Just a few days ago, we passed the 25th anniversary of the Battle of Mogadishu. A oddity of a military action, falling shortly after the Gulf War among a decade of more “humanitarian” actions by the US government, the battle saw nineteens American lives lost and seventy three more wounded. The battle also saw the deaths of untold numbers of Somali nationals, believed to be in the thousands. What was planned to be a short but complicated thirty minutes of mission time, pursuing Somali warlord Mohammad Farad Aidid and his lieutenants, became the entire night and into the next day as the Americans reeled from two downed Blackhawk helicopters. Unprepared for night operations or even having a full canteen of water each, the soldiers waited to be retrieved by UN-tasked Pakistani and Malaysian troops, who weren’t spared their own casualties in their rescue of the Americans.
This is that story, but it really isn’t. This is the story of Blackhawk Down, the 2002 film directed by Ridley Scott. With an all star cast and an amazing series of battle scenes depicting elements in the Battle of Mogadishu, the film was very successful and even screened for US troops serving at the time. It also was timed for release to coincide with the Bush administration’s buildup in anticipation of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. I know from experience, as Blackhawk Down was a part of my reason for joining the Army.
In this episode, Danny, myself, and my pal BT (known online as the Warrior Philosopher – check out his blog here) discuss our views of the film, both as young soldiers and how we see things today, with BT bringing in his time as a Blackhawk crew chief.
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FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen
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Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.Follow FOH on Social Media