Bright Review banner


History


A selection of articles by CHRISTOPHER OTHEN, author of 'KATANGA 1960-63: MERCENARIES, SPIES AND THE AFRICAN NATION THAT WAGED WAR ON THE WORLD' and 'FRANCO'S INTERNATIONAL BRIGADES: ADVENTURERS, FASCISTS, AND CHRISTIAN CRUSADERS IN THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR' (amazon.co.uk or amazon.com), about the past and the lessons we learn from those who died before we were born. From the bloody birth of Modern Mongolia to bad seeds in the British aristocracy. People don't change much.



BOOKS - 1 x Article NEW


Check Out My New Blog

News, Updates, and All Kinds of Cultural and Military Weirdness

Anyone who fancies a break from the turmoil of everything can cleanse their minds by reading about all kinds of cultural and military weirdness on my new blog. Expect to find short bursts of real-life insanity, updated regularly. I hope.

christopherothen.wordpress.com/

You'll find posts about Englishmen in the Spanish Foreign Legion, Pete Townshend of The Who shilling for the US Air Force during the Vietnam War, the woman who designed Ernest Hemingway's book covers, and Woody Allen fighting a kangaroo. And Filipino vampires. Hope you enjoy and remember to click the follow button at the bottom of the page.


BOOKS - 1 x Article NEW


Katanga Book - September 2015

Mercenaries, Spies and the African Nation that Waged War on the World

Here's some more shameless publicity. KATANGA 1960-63: MERCENARIES, SPIES AND THE AFRICAN NATION THAT WAGED WAR ON THE WORLD will be published 7 September 2015. It's available from amazon.co.uk and bookshops nationwide. There's also an ebook version for those who prefer pixels to ink ... .


HISTORY - 1 x Article NEW


The Last Flight of the Albertina

Mercenaries, Conspiracies, and the Death of Dag Hammarskjöld, 18 September 1961

The Congo, 1961. The renegade province of Katanga has declared independence from the rest of the country. Violence erupts. United Nations peacekeepers arrive to stop the fighting but find themselves at war after an attempt to disarm the Katangese government's mercenary helpers goes badly wrong. In September UN chief Dag Hammarskjöld flies down to Northern Rhodesia for peace talks. His plane will never arrive. Murder? Accident? Conspiracy? CHRISTOPHER OTHEN, author of 'FRANCO'S INTERNATIONAL BRIGADES: ADVENTURERS, FASCISTS, AND CHRISTIAN CRUSADERS IN THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR' (amazon.co.uk or amazon.com), examines the facts in a chapter from his forthcoming book about the Katangese secession.


HISTORY - 1 x Article


In Search of Dominique Borella

A Man on the Militant Edge of French Anti-Communism 1932-1975

Indochina, Algeria, France, the Congo, Yemen, Vietnam, Cambodia, Lebanon. French mercenary Dominique Borella fought for rightist causes around the world. He left behind dead bodies and closed mouths. CHRISTOPHER OTHEN, author of 'FRANCO'S INTERNATIONAL BRIGADES: ADVENTURERS, FASCISTS, AND CHRISTIAN CRUSADERS IN THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR' (amazon.co.uk or amazon.com), wipes away the blood to uncover the life of a man who thought he could change the world one bullet at a time.


HISTORY - 1 x Article


The Assassination of Stepan Bandera

When Ukrainian Nationalism, Soviet Revenge, and the Ghost of Nazi Collaboration Met in Munich, 1959

Stepan Bandera is a hero to many Ukrainians. Protesters in Kiev love him. But Moscow claims he was a Nazi collaborator and Polish politicians erect memories to their countrymen killed by his militia. In September 1959 someone murdered him in a Munich apartment block. CHRISTOPHER OTHEN, author of 'FRANCO'S INTERNATIONAL BRIGADES: ADVENTURERS, FASCISTS, AND CHRISTIAN CRUSADERS IN THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR' finds out who did it.


BOOK - 1 x Article


Katanga Wants You

Do You Have Information on the Congo 1960-63?

I am writing a book on the Katanga secession in July 1960. Mercenaries, global politics, and the United Nations' first shooting war. Can you help? I am interested in hearing from anyone with first hand experience, previously unseen photographs, or in depth knowledge of the Congo or Katanga at that time. E-mail me at brightreview@aol.com or look up my name on Skype. My profile mentions the Congo. Discretion is guaranteed - CHRISTOPHER OTHEN .


HISTORY - 1 x Article


The Day of the Mkhedrioni

How the Bank Robbing Playwright Jaba Ioseliani and His Gang of Mafia Paramilitaries Made Modern Georgia (1988-1995)

The Soviet Bloc. 1988. The foundations of the communist system are crumbling, nationalist passions are rising, and everyone wants to make money. A good time to start an illegal Georgian nationalist militia with one foot in the Mafia and a taste for leather jackets. Jaba Ioseliani thought so and within four years he was the most powerful man in newly independent Georgia. CHRISTOPHER OTHEN looks at the rise and fall of the Mkhedrioni, the only militia group led by a bank robbing playwright.


BOOKS - 1 x Article


African Memories

John Trevelyn in Post-Colonial East Africa

While researching my book on the Katanga secession I recently came across John Trevelyn's writings about his time in Africa during the sixties. Trevelyn was a market manager in East Africa during the post-colonial period, the years just after Britain had handed back control of its colonies and the new native-led nations were trying to find their feet. He worked in Kenya, Malawi (formerly Nyasaland), and also in ...


CRIME - 1 x Article


A Kidnapping in Poland

History’s Revenge on Bolesław Piasecki, PAX, and the Falanga (1957-58)

Winter in Warsaw. January 1957. A schoolboy on his way home is lured into a taxi. A ransom is demanded. An unusual crime in Communist Poland, made stranger because the boy's father is Bolesław Piasecki, an important man in the establishment. Is it about the money? Or is it something darker, connected to Piasecki's pre-war past when he marched to a different drummer? CHRISTOPHER OTHEN investigates Poland's most notorious unsolved crime.


BOOK - 1 x Article


Mercenaries, Guns, and Witch Doctors

The Congo Independence Wars (1960-67)

I am working on a book about the Congo wars of the 1960s that will cover the Katanga secession in 1960, the Simba rebellion of '64, and Jean Schramme's mercenary revolt in '67. Soldiers of fortune, witch doctors, guns, and Belgian colonialism. Can you help? I am interested in hearing from anyone with first hand experience, previously unseen photographs, or in depth knowledge of the Congo or Katanga at that time. E-mail me at brightreview@aol.com or look me up on Skype. My profile mentions the Congo. Discretion is guaranteed - CHRISTOPHER OTHEN.


HISTORY - 1 x Article


Urga, February 1921

Baron Roman von Ungern-Sternberg, the Bolshevik Revolution, and the Birth of Modern Mongolia

During the Russian Civil War Baron von Ungern-Sternberg earned a reputation in Siberia as a sadistic warlord whose excesses did more harm to his own side than to his Communist enemies. When the anti-Bolshevik forces collapsed in 1920 the Baron took his men over the border to Chinese-controlled Mongolia. CHRISTOPHER OTHEN looks at the Baron's capture of the Mongolian capital Urga, the first – and last –step of a crazed attempt to build a Buddhist Empire stretching from Mongolia to Portugal.


HISTORY - 1 x Article


Black Sheep


One Hundred Years of Bankrupt British Aristocrats, Corrupt Golden Youths, and Frankly Untrustworthy Remittance Men

Murdered Earls, bisexual public school men, and war heroes with dark secrets. The political power of Britain’s upper classes may have declined in recent years but their instinct to lie, cheat, murder and steal is as strong as ever. CHRISTOPHER OTHEN is your guide through a library of wrong doing. Please check your morals at the door.


ADMIN - 1 x Article


Site Timeline


Information on the construction and administration of Bright Review

The page for dates, contact information, and an easy-on-the-eye list of the Bright Review articles.


Katanga 1960-63 Book Cover






General Franco's International Brigades Book Cover








New

Wars

Music

Heists

History

One Man Army

They Live By The Pen

One Man Army

History

Heists

Wars

New

Wars

Music

Heists

History

One Man Army

They Live By The Pen

One Man Army

History

Heists

Wars

New

Wars

Music

Heists

History

One Man Army

They Live By The Pen

One Man Army

History

Heists

Wars

New

Wars

Music

Heists

History

One Man Army

They Live By The Pen

One Man Army

History

Heists

Wars

New

Wars

Music

Heists

History

One Man Army

They Live By The Pen

One Man Army

History

Heists

Wars

New


General Franco's International Brigades Book Cover





All website material © Bright Review 2009-2014. Something to say? E-mail brightreview@aol.com.