Quite the mercenary, but don't say that to his face; he finds the word 'pejorative'. The military bug bit Gilbert Bourgeaud(his real name; 'Bob Denard' is actually an alias) at an early age, as a teenage member of the French resistance in World War II. However, despite his interest, Bob's stint with the French marines was disastrous; he had to lie to be accepted, and after being stationed in French Indochina (now Vietnam), he was discharged after he got particularly drunk and burned down a local restaurant. Thus, he took up the life of a soldier of fortune.

Bob Denard got into all kinds of African conflicts; Morocco, Algeria, Angola, Nigeria, Yemen*, the Belgian Congo (now Democratic Republic of the Congo), and especially the Comoros. This has earned him a mixed reputation: Some see him as a terrorist and a troublemaker, in it for the African gold and diamonds; Others, whose lives he saved or who lived under bizarre regimes he helped to topple, see him as a folk hero.

There may be truth to both statements; he has turned on those he once assisted more than once. For example, In the Comoros, Denard toppled that country's president, Ahmed Abdallah, and replaced him with a more revolutionary president, Ali Soilih in a 1975 coup. By 1978, Soilih had gone quite cukoo, and consulted with witch doctors on a regular basis. One witch doctor told him that he would be killed by a white man with a black dog; In a King Herodesque fit, Soilih promptly had all dogs on the islands, black or otherwise, killed. on May 13th of that year, Bob Denard, accompanied by 46 men and a black dog, invaded the Comoros; Soilih died "in an escape attempt". Ahmed Abdallah became presidednt again, but many claim that Bob Denard, who appointed himself head of the presidential guard, was the true ruler of the islands from 1978 to 1989, when Ahmed Abdallah was assassinated; All signs pointed to Bob Denard, who fled to hide out in South Africa.

For this, France finally hauled Bob Denard in for his crimes; He was given a 5 year suspended sentence. He now lives in his home town of Grayan, in southern France, 'retired', to be near his 7 wives and 8 children. (Although he is only legally married to one - his heart and soul appear to be as two-faced as his mind; he has converted religions no less than 4 times to be with his wives.) He still keeps up with other mercenary friends, and has recently published an autobiography; Apparently, despite allegations of plundering, his pension appears to be quite small, and published the book to supplement it.

*Ok, so Yemen isn't in Africa. Its close enough.

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