24 years ago this month …….
A name that will live in infamy (to use a phrase from the past)….the year is 1994 and the US military was sent into Mogadishu, Somalia on an UN peace keeping mission…..the US decided the way to go about their task was to put away a local warlord, Mohamed Aidid…..taking on this task was mission drift and it went horribly wrong.
The year is 2001 and Hollywood issues a film adaptation to the book “Black Hawk Down”……the movie was a success but then most movies about war are a success…..the actual “war” may not be a success but the movie will be.
During this engagement the US lost 19 soldiers and 73 wounded….but like most of the “war stories” there will be more to the story than the movie will tell……
The 2001 blockbuster war film Black Hawk Down depicted a battle largely forgotten upon the movie’s release. Being released in the wake of 9/11 also gave it an extra dose of significance it might not have held otherwise. The battle occupies a special place in American military history, a legendary status among other post-Cold War military engagements that struggle to gain recognition in the public eye.
The price paid for recognition, however, is that the story becomes a legend that takes on a life of its own. It goes on an unscripted journey, ending up in a place well-removed from where it began. Consequently, the public often appreciates the wrong story or only a part of it. 25 years after the Battle of Mogadishu and 17 years after the film’s release, what the public believes it knows about Black Hawk Down, if not entirely inaccurate, isn’t the whole story.
Dramatic retellings are, of course, entitled to take creative license with a true story. This piece doesn’t contest such alterations. Nor are any of these facts “untold” – they are widely available in various books on the battle. Instead, this piece aims to correct some widely-held assumptions about the battle and reveal some lesser-known facts that have the potential to alter public perception of the Battle of Mogadishu.
This was in our recent history…..keep in mind that NO war is as heroic or as romantic as the movie would have us believe.
Turn The Page!