Welcome to MadMikeHoare.com, the online clearing-house for information about Colonel Thomas Michael Hoare, alias-

"Mad Mike"

Mike Hoare in the Congo in 1964. Photo by Agence Presse

I created this web page to summarize all the research I have compiled thus far on this fascinating soldier, hailed as "The Last of the Renaissance Men". Comments are of course welcome. Please send comments here (please replace 'AT' with '@' symbol - this is a spam countermeasure).

Mike Hoare in 1979(?), possibly taken
while working as an advisor on the feature film,
"The Wild Geese", photo credit unknown

Biography: Mike Hoare was born in 1919 in India of Irish seafaring stock. He was educated in England and qualified as a chartered accountant in London just after World War 2. During the war he trained with the London Irish Rifles, attending a small-arms school and officers training school. Later he saw action at Kohima, India, and in Burma. He was demobilised from the Armoured Corps as major. He emigrated to South Africa in 1948, graduating to the African bush, first by doing long-distance mountain hikes, then on motorbikes (Cape to Cairo) and later as a safari leader in the Kalahari. In 1961 he commanded a unit of mercenary troops in Katanga. In 1964/5 he led the legendary "Wild Geese" in the Congo to suppress a communist-inspired rebel uprising. In 1981 he led a failed attempt to reinstate the anti-marxist elected president of the Seychelles, and served nearly three years in South African jails for air piracy. A confirmed Francophile, he then lived in France for 20 years.

An artist's rendition of a
B&W photo of Hoare, Congo 1964

Colonel Hoare is alive and well and living in Southern France. His son Chris is acting as his press agent. Please send any press inquiries to eight_mm_watcher AT yahoo.com (replace _AT_ with the "@" symbol), and I will forward them to Chris.

Mike Hoare sports a shrapnel wound from
an engagement in the Congo, 1964.
Photo by Agence Presse


Books written by Mike Hoare (in chronological order):

"The Road to Kalamata" (Link to Amazon). ISBN: 0850522889. Timeframe: 1960-1961. Major Mike Hoare's first mercenary action in the breakaway province of Katanga, in the Congo. His unit is called "4 Commando". During this term, Hoare marries Phyllis Simms, an airline stewardess.

Book cover for
"The Road To Kalamata",
First published in 1967

"Congo Warriors" Publisher: Robert Hale Ltd (February 28, 1991) ISBN: 0709043694. Timeframe: 1964. Colonel Mike Hoare leads mercenary unit called "5 Commando". Hoare and his "Wild Geese" work in concert with Belgian paratroopers, Cuban exile pilots, and others who race frantically to save civilians (mostly white folks) in Stanleyville from the psychopathic Simbas

"Congo Mercenary" Publisher: Robert Hale Ltd (January 31, 1991)ISBN: 0709043759. Timeframe: 1964. Anecdotal tales of the adventures of some of Hoare's more colorful troops. Includes the infamous court-martial of a mercenary (a rapist), in which the offender's big toes were shot off personally by Hoare. As of September 2006, a used bookseller is asking US $2,113.65 for this book via Amazon

"Mercenary" Rehash of "Warriors" and "Mercenary". Combines much of the two books, but not very well

"Three Years with Sylvia" (Link to Amazon) Hale (1977), ISBN: 0709161948 Timeframe: 1970-1973. Hoare and his family set sail for three years around the Mediterranean in a 100-foot yacht

"The Seychelles Affair" (Link to Amazon) Timeframe: 1981-1985. (Link to Amazon) Hoare's firsthand account of the aborted coup attempt

Other books and information about Mike Hoare:

"The New Mercenaries" (Link to Amazon). Not written by Hoare, but contains a lot of information about him (most of it not particularly favorable)

Report of South African "Truth Commission", documenting the Seychelles coup attempt, on a site that is critical of the Seychelles government. Names the players in the plot, including members of the South African secret police ("BOSS")

Other works:

Mike Hoare is credited as a "military and technical adviser" for the motion picture "The Wild Geese", adapted from a fictional account of Hoare's career. (1978) (Link to Internet Movie Database). For some reason, the VHS copies of this picture command top dollar on eBay. It's because the video is no longer in distribution, but this is apparently because the author's estate wanted the movie completely removed from distribution.


Actual beret badge worn by Hoare and his 5 Commando in 1964. This example was captured from an eBay auction in 2006 (the badge sold for over US $300)

The "5 Commando" patch (DEAD Link to KS Militaria, Alpine, Texas in the USA - The site is closed as of June 2007). This was the item sold in Soldier of Fortune magazine by Hoare's wife, Phyllis, as a fundraiser for his legal defense during the Seychelles trial. This item was not worn by Hoare or his men.

The "Wild Geese" patch  (Another dead link to KS Militaria) This is a commemorative patch, not worn by Hoare or his men.

If you have information about Mike Hoare and would like to contribute, please email me here (convert 'AT' in the email address to an '@' symbol - this is a spam countermeasure)

Thanks for stopping by! -- mike harris