Mad Dog Killers: The Story of a Congo Mercenary

Helion and Company
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This soldier of fortune’s “superb [and] harrowing” memoir of joining the fight against Africa’s Simba rebellion “cuts to the core” (The Weekend Post, South Africa).
 
In the summer of 1964, young and cocky Ivan Smith volunteered as a mercenary in the Armée Nationale Congolaise. Armed with a naïve invulnerability and a promise of “exciting work” and “high rewards” Ivan signed a six-month contract in hell. The “danger money” was for warding off Simba rebels in Africa’s bloody Congo-Léopoldville revolt. A member of “Mad Mike” Hoare’s Five Commando Group he and his companions were nominally soldiers—but there was little in the way of campaigns, tactics, or discipline.
 
This was not conventional warfare. Loyalty to country or unit did not exist. For Ivan, the greatest dangers came from within his own band of fellow mercenaries, more of whom would die from accidental discharges, drunken shoot-outs, or stray bullets in the back than were ever killed in action by Simba rebels.
 
More than half a century later, Ivan relives the nightmare that was his time in the Congo, where he’d come to understand that there was no law of the jungle—just a lust for killing, and a true abject fear that helped to keep him alive.
 
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About the author

Ivan Smith was a mercenary volunteer in the Armée Nationale Congolais.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Helion and Company
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Published on
May 19, 2012
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Pages
160
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ISBN
9781908916884
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Modern / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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This is the story of one man's service in the British South Africa Police of Rhodesia during his service of nearly fifteen years, between the years 1965 and 1979, and in many ways forms a sequel to the author's book Mad Dog Killers.

The struggle to keep Rhodesia out of black nationalist hands started in late 1964 and ended with the Mugabe regime in 1982. It is also a story of a policeman engaged in that war as a member of the paramilitary BSAP Support unit, the Police Anti-Terrorist Unit and as an ordinary member of the force that had always been designated the country's first line of defense. Most of the service was on remote rural district stations, often in the middle of the "front line".

The account tells of one man's learning to be a policeman and a police public prosecutor and about the eccentricities of some of the circuit magistrates. A policeman has a lot to learn about life, and in the BSA Police he was expected to jump in at the deep end from the start.

It is also the story of the strange struggle by Rhodesian-born policemen in a force where the majority were English-born, at a time when Rhodesia was in rebellion against Britain. The author's senior officers, though fiercely loyal to the force, were British and required to join the rebellion. It tells of his resentment at the lack of drive by senior officers in the fight against terrorist atrocities.

There is additional insight into the Utopian life in Rhodesia, especially in rural areas, when it was still possible to hunt buck for the police mess rations, where there was no electricity or other modern amenities and where the single quarters were in ancient buildings enclosed by a wraparound gauzed-in veranda - a life gone now forever. It is also a story of a young man who grew up in Salisbury, his sexual excesses and sadness.

The British Queen Mother was patron of the force all her life and was very proud of her association with it.
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