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Rafael de Nogales Mendez

Rafael Inchauspe Mendez, known as Rafael de Nogales Mendez was a Venezuelan military mercenary and writer.

De Nogales studied in Germany, Belgium and Spain, and spoke various languages fluently. He took part in several conflicts in the last part of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th: in 1898 in the Spanish-American War; in 1902 in the Revolucion Libertadora of Venezuela; in 1904 in the Russo-Japanese War. He returned to Venezuela in 1908, after the military coup of Juan Vicente Gomez that overthrew the dictator Cipriano Castro. Even so, he went back to exile after making himself an enemy of the new president.

World War I

When World War I began, after unsuccessfully attempting to join a number of European armies, he enlisted in the Ottoman Army, where he reached the rank of Bey. He led gendarmerie troops during the siege of Van, but asked to be relieved, out of compassion for the insurgents. He later wrote a book describing his experiences with the Ottoman Army in World War I as well as witnessing the massacres of Armenians in Bitlis, Siirt and Van.

He fought in the Turkish lines during the entire war, and was awarded the Iron Cross by the Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Post War

After the war ended, he worked with the Nicaraguan revolutionary Augusto Cesar Sandino. Additionally, he spent time in Alaska during the time of the gold rush there, and also worked as a cowboy in Arizona.

He wrote several books about his experiences: Memorias del general Rafael de Nogales Mendez, Cuatro anos bajo la Media Luna, about his experiences as an officer of the Ottoman Empire, and El saqueo de Nicaragua. His commentaries about the atrocitites committed against the Armenian people by the Turkish officials are in the book Cuatro anos bajo la Media Luna.


De Nogales, Rafael. Four Years Beneath The Crescent. London: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1926. Most recently republished as: Four Years Under the Crescent(Sterndale Classics) ISBN 1-903656-19-2

De Nogales, Rafael. Memoirs of a soldier of Fortune. New York: Garden City Publishing Company, Inc., 1932. Recently republished in paperback.

External links

Rafael De Nogales Mendez: Caballero andante venezolano, Jose Rosario Araujo.

Memorias de un aventurero venezolano: Rafael de Nogales Mendez, por Violeta Rojo

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