Mike Hoare's bestseller, 'Congo Mercenary', is now available again from www.pen-and-sword.co.uk, and will be available any day now from Amazon.
Written in 1966 immediately after the action, the book is THE authoritative source if you are interested in how the 'Wild Geese' put down the communist-inspired rebellion in 18 months.
People are often surprised to learn that Mike himself wrote the book. He was a man of many talents, and in fact wrote seven books. The thing is, he loved literature and made a particular study of Shakespeare and Marlowe, and the English poets, so he had a vast vocabulary and great sensibility when it came to writing.
Reading this 'warts 'n all' book, you will get a bit of history and politics, a lot of military action, doses of humour and the human side of soldiering, and probably outrage as you learn of the atrocities visited on the nuns and priests who were being held hostage by the rebels (the Simbas).
The book is 318 pages in length and includes all-new photographs and an index. The size is 15,7 cm x 23,3 cm.
Here's an extract from the book that shows Mike Hoare's exceptional ability with a typewriter … as well as his skill as a military leader. The setting is Stanleyville, the rebel capital, immediately after it was captured:
Quote: A runner arrived. 'Colonel Raudstein from the US Embassy and the American consul, Mr Clingerman, to see you, sir.'
I might have guessed that Knut Raudstein would have been in to Stan on the first C-130 available. He was dedicated to his job as military attaché. There was nothing diffident or withdrawn about Raudstein, and he wasted no time in getting to the point.
'Mike,' he said, 'you've got to do something for me. There are two American families in the middle of rebel-held Stan about 8 km from here. I want them out. Clingerman will show us the way.' Mr Clingerman was a slight man with a studious, happy face. He was bubbling over with enthusiasm.
To know Raudstein is to obey Raudstein. 'OK, Colonel,' I said, 'but you better stay here. In your position as Mil ....' He stopped me short.
'Not likely,' he said, 'where you go I'm going. These are Americans, lad, Americans. Don't worry about me, I'm just going along for the ride. I'm under your orders, I'll do anything you say.'
The opportunity of having a full colonel, American Army, under command was not one to be resisted. I raised a patrol in 20 minutes and accompanied by Clingerman we set off.
I put the Colonel in an armoured car and took the consul with me in the tentacle (a three-quarter-tonne HQ and signals truck). He kept up a steady chatter the whole way, oblivious of the gunfire, as though we were out for a Sunday afternoon drive. We arrived at the two houses in a residential area.
Clingerman dashed in while I set the field. John Peters (now a lieutenant) sealed off one end of the avenue and engaged the enemy, whilst the other end was held by a group led by the Colonel. I just had time to see him kneeling behind an armoured car, blazing away with his M 14 before we got the two families out. A man, some women and two children. I think he was a professor at the university. I seated them in the back of the tentacle. One of the ladies was distraught.
'What about Aunt Millie's present?' she cried. 'I've left it in the kitchen.' The man said something crisp about Aunt Millie. The rest of the family shouted her down with protest. This was no time to be thinking about silly things like presents, they all said, let's get going for heaven's sake, they chorused.
In an effort to calm their nerves and show them there was nothing to worry about, I told the good lady to go back and get Aunt Millie's present and anything else she wanted. She would never see that house again. She wanted to go desperately, but she gave way to the others.
I blew my whistle and we were off. The sea of rebels which we had parted for a few brief moments closed in again, engulfing the house. Half-way back we stopped to engage some snipers and the Colonel opened fire on the Congolese Army by mistake.
'Hold it Colonel,' I screamed, 'that's our side! That's the Congolese Army – furthermore, dammit, you're doing what I've always wanted to do!'
Clingerman delivered the party to the aerodrome and four hours later they were in Leopoldville. Unquote.
Go to our Order Form for some of Mike Hoare's books, and Chris Hoare's 'Mad Mike' Hoare: The Legend. Or send your postal address, postal code and tel or cell number to firstname.lastname@example.org for a quote.