The 5 Craziest Soldiers of Fortune To Ever Cash a Paycheck

#2. William Walker Just Wants a Country of His Own

A filibuster, in military-speak, is someone who has chosen the ass-for-brains profession of poking his nose into other countries' revolutionary affairs with zero authorization or backup from any government whatsoever.

William Walker is hailed as the greatest filibuster of them all. Literally his whole career is a testament to supervillain insanity.

Wikipedia
Those cheekbones just scream secret volcano lair.

The Madness:

In 1853, at the age of 28, Walker set his sights on Mexico. After nicely asking permission to take over parts of it and unsurprisingly being denied, he decided to employ force. He gathered troops in San Francisco, marched right in and settled in what would become known as the Republic of Sonora.

Wikipedia
Man, anyone with a bit of scrap fabric with a star and a stripe can become a damn country nowadays.

After a few months, Mexico got annoyed with Walker's ever-expanding country that had by then "claimed" nearly a third of Mexico. They sent the military to deal with Walker, who seemed genuinely surprised at this.

The army on his tail, Walker fled back to the U.S., where to the surprise of no one, he was put on trial for petty crimes such as trying to create his own country and declaring war on Mexico. However, the public perceived him as a hero, and the jury acquitted him after a whopping eight minutes.

PBS
He has that kind of warmongering attitude America needs!

Encouraged by the rousing success that was his Mexico venture, Walker's next target was Nicaragua. He entered the country with a mere 60 men in 1856 and somehow managed to take over and declare himself president within a single year. He celebrated his newly gained dictatorship by revoking all anti-slavery laws, declaring war on Costa Rica because fuck Costa Rica, and renaming his country "Walkeragua."

Seriously.

historymatters
Nicaragua now celebrates the event as a "fuck Western arrogance" holiday.

Sadly, one of the people Walker managed to piss off was the wealthy tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt, whose ships he forbade from his waters. Vanderbilt was not happy, so he sent an army of his own after Walker. Holy shit, the 19th century was awesome!

Wikipedia
A guy with a cravat and a comb-over could command legions of men!

This and a coalition of every single Central American government (also funded by Vanderbilt, who tended not to mess around) led to Walker getting booted out of the country a mere year into his presidency. Wondering what had gone wrong and somehow managing to reach the exact opposite of the right conclusion, he headed right back to invade Nicaragua again.

Only this time, he attacked Honduras at the same time. What we're trying to say is the guy needed a hobby.

#1. Bob Denard Tortures a Country for the Hell of It

Bob Denard's life reads out like he is some kind of a deranged cartoon antihero. Born Gilbert Bourgeaud, he started his professional life in the French Navy during the 1950s. Then he got bored of naval life and attempted to assassinate the prime minister of France. He was released after serving 14 months in jail, because apparently the French aren't too bothered about the welfare of their political elite.

Upon his release, Denard decided to throw what little caution he had left to the wind and start a career as a freelance dog of war. And soon enough, someone big looked at his resume and liked what they saw.

That someone? France.


"You look like someone who would never surrender. We need that."

Now employed by the country that apparently really really likes people who try to kill its prime ministers, Denard was tasked with a rescue mission in the Belgian Congo. We're not going to dwell on that -- if you're interested in details you can just watch the movie. Let's just say that Denard was a roaring success, and soon he was zigzagging Africa on more top secret shenanigans than you can shake a stick at.

dinofish
One guess as to where he keeps the stick.

The Madness:

For three decades, Denard had nursed a ridiculously petty personal vendetta against the African nation of Comoros. This started in 1975, when he traveled there in business to oust president Ahmed Abdallah, literally just after he had declared Comoros independent. It looks like Denard enjoyed it way more than he should have, as three years later he decided he didn't like the new president and couped Abdallah back into power. Yes, the very guy he'd kicked out during Coup #1.

Denard, for reasons that make sense only to this type of man, proceeded to overtake large portions of the country during the next few years, attaining land and building an empire of hotels. Abdallah couldn't do jack shit to him, partially because the man had already overthrown and reinstated him once, but also because Denard owned the goddamn Presidential Guard.

senat
Denard also made him wear this hat.

Around 1989, for obvious reasons, Abdallah ordered the Presidential Guard to disarm themselves. This proved to be a bad move, as Denard quickly put together yet another coup.

Abdallah's successor, Said Djohar, noticed a pattern in the power economics of his country and, wisely, flat out denied Denard entrance to the country. Denard responded by -- all together now! -- launching his fourth coup in 1995, when he and 33 men invaded the country by boat and took control. But this time Denard, who had already been to court because of his antics, had gone too far. The French military, utterly fed up with all the bad press Denard had given them, actually invaded Comoros and took it right back from him.

colonialwarfare
"God, we're really sorry. He's had too much sugar and is just overtired, you know how they can be."

Denard was convicted of being a dick toward sovereign countries, which is apparently an even smaller offense than attempted prime ministercide, seeing as this time he spent just 10 months in jail. Did he learn anything? Well, let's just say he tried to stage a fifth Comoros coup in 2001.

colonialwarfare
His love of coups was matched only by his weird love of cow print.

For more insane soldiers, check out 5 Real Life Soldiers Who Make Rambo Look Like a Pussy and 5 Soldiers Whose Horrific Injuries Only Made Them Angry.

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