• Congo Mercenary

  • By: Mike Hoare
  • Narrated by: Mike Hoare
  • Length: 13 hrs and 39 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (248 ratings)

Prime logo Prime members: New to Audible?
Get 2 free audiobooks during trial.
Pick 1 audiobook a month from our unmatched collection.
Listen all you want to thousands of included audiobooks, Originals, and podcasts.
Access exclusive sales and deals.
Premium Plus auto-renews for $14.95/mo after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
Congo Mercenary  By  cover art

Congo Mercenary

By: Mike Hoare
Narrated by: Mike Hoare
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $20.99

Buy for $20.99

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's summary

Col. Mike Hoare tells how his force of mercenaries, 5 Commando, put down a Comunist-backed rebel uprising in the Congo. As they restored law and order, town by town, he and his men freed 1,800 nuns and priests. His men also learned what it means to be real soldiers.

©1967 Mike Hoare (P)2012 Mike Hoare

Critic reviews

"This well-written and well-illustrated book gives an accurate and useful account of the military response to the [Congolese] rebellion." ( The Daily Telegraph)

What listeners say about Congo Mercenary

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    176
  • 4 Stars
    48
  • 3 Stars
    18
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    152
  • 4 Stars
    31
  • 3 Stars
    18
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    3
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    151
  • 4 Stars
    35
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Nice to hear an unapologetic account

Mercenaries and Private Military Security get a bad rap. It is nice to hear from someone whom doesn’t white wash his account to sound perfect (cough cough Wehrmacht) or bend over backwards to atone for all the terrible things they did. He was a soldier and commander for hire and he did his job.

Excellent story as well as performance. Having Mike Hoare read it himself makes it feel like you are just hanging out having a drink and he’s tell you old “war stories)

If you are interested in Africa, the Congo, mercenary work, or just want to hear some action, you will enjoy this book.

Just be warned, it’s combat in Africa, it has some graphic content.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

An Interesting Slice of an Unusual Life

Any additional comments?

Story: This book was written in the 60s by a British Mercenary Soldier. With that comes a militaristic outlook, some British "uppityness" and a small dose of casual racism. If you put those things aside and consider it a product of its time, it is a very interesting listen. I knew little about this conflict so I found it a fascinating look at the life and attitudes of Mercenary Soldiers in general and Mike Hoare in particular. Like most autobiographies, the author paints himself a bit of a hero, but to his credit, he confides that he made some rather large mistakes here and there.

Performance: This one is read by the author, which I always find to be a double edged sword. On the one hand you get the real feel of the story, but on the other hand you don't get a professional narration. I will say his warm, fatherly British voice was quite nice.

Summary: Due to its cheap price, this is probably worth your time. It is an unusual story, by an unusual man in an unusual conflict.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Of limited interest as long as you don’t believe it

Off the record Mad Mike referred to his own men as brutes and thugs. In this book they’re the perfect, young, adventurous, white gentlemen. No mention of their numerous and flagrant war crimes. In spite of its historical shortcomings this book could have been interesting if only Mad Mike had been a better writer.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I felt I was there with Mike and his men

I love listening to Mike speak in his polished English accent, he has a captivating way of describing the moments that will keep you on the edge of your chair. I felt every stiflingly hot or miserably cold evening, I could feel and hear every bullet fly by my head as If I were laying in the mud alongside the other brave mercenaries. I couldn’t drag myself away from this narrative until the last farewell to his men.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing

Holy S*** what a wonderful and terrifying ride. What a brave and courageous group of men.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

War in the Congo

Interesting listen for those with an interest in the African Brush Wars of the 60s. The book covered a lot of ground and was often a little light on operational specifics. But, that very well could have been because there were few operational specifics. Narrated by Colonel Hoare himself (Irish with a bit of Afrikaans thrown in) which made clarity a challenge.

Africa was high adventure for those participating.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good first hand account of bravery

Enjoyed listening to the Colonel and learned much about what it takes to command in austere circumstances

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This Yank says, Good on you Colonel Hoare.

First, you should listen to the sample. His speaking style might drive you away. He reminded me of an elderly man reading from a post card, as he wrote it. I got used to that pretty quick, I did. Colonel Hoare describes his successes and his failures.

Before I listened to this story, I had already listened to several books on British history. "The Rise and Fall of the British Empire" by Dr. Patrick N. Allitt, Also, "The British Army: The History and Legacy of the Army That Helped Establish the World’s Largest Empire", by Charles River Editors. The Rise and Fall, by Dr. Allitt explains how Britain came to be in Africa, India and Asia and why the many former colonies of Britain were given their independence. The "British Army" is helpful, as it describes the evolution of the Army and how they fought their wars.

The reason Colonel Hoare was in the Congo was to stop communism. China wanted the Congo for it's vast natural resources.

Colonel Hoare describes the fighting and the equipment of his day. This was before satellites, cell phones, the internet and drones. The story covers almost 2 years. Today, this war wouldn't last 2 months. The Congolese not unwilling fighters, had centuries of warfare behind them. As they fought differently than the Europeans, they could fall victim the industrialized powers. The Europeans fought by their rules, the Congolese did not.

And, there is a bit of "racism", based on today's standards. The Congo was originally a Dutch colony.

A great story, well worth the listen.



Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Incredible detail on a little known subject

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Anyone interested in African "Bush" Wars or counterinsurgency in general should read Hoare's works. Congo Mercenary provides detailed accounts of the campaigns and politics of his years in the Congo in the early to mid-1960s. Hoare's storytelling is conversational, and while his ideals may seem outdated his observations are acute.

What did you like best about this story?

Hoare's descriptions of his leadership and how he developed 5 Commando into a fighting unit.

Have you listened to any of Mike Hoare’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Congo Mercenary is the most action-packed and detailed of Hoare's works. It goes into detail about the planning and execution of all of the campaigns that Hoare participated in.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It was excellent, and I will be returning to it again.

Any additional comments?

There's also a great portrait of a young Mobutu, on the verge of seizing power in the Congo. So many of the portraits of Mobutu have been of the aging strong-man desperately holding onto power, this was an interesting contrast.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Hope in The Heart of Darkness

A gripping account from an actual participant in one of The Cold War's most vital, yet unknown theaters. Truly, the world is worse off without more people the likes of "Mad Mike" Hoare.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful