History Tony Rogers Someone Else?s War

ISBN 13: 9780004720777

Someone Else?s War

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9780004720777: Someone Else?s War

Someone else’s war investigates the shadowy world of mercenaries from the Congo in the 1960s to recent operations in West Africa, South America and the Balkans.

Based on extensive interviews with mercenaries of many nationalities, Someone else’s war 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.

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From the Author:

Exploration of the role of the modern mercenary
Traditionally, a mercenary is a freelance soldier who fights for a foreign cause in return for financial or material gain. But how appropriate is such a definition today? Drawing on exclusive, often harrowing first-hand accounts, i have tried to reveal that few mercenaries make their fortune from fighting in someone else's war. Yet, as governments continue to be toppled by coup d'etat and with the third world leaders seeking the assistance of a growing number of 'private military companies', there is clearly a requirement for the modern mercenary - and for many, the adrenaline rush war provides is payment enough.

From the Back Cover:

"We could see that we were scoring a lot of hits and this must have been enough for them to falter because they started to retreat, dragging their dead and wounded with them, which is a sure sign of well-disciplined soldiers. Our confidence soared as we all yelled insults at them in our own languages and accents. The enemy must have wondered who we were with so many countries represented."

Traditionally, a mercenary is somebody who fights for a foreign power in return for financial or material gain. In ancient times, this may have been the case, buy how appropriate is such a definition today?

The volunteers in the Congo were mercenaries in the accepted sense of the word, but many who arrived in Rhodesia in the 1970s later resented being labelled as such. It somehow mattered that they were part of a regular army, police or air force, serving under the same terms and conditions and for the same meagre wages as their Rhodesian colleagues. Men came from all over the world to fight in the former Yugoslavia, but they knew they would be paid a pittance by American or West European standards.

As Anthony Rogers reveals, few mercenaries have got rich by fighting in a foreign uniform. Many mercenary operations are aborted or end in bloody disaster like Angola in 1976. Yet men are still prepared to meet in secret, to plot the downfall of an African government and risk life and limb in a coup d'etat. At the end of the twentieth century, more governments are changed by men with machine guns than by the voting public. As long as this continues, the modern mercenary will still be in business.

Anthony Rogers served in the Royal Marine Commandos and the Rhodesian Army in the mid to late 1970s. When a subsequent career in the oilfields was cut short by the 1985 recession, an interest in writing and photography led to a new profession, working mainly for publications about the military. In 1990 he was commissioned to cover the war in Eritrea and, later that year reported from Sri Lanka. After a period as a correspondent for 'The Asia Pacific Defence Journal', he concentrated primarily on the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, contributing to numerous newspapers and periodicals between 1991 and early 1995. During this time he co-authored 'Flashpoint! At the Front Line of Today's Wars' and assisted in the production of a Danish TV documentary about mercenaries.

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