Il mercenario Siegfried Mueller
I mercenari che combatterono in Africa tra gli anni 60-7o furono assassini senza scrupoli oppure avventurieri idealisti? prima di approfondire questo argomento propongo la biografia in inglese, tratta da wikipedia, di uno dei mercenari più famosi in quel periodo ovvero il tedesco Siegfried Muller.
Siegfried Müller was born in Crossen an der Oder, Germany (now Poland) in 1920. After Hitler Youth and Reich Labour Service, Müller joined the Wehrmacht in 1939, fighting in the campaigns in Poland, France, and on the Russian Front. He claimed to end the war as a 1st Lieutenant, but this cannot be verified. He was seriously wounded and captured by the Americans.
Released in 1947, he enlisted in the US Army Civilian Labor Group (CLG), an American Labor Service Unit of Germans; then became a Lieutenant in a CLG security unit. He was denied entry to the Bundeswehr in 1956, but found employment with British Petroleum, clearing mines planted by the Afrika Korps in the Sahara Desert during World War II.
Müller emigrated to the Republic of South Africa in 1962 and was recruited as a mercenary with the rank of Lieutenant for the Congo Crisis in 1964. At 44, Müller was the oldest of Mike Hoare’s soldiers. He was promoted to Captain after a successful operation to seize Albertville (now Kalemie) and led 52 Commando, a sub unit of No 5 Commando comprising approximately 50 soldiers. He was later promoted to Major.Major Müller wore his World War II Iron Cross First Class on his operations in the Congo, which attracted the attention of journalists from Time magazine and Der Spiegel. Admitting that he had had too much to drink, Müller was interviewed by a GDR film crew for the 1966 documentary Der Lachende Mann/The Laughing Man. Müller also appeared in the film Africa Addio and the 1965 East German documentary Kommando 52.
He inspired the character of Heinlein in Wilbur Smith’s Dark of the Sun, though Peter Carsten did not use Müller’s jovial personality in his role