Hans Germani, one of Mike’s officers, wrote a book about his time as one of the ‘Wild Geese’. It is titled White Soldiers in Black Africa.
In the following riveting paragraph, he gives his impression of Mike’s leadership style. ‘Anyone accustomed to the Belgian military units as I was, would have felt transferred into another world. There were no wild whiskers and beards, no crazy fancy uniforms, camouflaged drill caps and daggers sticking out of every pocket. Before we departed (to save the Isangi and Yangambi missions), Hoare called an officers’ conference. Everything was done politely, in a disciplined British style. No plans were discussed, nor were there long debates as with the Belgians.’
Germani also wrote of Mike Hoare:
‘A hundred years ago, this little man would have become a great conqueror of the English colonial empire, a Lord Clive, a Warren Hastings, one of the Britons who conquered continents with a handful of men. It was his bad luck that no England was standing behind him anymore. His campaign was a wild adventure in the service of a foreign government. History will hardly remember Hoare’s march through the rain, which that night broke the main line of the rebels, as it remembers Clive’s march to Arcot through the rain. And yet Hoare had approximately the same number of soldiers with him and just as many enemies in front of him as had Clive.
‘He saved the Congo from communism – but for how long? He saved European hostages from a tortured death. Perhaps he did not acquire worldly glory, but he gained the esteem and adoration of all the people who lived with him during those weeks, whether they were Americans, Europeans or Africans.’
If you would really like to know what Mike Hoare was like, you can do no better than read ‘Mad Mike’ Hoare: The Legend. Please enquire via the ‘Buy Books and More’ tab. And remember, these books make wonderful birthday and Christmas presents …. Tell your friends.