Blackhawk Down
Analysis: How a relief mission ended in a firefight
Background: A defining battle leaves lasting scars

  • Today's video
  • Video categorized by speaker
  • Audio
  • Audio interview clips
  • Radio transmission clips
  • Photos
    Somalia: A Nation in Name Only
  • Introduction
  • Guns and fear
  • Daily living
  • The future

  • A Soldier's View
  • Maps
    Full text
  • The mailgram sent to Ranger Spec. Jamie Smith's parents
  • Gen. Garrison's letter about the events of Oct. 3
  • Who's who
  • Where are they now
  • Glossary
    Ask the author
  • Round 1 of Q&A
  • Round 2 of Q&A
  • Round 3 of Q&A
  • Round 4 of Q&A
  • Round 5 of Q&A
  • Round 6 of Q&A
  • Round 7 of Q&A
  • Round 8 of Q&A
  • Round 9 of Q&A
  • Round 10 of Q&A
  • Round 11 of Q&A
  • Round 12 of Q&A
  • Round 13 of Q&A
  • Round 14 of Q&A
  • Round 15 of Q&A
  • Round 16 of Q&A
  • Round 17 of Q&A
  • Round 18 of Q&A
  • Round 19 of Q&A
  • Round 20 of Q&A
  • Final notes on Q&A
  • About the series

    The series

    On Sunday, Nov. 16, The Inquirer began a series that offers a distinctive form of journalism -- the nonfiction serial. Each day for the next month, Blackhawk Down described combat from the ground up. The series explored the consequences of sending soldiers into lethal situations where the nuances of policy are quickly lost in combat. Take a look at the background of the battle.

    These stories were based on interviews with the men who fought in Mogadishu. Specific scenes and dialogue were based on memories of those directly involved, transcripts of military radio transmissions and a review of classified videotape.

    Letters to the editor may be sent via e-mail to

    The author

    Mark Bowden has been on The Philadelphia Inquirer staff for 18 years. He has reported widely in the United States and abroad.

    His reporting has ranged from science and transportation, to mental health and sports, including coverage of the Philadelphia Eagles. He is also the author of two books, Doctor Dealer (Warner, 1987) and Bringing the Heat (Knopf, 1994).

    He has been working on Black Hawk Down, the series on the Battle of Mogadishu, for more than a year.

    The photographer

    Peter Tobia joined The Philadelphia Inquirer in July 1993 as a picture editor and became a staff photographer in September 1996. Prior to working at The Inquirer, he worked as a photographer at the Providence (R.I.) Journal and the New Haven (Conn.) Register.

    A graduate of San Jose State University, Tobia received a journalism degree with a concentration in photojournalism.

    Tobia spent seven days in Mogadishu, photographing life in the war-torn city. His photographs of the destruction and fighting clans are an integral part of the moving Blackhawk Down series.

    The print graphics, design and editing

    The web animations, graphics, maps and print page design were produced by Matthew Ericson and Dave Milne of The Inquirer's art department. The series was edited by Dave Zucchino, and copy editors Nate Hobbs and George Carter.

    The video

    The video clips used as companions to Blackhawk Down were compiled in the making of the "Somalia: Good Intentions, Deadly Results."

    KR Video produced the program. Credits on the documentary belong to executive producer Chris Mills, editor Kris John, and photographers Kris John, Dave Sauls and Andrew Inches.

    The web site

    The web site was created with the help of many Philadelphia Online staffers, including online editor Jennifer Musser, designer Ches Wajda, photo editor John Williams, and programmer Ranjit Bhatnagar.

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