Ninety-nine elite American soldiers are trapped in the middle of a hostile city. As night falls, they are surrounded by thousands of enemy gunmen. Their wounded are bleeding to death. Their ammunition and supplies are dwindling. This is the story of how they got there - and how they fought their way out. This is the story of war.
Black Hawk Down drops you into a crowded marketplace in the heart of Mogadishu, Somalia with the U.S. Special Forces and puts you in the middle of the most intense firelight American soldiers have fought since the Vietnam war.
Late in the afternoon of Sunday, October 3, 1993, the soldiers of Task Form Ranger were sent on a mission to capture two top lieutenants of a renegade warlord and return to base. It was supposed to take them about an hour. Instead, they were pinned down through a long and terrible night, locked in a desperate struggle to kill or be killed.
When the unit was finally rescued the following morning, 18 American soldiers were dead and dozens more badly injured. The Somali toll was far worse; more than five hundred felled and over a thousand wounded. Award-winning literary journalist Mark Bowden's dramatic narrative captures this harrowing ordeal through the eyes of the young men who fought that day. He draws on his extensive interviews of participants from both sides - as well as classified combat video and radio transcripts - to bring their stories to life.
Authoritative, gripping, and insightful, Black Hawk Down is a riveting look at the terror and exhilaration of combat destined to become a classic of war reporting.
©1999 Mark Bowden (P)2012 Simon and Schuster
"Black Hawk Down ranks as one of the best books ever written about infantry combat." (The New York Observer)
Bookworm, historian, and writer.
Black Hawk Down is one of the great combat narratives of modern times and a tribute to the courage of the men who fought and died in Somalia. Alan Sklar does the book justice with his precise narration. One of my all time favorite books.
Emergency physician and fantasy nerd in Chicago.
Absolutely, You can't put it down.
There aren't really characters, they are real people who were interviewed.
The Delta people are the most interesting.
When the cooks, secretaries, mechanics, etc loaded up and headed into Mogadishu. Good reminder of how everyone in the military is ultimately a soldier.
I listen to and have recently started to write reviews. I've found the reviews have helped me to select books.
The mission, Task Force Ranger, occurred in Mogadishu, Somalia. The mission was to take an hour. The afternoon sun was shining. Therefore, equipment such as night time goggles, canteens filled with water, extra ammunition, etc., were not taken. The quick capture of two high ranking lieutenants from a renegade warlord went from one hour, to the most intense battle since the Vietnam war. The year was 1993. There were 99 men who survived, 18 were dead and dozens injured. The survivors were pinned down over night in a ferocious fight for their lives.
Their mission was successful until a black hawk was downed and the soldiers from the Army, Marine Corps and the US Special Forces had to go back to find the Black Hawk and the men who were on the helicopter.
Three soldier's, while fighting in Vietnam, were taken by the North Vietnamese as prisoner's of war. Two of the men were killed and dragged through the streets of North Vietnam, showing the American's just how hated they were. The incident was televised over and over. The third American was rescued by the Special Forces and brought home to the US. He had been severely beaten by his captors. This is when the American military assured themselves and their fellow American's, they would never again leave one of their comrades behind.
The author, Mark Bowden, was a literary journalist. He has written, in my opinion, one of the best books about any real-time action that the US has been involved in. I have read many true accounts concerning the US and war. He extensively interviewed the participants from both sides. The combat had been videoed and Bowden was supplied with this classified information as well as the radio transcripts.
The mission, a supposed snatch and grab operation, turned into a war. The US had gone into Somalia many times and completed their missions quickly. However, this time the Somalian people of Mogadishu took up arms and fought back in a way such as never before.
The character's were indeed well developed. The cadence of the narrator read like a song. The book was definitely an edge of the seat listen. The book was a two day listen for me. The book, Black Hawk Down, was exceptionally good from start to finish. Don't hesitate buying the book. I know that you will not be disappointed. I hope that you experience the quality of the book as much as I did. I've never seen the movie but I think I'm satisfied having listened to the book.
The way the author was able to tell both sides of the story
The honesty of the story. All the heroic things plus the mistakes of war
Some of the accents were ridiculous
I was only "satisfied" with the performance by the reader.
Mr Sklar did a reasonably good job but it was difficult differentiating some of the characters
Leave no man behind
Haven't read the print version but don't see how it could be better.
Feeling "with" the soldiers as they were under attack.
A masculine, military-like voice.
Yes, anger at politics in war. Disconnect between those on the ground and those in D.C.
One can mention prostitution without naming each particular sex act and position, and one can write a book on war without using a MULTITUDE of F----k's and blasphemies.
Very informative regarding this war. I felt sorry for both U.S. and Somalia.
Errors made by U.S.
Bowden is a phenomenal writer. He accomplished his vision of capturing a first hand account of this gruesome war, giving it a memoir feel with a journalistic approach. His dedication and desire to tell find and report the truth is inspiring. Lately I've been obsessed with reading books about modern warfare. Black Hawk Down set a high caliber for the other ones I plan to read. I am actually going to rifle through some of Bowden's other works because I enjoyed this one so much.
Bowden gave a thorough and harrowing account of the details that led up to the Battle of the Black Sea. He did a great job of explaining the string of events that led up to the fighting, described with riveting detail the horrors the Rangers and Delta force endured, and ended with great summation of the fallout of the battle. I was not much of a person for politics or war, but I find myself very curious about international relations and diplomacy these days (with all the threats of ISIS that keep popping up).
To all of our soldiers that have served, still serve, and hope to serve, God bless you. War is not a pretty alternative and I cannot believe there are brave souls out there who put their lives on the line for strangers in America to protect and defend us from terrorist agencies.
as a fellow war veteran of Iraq I feel the pain of these men and the story was told with honor as they deserve some parts are hard to explain but mark bowden did a great job of telling their stories I was surprised to hear that he had no experience with the military after this it makes it that much better a story
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