This book investigates the shadowy world of mercenaries from the Congo in the 1960s to recent operations in West Africa, South America and the Balkans. Tony Rogers reveals the incredible risks taken by modern "soldiers of fortune". Is it the money, or is a firefight the ultimate rush? Or are they helping the underdog while the UN do nothing but pass resolutions?
Based on extensive interviews with mercenaries of many nationalities, the book reveals how white mercenaries came to play a key role in the struggle for the Congo, and how the end of the war in Vietnam coincided with the start of the war in Rhodesia, attracting a new generation of mercenary soldiers. The story moves on from the Angolan debacle of 1976 to a succession of operations in Africa and South America, an attempted coup in Malta, and to the mercenaries that flocked to the former-Yugoslavia as the Balkan conflict worsened.
Specific topics covered include:
- A Call to Arms: The Congo and 5 Commando, 1960-68
- Rhodesia, 1966-79
- Angolan Fiasco: "Colonel Callan's" Mercenaries, 1975-76
- From Rhodesia to South Africa: SADF, 1975-82
- Coup and Counter Coup: Comoros, 1975-89
- Comedy of Errors: Seychelles, 1981
- Malta, 1984-85
- Surinam, 1986-91
- Operation "Phoenix": Columbia, 1988-95
- Lovely People: Yugoslavia, 1991-95
- Foreign Legions
- Into the 21st Century