The dark and disturbing history of private militaries

Inside the industry of war

Stars Insider

11/08/22 | StarsInsider

LIFESTYLE War

Hidden in plain sight, working alongside official national militaries or, more often, in place of them, in combat zones, oil fields, prisons, and diamond mines, private military companies, or PMCs, currently operate in some 50 countries around the globe. Today, there are around 150 PMCs in operation, employing hundreds of thousands of mercenaries and soldiers-for-hire. While events of the 21st century have painted the mercenary trade as one of high tech, highly trained greed and immorality, it is in fact one of the world's oldest professions, and at one time one of the most popular.

From ancient times through the Middle Ages, work as a hired sword was lucrative and accessible to young and fit sons of peasants. Once upon a time, countless private armies and mercenaries roamed the globe looking for work, and had no trouble finding it.

Want to know more? Read on to learn about the dark and fascinating world of history's private militaries.

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