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Bowden Captures the Horror of Modern Urban Warfare
on April 16, 1999
So you've never been in combat. Come to Mogadishu. Maybe you're the rear detachment company clerk who was called forward due to an injury. Join the D-Boys and Rangers on a quick raid gone wrong. Fast-rope into a crowded African city on a Sunday afternoon and smell, taste, hear, and touch the reality of true combat. Test your soul; what would you do if you were surrounded by thousands of deadly Somalis only miles from safety in the heart of their territory and there is a BLACK HAWK DOWN? Mark Bowden has taken his award winning series of newspaper articles written for the Philadelphia Inquirer and turned them into a must-read classic for all military professionals. He definitely took a modest assignment and overachieved; we are the beneficiaries. His detailed account of the Battle of the Black Sea (Mogadishu: 3-4 October 1993) is destined to occupy the bookshelves of every military professional or would-be warrior. Devour and enjoy Black Hawk Down. This book is not about your Grandfather or Father's war. This is about modern war involving many soldiers still on active duty. It's not about destroying tanks from 3,000 meters away. It's about close combat when the rules of engagement cease to have relevance and survival requires immediate instinctive response. This book is a crystal ball on future urban warfare and a cautionary note for contentious peacekeeping operations. The devil is in the details and you will not want for details. The gore, frustrations, disagreements, mistrusts, illusions, misconceptions, ramifications, difficulties, cowardice, and heroics are displayed for all to see. Sure there is some hype and inaccuracy, but no interesting microscopic analysis can exist without such blemishes. Seldom has such a discreet tactical operation had such far-reaching strategic consequences. U.S forces in Bosnia can attribute restrictive force protection measures to this battle's legacy. Future strategic, operational, and tactical leaders who do not assimilate the lessons of Mogadishu are in danger of repeating this tragic history. I strongly recommend this book. Learn what Delta Sergeants Randy Shughart and Gary Gordon did to earn the only Medals of Honor awarded for actions during the past quarter-century. Set aside a Sunday afternoon or a long night for continuous consumption. You will not want to put this book down once you start reading it.