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The Battle of Mogadishu: Firsthand Accounts from the Men of Task Force Ranger Mass Market Paperback – July 25, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“This collection provides enthralling reading about a sad chapter in American military history.”
--Richmond Times-Dispatch


From the Trade Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

"No matter how skilled the writer of nonfiction, you are always getting the story secondhand. Here's a chance to go right to the source. . . . These men were there."
-MARK BOWDEN (from the Foreword)
It started as a mission to capture a Somali warlord. It turned into a disastrous urban firefight and death-defying rescue operation that shocked the world and rattled a great nation. Now the 1993 battle for Mogadishu, Somalia-the incident that was the basis of the book and film "Black Hawk Down-is remembered by the men who fought and survived it. Six of the best in our military recall their brutal experiences and brave contributions in these never-before-published, firstperson accounts.
"Operation Gothic Serpent," by Matt Eversmann: As a "chalk" leader, Eversmann was part of the first group of Rangers to "fast rope" from the Black Hawk helicopters. It was his chalk that suffered the first casualty of the battle.
"Sua Sponte: Of Their Own Accord," by Raleigh Cash: Responsible for controlling and directing fire support for the platoon, Cash entered the raging battle in the ground convoy sent to rescue his besieged brothers in arms.
"Through My Eyes," by Mike Kurth: One of only two African Americans in the battle, Kurth confronted his buddies' deaths, realizing that "the only people whom I had let get anywhere near me since I was a child were gone."
"What Was Left Behind," by John Belman: He roped into the biggest firefight of the battle and considers some of the mistakes that were made, such as using Black Hawk helicopters to provide sniper cover.
"Be Careful What You Wish For," by Tim Wilkinson: He was one of the Air Force pararescuemen or PJs-the highly trainedspecialists for whom "That Others May Live" is no catchphrase but a credo-and sums up his incomprehensible courage as "just holding up my end of the deal on a bad day."
"On Friendship and Firefights," by Dan Schilling: As a combat controller, he was one of the original planners for the deployment of SOF forces to Mogadishu in the spring of 1993. During the battle, he survived the initial assault and carnage of the vehicle convoys only to return to the city to rescue his two closest friends, becoming, literally, "Last Out."
With America's withdrawal from Somalia an oft-cited incitement to Osama bin Laden, it is imperative to revisit this seminal military mission and learn its lessons from the men who were there and, amazingly, are still here.

"From the Hardcover edition. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Presidio Press (July 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345466683
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345466686
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,784,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kevin M Quigg VINE VOICE on March 31, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a nice addition to the Black Hawk Down book and movie. Basically it is the story of six soldiers who were part of the battle in 1993. Yes, this book is not Black Hawk Down, but it does provide additional insight into this battle. I thought the six authors did well in providing their own picture of the battle. All six had different perspectives on what happened and this is shown through their stories.

If you have one book to read about this battle, it would be Black Hawk Down. However, this is a nice addition for those interested in knowing further info on this infamous battle.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a great book if you would like to get details of what its like to be in a battle. Yes some of the stories seem rushed or "not complete" but one must remember how much goes on during an actual fire fight, and how much information a person has to process. It is impossible for one man to remember every little detail that these guys want. The book did do a good job as to offer some different views and perspectives of the battle so that you can get a feeling for the battle as a whole. I recommend this to anyone who wants to know more about the conflict in Somalia, or even just what its like to be a ranger when you put your training to use.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After reading Black Hawk Down, this book helped me to really put all the events into perspective. While Mark Bowden gave the reader the bigger picture, this book goes into details Bowden was unable to expand upon. I really enjoyed the personal tone and feeling you experience from each individual. You get to know a little part of the writer as they tell their own experince during this campaign.

Another reviewer bagged on Eversmann's lack of intensity, and something along the lines of poor writing skills, stating he should have let someone else tell his story. So he used some cliche phrases to put his story together. Would you rather him critize the men flying him to and sometimes from missions? And if he really believes that guy is solid or " A real stand up guy", why can't he say that? If that's what he thought of the person, he is just being honest. To me, the entire point of this book is (underlined and bold font!) THEIR PERSONAL account. This was not suppose to be their story in someone elses words. I loved Mark Bowden's Black Hawk Down, don't get me wrong. But his book was about the mission from what he gathered, in his style of writing. He IS a writer. The beauty of The Battle of Mogadishu is that these men are not writers by trade. They were military personnel sent to Somalia to complete a task. They didn't go there to get a book deal, they went serving their country. This book is about the MEN of Task Force Ranger. Each of them experienced something different, and you get a real feel for that through their OWN words. These men wanted to tell us their own story and I believe that was accomplished. If they wanted someone else to tell their stories, they would have stoped at Black Hawk Down.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is made of many firsthand accounts of soldiers who were there. It is good supplementry reading to Mark Bowden's Black Hawk Down.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is probably more important than Blackhawk Down in understanding the actions during the Battle for Mogadishu. Eversmann and Schilling brought together the first-hand accounts that before now had gone around the military in fourth- and fifth-hand drinking tales, stories told with awe and respect, as well as a certain degree of humor - Wilkinson's explanation for the reason he wasn't shot crossing the street is a perfect example. An absolutely vital read for anyone interested in the battle or in the true battlefield demands of special ops heroes.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had the honor of meeting Matt Eversmann at a conference. He is inspiring and humbling. He is better spoken than most and one solid man. He is a guy you want to know and it kills me to know what he endured for our country. War is wrong. It is something that just shouldn't happen if we were lucky. We in this country are extraordinarily lucky to have men and women like Matt who are willing to step into the unknown moment. They can prepare for battle, but I don't think that moment is really one that anyone can fully anticipate accurately. Thanks to Matt and the hundreds and thousands like him who go where no one should ever go.
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Format: Hardcover
Wow, a terrific read! Short, to the point and by the soldiers who were there. A great compliment to Mark Bowden's book. With 35 years of military experience, I often get bored with stories written by the higher ranking officers, who often weren't in the front lines of the battle they write of, and seem to want to praise themselves. You won't see that in this book. Straight from the enlisted and self-critical of their own actions. Hats off to Matt and Dan and all the rest!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was just just a kid during The Vietnam War. My oldest brother fought over there. We were NOT allowed to watch the News. When The Battle of Mogadishu happened. I was old enough to watch and follow as much of the news coverage as possible. I was totally shocked and horrified to see what our soldiers had to go through in that small amount of time. (FOREVER TO THEM) It gave me a whole new respect for my family members who served The U.S.A.
Now we are right smack at the beginning of WWIII and to think how many more Mogadishu like battles are going to fought tears my heart out. These men in this book and stories like this, of the bravery, sacrifice and love for one another will stand as a testament to ALL The World. That we AMERICANS will not go down kicking and screaming.
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