qualified in London as a chartered accountant and emigrated to South Africa.
Going rogue, he started living dangerously to get more out of life, including trans-Africa motorbike trips, bluewater sailing, exploring remote areas, and leading safaris in the Kalahari Desert. Here Mike got to know the CIA agent who was to change his life … and Nelson Mandela’s. Later Mike was technical advisor to the film The Wild Geese, which starred Richard Burton playing the Mike Hoare character.
From Amazon, but copies of the softcover edition of The Legend are available in bookshops in South Africa, and from bookshops in the UK and Ireland; and from various UK online outlets such as Foyles and Waterstones. Or order through this website – just go to Contact and fill in the form and we will quote you. Buyers in South Africa, click here.
Reflections from reviewers, journalists, authors and endorsers who have enjoyed "The Legend".
I found this book a cracking read and recommend it to those who want to miss a night's sleep.Frederick Forsyth author of The Dogs of War and The Day of the Jackal
Many Irishmen have made a mark on history but few as profound as Mike Hoare – a name that carries many tags: soldier, legend, 'Mad Mike', mercenary commander, saviour of nuns, Congo, yachtsman, Seychelles coup, author, and gentleman. This is the story of a man born to a life of adventure and soldiering. It is also a story of perseverance, honour, and changing lives, while living dangerously. Read it – it won't disappoint you!Eeben Barlow founder/chairman of Executive Outcomes, currently chairman of STTEP
Mike Hoare got more out of life by living dangerously but he was also a gentleman adventurer. Like me, he fell under Africa's spell. A rollicking good read.Kingsley Holgate adventurer
I have spent time with Dogs of War on three continents. In the process I have met most of the major players, but none have matched either the panache or the drive of the best freelance soldier of them all, 'Mad Mike' Hoare. His son Chris, charged with writing this complete biography of 'The Legend', has come up trumps. I found The Legend exceptionally well written. Chris has handled his father's story with remarkable clarity and insight.Al J. Venter author of Gunship Ace: The Wars of Neall Ellis, Helicopter Pilot and Mercenary as well as War Dog: Fighting Other People's Wars
If there is just one non-fiction book you read in the next year, make sure it is 'Mad Mike' Hoare: The Legend. Mike's son has meticulously captured the extraordinary life and times of Hoare Senior, now 99 and living in Durban. It's a fascinating biography, a rollicking read that kept my bedside light burning into the wee hours and which had me absolutely riveted.Peta Lee writing in Village Talk, 30 November 2018. Howick, South Africa
Any book about a controversial figure that is subtitled 'The Legend' ought to be treated with caution, but the story of 'Mad Mike' as written by his son Chris does a good job of giving the reader a balanced and fairly critical view of the mercenary leader, sailor and writer. Read more ...Guy Martin writing in defenceWeb, 27 February 2019
Last of the gentleman mercenaries: the incredible life of Wild Geese leader 'Mad Mike' Hoare. Read more ...Jake Kerridge writing in The Telegraph, 15 March 2019
Mike Hoare was far from mad and, being short and well presented, was the opposite of the stereotypical macho mercenary image. The book gives a balanced and complete view of the equally famous and infamous mercenary leader, sailor and writer.Sunday Times Johannesburg, 28 April 2019
Chris Hoare is a buyer of 5 Commando military memorabilia such as the patches shown, but also of photographs, documents, badges, epaulettes, berets ... just about anything. Top prices paid. Use the Contact tab to get in touch.
When you know a man for 70 years, you know him good and proper. And then, when it takes 12 years working between times to research and write a biography on the man, with his co-operation, you can be sure that the work is authoritative. And accurate.
Chris Hoare is the eldest son of Mike Hoare. Mike sent him to the best schools and to university in South Africa. Chris then took a gap year. It lasted for ten years and then he settled into a career in journalism of different sorts. He was thus the ideal person to distil Mike Hoare's unusual life of adventure into what the acclaimed novelist Frederick Forsyth describes as "a cracking read".
Interviews and News Reports about Mike Hoare, from around the world.
Chris Hoare chats in-depth in this video interview with Jack Murphy and Dave Park of The Team House. Watch here
Chris spent almost an hour in conversation with Roman Cabanac on the Renegade Report podcast. Listen here
Unconventional lives in Africa & beyond. Chris Hoare discusses the extraordinary life of his father, 'Mad Mike' Hoare. Listen here
BBC Radio 4 Podcast about the mercenary leader known as 'Mad Mike' Hoare. Listen here
On 2GB Australia's "Overnight with Michael McLaren", Chris Hoare joins Michael to talk about the extraordinary life of his father. Listen here
Some of the stories Chris Hoare tells on this episode of Force for Hire are not for the fainthearted. Listen here