The Dogs of War
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Derek's sand coloured beret with a winged dagger badge denotes him as a member of the British Special Air Service (SAS). He is thought to be loosely based on John Peters, a former SAS soldier who served as a mercenary with 'Mad' Mike Hoare during his campaign in the Congo in the 1960s. Michel is a member of the French Foreign Legion parachute regiment, he is thought to be loosely based on famous French mercenary Bob Denard. It is unclear what Shannon and Drew's parent units were or if they were inspired by real life figures.

-In the opening scene in South America the team use CAR-15s, the carbine version of the US Army's M16 assault rifle. In Africa the mercenary force use Israeli Uzi 9mm submachineguns although a few of their troops also employ MAC-10 Ingrams. The also make good use of 66mm LAW (Light Anti-tank Weapon) rockets and Claymore mines whilst Derek seizes an M60 machinegun from the goverment troops and turns it against them. The iconic multi-shot grenade launcher they use is the XM-18

-Famous British mercenary 'Mad' Mike Hoare's attempted coup in the Seychelles strongly resembles the events in the 'Dogs of War'. Bob Denard's attempted coup in Benin is also similar. More remarkable is that it appears to have inspired an attempted coup by former Scots Guards and SAS soldier Simon Mann who led a force of South African mercenaries to overthrow of the dictatorship of oil rich Equatorial Guinea.

-In the book none of the mercenaries are American, Shannon is British, an Irish Unionist and ex-Royal Marine Commando who saw action in the Cyprus campaign. Rather than four mercenaries there are six including a South African and a German. Shannon is not captured and tortured during his initial reconaissance mission and instead of the subplot with the journalist the team find themselves in deadly conflict with a rival French mercenary. The weapons they use are very different and the process of obtaining them far longer and more convoluted. Shannon does not have a reconciliation with his ex-fiancee but instead has an affair with his employers' fashion model daughter. The character of Colonel Bobi is a far less impressive figure and in the end Shannon replaces him with an idealistic former African rebel leader for whom he has previously worked rather than the doctor. At the end of the book Shannon commits suicide as it is revealed that he has been suffering terminal lung cancer throughout the story.

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