Mercenary ‘Mad Mike’ Hoare (1919-2022) was perhaps the best-known of the European mercenaries who fought in the Congo Crisis (1960-1965). Born to Irish parents in Calcutta he was educated in England. A rarity for mercenaries who spend their lives on the frontlines, Hoare, at 101 years old seemingly benefited from the unstinting devotion of a very special and caring guardian angel. A veteran of numerous conflicts, Mike Hoare earned his spurs as an officer in the London Irish Rifles.
What does an army captain do when World War II becomes history? He becomes a chartered accountant of course. When led by Europeans prosperous and peaceful South Africa was a magnet for many disenchanted Britons. Mike Hoare was no exception. The amiable demobbed Brit set up a charted accountant’s business in South Africa.
As a South African citizen, Mike Hoare combined his sense of adventure and soldierly know-how to organise safaris…
“On reading this, I did a double-take and almost questioned my sanity. Surely, Hochschild must be aware that exactly at that point in time, the government of Germany had publicly proposed international peace talks without preconditions aimed at ending the war, suggesting that the massive, pointless slaughter be halted, perhaps largely on a status quo ante basis.
The Germans had recently won several huge victories, inflicting enormous losses on the Allies in the Battle of the Somme and also completely knocking Rumania out of the war. So riding high on their military success, they emphasized that they were seeking peace on the basis of their strength rather than from any weakness. Unfortunately, the Allies flatly rejected this peace overture, declaring that that the offer proved Germany was close to defeat, so they were determined to hold out for complete victory with major territorial gains.
As a result, many additional millions needlessly died over the next two years, while just a couple of months later in early 1917 Russia’s Czarist government collapsed, eventually leading to the Bolshevik seizure of power, a turning-point with fateful, long-term consequences.”
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