The Legend of Lieutenant-Colonel Mike Hoare

I remember reading Congo Mercenary while deployed many moons back.

This guy was the stuff of legend.

Europe Renaissance

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…

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Low-Tech to No-Tech is The Way

Analog all the way!
Paper don’t need batteries.

Tactical Wisdom

Being a public figure in the preparedness world, I get swamped with people asking me for my recommendations on the latest and coolest cool-guy Ultra-Tacticool gear. Which night vision should I buy, what’s the best range finder, and what rifle accessories do I need top the list.

While I give the best answers I can (and I’ll try to here), I always wonder if they’ve even read my first book, the Baseline Training Manual, where I spell out my philosophy on this. My philosophy is to go with no or low-tech options, every time. Technology is a point of failure. You’ll need batteries or repairs, so the answer is to learn to do without. You don’t need the $375 ultra-light backpacking tent; you need a tarp and some para-cord.

This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way…

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Know Your Rifles: The “Krag” aka Springfield Model 1892 Infantry Rifle

Story of the Krag: The Springfield Model 1892 Infantry Rifle

 

The formal appellation Springfield Model 1892-1899 describes the several subvariants of the Krag-Jorgensen bolt-action repeating rifle developed in the late 19th century. U.S. troops affectionately referred to the weapon as a “Krag.” The rifle was actually a collaborative effort of Norwegian gun designers Ole Herman Johannes Krag and Erik Jorgensen. The Krag was developed at a time when the entire planet was discovering bolt-action repeating infantry weapons. It nonetheless featured some radical new design elements.

Where most contemporary designs featured an internal box magazine loaded via stripper clips from above, the Krag magazine and its lateral loading system were integral components of the receiver. To load the weapon, you pivoted open a machined steel cover on the right and fed rounds one at a time from the side. Eventually, the army issued a claw-style clip that allowed the magazine to be loaded in a single step.

 

Why Russian Tanks Explode When Hit

History and War

Russian tanks used in modern conflicts have had very bad tendency of suffering catastrophic explosions. When penetrated into the magazine (“ammoracked” for gamers), Russian designs (particularly T-72 and its derivatives) tend to be violently relieved of their turret, which can fly off even some dozens of meters away.

The reason for this tendency towards turret throwing championship is their design decision – but not the one that is typically blamed for it.

Usual answer for why Russian tanks tend to explode is their use of the autoloader. Decision for using the autoloader is a logical one for the Soviet tank doctrine. It makes the tank much smaller, especially the turret – T-72 is almost a foot shorter than the M1 Abrams, allowing it to take cover more easily. Smaller profile also helps make the tank more mobile, as the same amount of armor can be had at the lower…

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Opinion: What are prototactics?

Read Twice and Distribute Freely.

Badlands Fieldcraft

I’ve spent the better part of the last couple years (to be honest tactics and strategy have always been a big interest of mine) studying small unit tactics from different perspectives in an attempt to discern those that might be practical for today’s concerned citizens, including myself. I wanted to go beyond the typical self defense tactics though, and delve into something deeper, and maybe more taboo.

Popular culture and politicians want the “regular” (I use this term loosely, since many of the men I’ve trained with are anything but regular) guys to think tactics and tactical training are reserved for those in the employ of such “elites”, and “regular” guys don’t have any use for them. They want “regular” guys to think that if they find themselves interested in such things, they are hobbyists, LARPers, or “doomsday preppers” and that they have no practical need for such knowledge or…

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