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King Neptune
01-17-2014, 01:18 AM
I am looking for information about private individuals (enterprises) who took over countries. I know about William Walker and James Brooke, and there was the man who took over Montenegro (?). Were there any others within the last few hundred years, and I mean successful ones, not that band of mercenaries who made a stab at some island country. I'm just looking for some names to research, rather than great detail.

thanks

five crazy mercenaries
http://www.cracked.com/article_19472_the-5-craziest-soldiers-fortune-to-ever-cash-paycheck.html

kuwisdelu
01-17-2014, 02:46 AM
Would you count the East India Company? Probably the most famous example.

King Neptune
01-17-2014, 03:40 AM
Would you count the East India Company? Probably the most famous example.

I thank you. That's one of the several I thought of, but that's not the sort that I was looking for, and the East India Company was set up as an instrument of the English government. Although it was privately held; it served the government from fighting the French in India to establishing markets for British goods and guarding that flank against the Russians in the Great Game.

kuwisdelu
01-17-2014, 03:54 AM
Welp, that's all I got. Good luck.

Well... I could make a semi-snarky suggestion of oil companies taking over the Indian reservations in the Dakotas, but that's probably not quite what you want, either...

Helix
01-17-2014, 03:55 AM
King Leopold II in the Congo.

If you're not keen on the British East India Company, it might be worth having a look at the VOC, the Dutch East India Company.

King Neptune
01-17-2014, 04:03 AM
King Leopold II in the Congo.

If you're not keen on the British East India Company, it might be worth having a look at the VOC, the Dutch East India Company.

I thank you. Leopold was almost right, and he was an interesting (if not completely pleasant) character. I'll look at those colonizing companies again; they may be some of the better models that I'll find.

King Neptune
01-17-2014, 04:04 AM
Welp, that's all I got. Good luck.

Well... I could make a semi-snarky suggestion of oil companies taking over the Indian reservations in the Dakotas, but that's probably not quite what you want, either...

There was a pretty good John Wayne movie about that, not one of his better known films.

kuwisdelu
01-17-2014, 04:10 AM
There was a pretty good John Wayne movie about that, not one of his better known films.

I'm talking about current events, so unless this is a time-travelling John Wayne, probably not.

King Neptune
01-17-2014, 04:32 AM
I'm talking about current events, so unless this is a time-travelling John Wayne, probably not.

All that's old is new again. They had similar things about a hundred years ago, but it might not have been in the Dakotas. I'd have to look it up.

King Neptune
01-17-2014, 04:34 AM
I may just look more at Bob Denard. He was an interesting character and a lot more.

ClareGreen
01-17-2014, 04:36 AM
Take a look at Cecil Rhodes, too. Not quite what you're looking for but almost, Admiral Lord Cochrane's story is just amazing and might give you some inspiration.

thothguard51
01-17-2014, 04:59 AM
Search for mercenaries in whatever part of the world you are looking for...

There was an attempted coup in 1990 of Madagascar by a group of merc's. And Bahrain's royal family is said to recruit merc's for its army as does Indonesia...

King Neptune
01-17-2014, 05:16 AM
Take a look at Cecil Rhodes, too. Not quite what you're looking for but almost, Admiral Lord Cochrane's story is just amazing and might give you some inspiration.

Thanks, I hadn't thought of Cecil Rhodes, one of the luckiest men in history, and one of the richest also. I'm not acquainted with Admiral Lord Cochrane, so I will look into it.

Rhodes might fit what I'm thinking of.

King Neptune
01-17-2014, 05:22 AM
Search for mercenaries in whatever part of the world you are looking for...

There was an attempted coup in 1990 of Madagascar by a group of merc's. And Bahrain's royal family is said to recruit merc's for its army as does Indonesia...

I think you're thinking of Bob Denard in the Comoro Islands in the Madagascar Channel; he attempted or succeeded in taking the islands four times. He was a real character. Do a google search on him. There are a few sites that give an outline of his career, and there is at least one book about him.

Bob Denard was one of the first mercs to be available to countries as a contractor to do dirt that the armies didn't want to touch. The last time he tried at Comoros he had a few dozen mercs and flew in on a commercial flight; the flight crew called ahead that there was a small army on its way.

thothguard51
01-17-2014, 05:27 AM
Yep, he is the one I was thinking of...

blacbird
01-17-2014, 12:40 PM
The Dutch East Indies company, the world's first modern private corporation, given essentially carte blanche to run the spice and other resources trade from the East Indies, which they did for three centuries or so. They used brutal forms of slavery, and racism that made South Africa's apartheid look benign in comparison. That, of course, was also promulgated by the Dutch. They weren't exactly the most humane of European colonial powers. I don't know names of individuals, but undoubtedly there were some bigwigs who can be searched for.

Read Simon Winchester's excellent book Krakatoa for some useful background.

caw

waylander
01-17-2014, 02:03 PM
How far back do you want to go? The early history of the Normans in Southern Italy/Sicily might be worth looking at.

King Neptune
01-17-2014, 05:22 PM
How far back do you want to go? The early history of the Normans in Southern Italy/Sicily might be worth looking at.

I want someone modern, but the Normans, and Vikings in general, are also good models. Rolf the Ganger would be exactly the sort I'm interested in, if he conquered Normandy in the 19th or 20th century.

I think that I will be reading the biography of Bob Denard. He was more closely connected to the French government than I would want, but he did a lot on his own or for other governments.

King Neptune
01-17-2014, 06:08 PM
Take a look at Cecil Rhodes, too. Not quite what you're looking for but almost, Admiral Lord Cochrane's story is just amazing and might give you some inspiration.

Admiral Lord Cochrane certainly is inspiring.