Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War

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One of the events that brought the seriousness of the situation to international awareness was a firefight that led to the deaths of 20 Pakistani UN soldiers. On another occasion, 20 Somalian civilians were killed by a UN soldier who fired into a crowd in an attempt to restore order. Two elite units, the Delta Force and the Army Rangers, combined their strength to form a group that would be known as Task Force Ranger. Their mission was to capture the warlord Aidid who was edging closer and closer to seizing power. The Americans, although they were highly skilled and had more sophisticated weapons faced a number of disadvantages.

They were not only fighting in unfamiliar territory; they were fighting in a very different kind of terrain. Many of the battles took place within the urban sprawl of Mogadishu with its narrow, crowded streets making it difficult to maneuver. The Americans also had little useful intelligence to help them plan their campaign. They arrested a civilian who they had mistakenly thought was Aidid.

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The soldiers turned out to be part of a UN Special Envoy. Many of the local people regarded the US troops with suspicion, so they did not have a strong network of informers to provide them with useful intelligence.

Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War

Aidid, however, had either gained enough loyalty or created enough fear to ensure that few were willing to help the US campaign. On 3 October , the US forces thought that the opportunity to capture Aidid had at last arrived.

They went to a run down building in Mogadishu where they believed that a meeting was taking place and that Aidid would be present. The plan was that Delta Force would enter the building while the Rangers provided cover outside.

Three Veterans Recall the Battle of Mogadishu

Although Delta Force captured 24 prisoners, who were supporters of Aidid, they did not capture their intended target. Then the first of the Black Hawk helicopters was shot down, and this became the defining moment of the battle.

Black Hawk Down

The helicopter was sent into a spin while a second one was damaged but managed to remain flying. The pilot and crew of the damaged helicopter were soon on their way to the site of the crashed helicopter. A convoy of US soldiers was also making their way to the crash through the streets where fighting had broken out. Very soon news came that another helicopter was down. The convoy rescued those they could from the scene of the initial crash before continuing to the site of the second.

Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War |

On hand as of Sep 19 am. Description Already a classic of war reporting and now reissued as a Grove Press paperback, Black Hawk Down is Mark Bowden's brilliant account of the longest sustained firefight involving American troops since the Vietnam War.

On October 3, , about a hundred elite U. Their mission was to abduct two top lieutenants of a Somali warlord and return to base. It was supposed to take an hour. Instead, they found themselves pinned down through a long and terrible night fighting against thousands of heavily armed Somalis.