A tale of mercenaries and authors…..back in the late 1970’s Frederick Forsyth wrote a book, The Dogs of War, about a mercenary operation to takeover an African country.
It was an excellent read…..it was packed full of details that anyone could use…..as a matter of fact there was rumblings that Forsyth had actually put together a team for a coup attempt in West Africa……Benin was the targeted country…..which is interesting considering that a coup attempt was made in 1977.
Much of modern-day public opinion about mercenaries is still colored by adventures of Robert Denard, a French solider and mercenary, famous for his involvement in numerous “jobs” in support of Francafrique – France’s sphere of influence in its former colonies in Africa. One of Denard’s typical operations was the coup attempt against the government of Benin, from January 1977. Such and similar operations in turn inspired numerous novels and a few Hollywood movies, too.
The Republic of Benin is a little-known country in western Africa, bordered by Togo in the west, Nigeria in the east and Burkina Faso and Niger in the north. It came into being as a combination of three political and ethnic systems, the most significant of which – the Kingdom of Dahomey – used to be one of largest exporters of slaves to Portugal in the 18th Century. The French occupied the area in the late 19th century and declared it a part of their West Africa in 1899.
Another case where life imitates art……