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

    Round 2

    Bob Fay,nc 11/20/97 8:49:15 PM
    Say what squadron was delta steve assigned too or still assigend, as well as the $$ amount each source was paid for the story!!!! Looking forward to the email . thanks
    Mark Bowden 11/21/97 4:06:23 PM
    No one was paid for information in writing this story. The Delta soldier has asked not to be further identified. MB

    Delta John Ft Bragg, NC 11/20/97 11:14:12 PM
    Does Delta Steave ever mention the part about how he and his guys came out onto the roof of the target (Hotel) to look over the roof and come under fire by the ranger blocking force on the street corner who saw them up there? Does Delta Stea
    Mark Bowden 11/21/97 4:06:23 PM
    Keep reading ... and check out the introductory article that ran with Chapter One. MB

    Delta John Ft Bragg, NC 11/20/97 11:17:40 PM
    Does Delta Steave ever express his opinion on his faith in the rangers ability to operate in and around his people effectively?
    Mark Bowden 11/21/97 4:06:23 PM
    Keep reading. MB

    Delta John Ft Bragg, NC 11/20/97 11:19:44 PM
    Is the true reason why the second squadron of Delta sent into Mogadishu? what role they picked up?
    Mark Bowden 11/21/97 4:06:23 PM
    More of this will follow in the series, but, in short, Squadron C was sent to Mogadishu to capture Mohamed Farah Aidid and/or enough leading members of his clan to remove them from the political equation. UN administrator Jonathan Howe, a retired US admiral, believed that removing Aidid or his top aides would be a shortcut to setting up a Somali democracy. MB

    After Charlie Bragg 11/20/97 11:23:42 PM
    In your weapons glossary you mention that the minigun is "capable of firing 6,000 rounds of 7.62..." I think you might want to mention that that is 6,000 round per minute!!!
    Mark Bowden 11/21/97 4:06:23 PM
    Thanks. The words got dropped somehow in the trip from the newspaper to on-line. MB

    Before echo Bragg 11/20/97 11:26:39 PM
    Mark, check your's "chopper" or "helo"-but never call it a "copter"!! Get with it; the story is teeming with authenticity--don't blow it now! Thanks.
    Mark Bowden 11/21/97 4:06:23 PM
    I'll watch it. Thanks. MB

    Peter Wright Plano, TX 11/21/97 12:20:58 AM
    Very good article.
    Mark Bowden 11/21/97 4:06:23 PM
    Thanks for your comment.

    prn Reno, NV 11/21/97 4:12:14 AM
    Usually something this good with Special Ops as the focus comes from Clancy or Marchinko and is highly fictional but with real hardware and tactics. Nelson's reactionary shooting, etc.... I have it from a good source that the Squadrons a
    Mark Bowden 11/21/97 4:06:23 PM
    The last part of your message was cut off. Thanks for what was there. MB

    John Rafes Phila. PA 11/21/97 8:25:08 AM
    Great Stuff! How about more on "What went Wrong"? Why didn't they anticipate the level of resistence?
    Mark Bowden 11/21/97 4:06:23 PM
    At the end of the series there will be stories that examine that question in more detail. It is also addressed at length in the documentary film based on the series which will air Tuesday, Dec. 2, at 9 PM on Channel 12, WHYY. MB

    Don Carlson Bloomington, Illinois 11/21/97 10:38:04 AM
    What are your thoughts about the small town, mid America roots of many of these brave soldiers? Ironically I was born in Ft. Dodge, IA and work in Clinton, Il (home of two soldiers in the battle),combined pop. less than lower merion.
    Mark Bowden 11/21/97 4:06:23 PM
    I think the military tradtion still runs stronger in middle America than in its urban centers, and probably always has. I grew up in Glen Ellyn, Ill, where Memorial Day, Veteran Day, the 4th, etc. were major events. MB

    jack green copperas cove texas 11/21/97 10:48:17 AM
    Mark - Kudos on your series, it's magnificent! Question: Is there a composite of the videos available? Where can I acquire a copy of the videos? I want as much as can be made available. Again, Well done! jlg
    Mark Bowden 11/21/97 4:06:23 PM
    The video material is drawn primarily from our documentary film, "Good Intentions, Deadly Results," which will air in Philly on Dec. 2nd. I have no national air date yet. The helpful folks here at on-line are talking about making this whole webpiece available on CD-rom. Thanks MB

    garry norsworthy philly suburb,pa. 11/21/97 11:16:26 AM
    Mark Bowden 11/21/97 4:06:23 PM
    Thanks for your comment.

    Joe Byrnes Morristown, NJ 11/21/97 11:30:56 AM
    Hi, this is Joe - thanks for the phone conversation. E-mail address is or Joe
    Mark Bowden 11/21/97 4:06:23 PM
    Thanks, Joe.

    DTD Newburgh, NY 11/21/97 11:45:00 AM
    Nice job Mark, One thing Telscher was a Sgt. E-5. Also please tell AKA Cop to stop his crying.I can tell you that E-6 J. Burns is in Atlanta, I will try to locate his #. I have to see the docu. Dec 2. I will contact you via land line. Take c
    Mark Bowden 11/21/97 4:06:23 PM

    Lance Gray Frisco, Texas 11/21/97 12:33:42 PM
    It's hard to read this detailed story which involved my brother-in-law Casey Joyce who was a Ranger killed in Somalia. The trauma of this event changed our family forever. In the despair over Casey's death I found comfor
    Mark Bowden 11/21/97 4:06:23 PM
    I'm sure you know better than I do how deeply respected and fondly remembered Casey Joyce is among the Rangers in Somalia. I hope this account makes more people aware of his heroism and tragic sacrifice. Thanks for your note. MB

    Officer Phila, PA 11/21/97 12:36:30 PM
    Wednesdays story mentions a soldier "finishing off" a moving wounded Somali. This is a crime unless the Somali was reaching for a weapon. Did the Army investigate?
    Mark Bowden 11/21/97 4:06:23 PM
    To my knowledge, none of the men involved in the Battle of Mogadishu were accused of or investigated for war crimes. MB

    Schroeder Glenside, Pa 11/21/97 1:09:44 PM
    Above continued: Mark please excuse this Officer from Philly. As an Infantry Officer I am ashamed of him. What good would come in investigating the Ranger who "Finished Off" the wounded enemy.
    Mark Bowden 11/21/97 4:06:23 PM

    Lt Schroeder Glenside, Pa 11/21/97 1:18:56 PM
    Mark, who planned this raid, was it the Batallion Commander and his staff or was it planned by someone else. With all the brass in the area was micromgt. a problem?
    Mark Bowden 11/21/97 4:06:23 PM
    The mission was planned from the ground up, that is, the Ranger, Delta and SOAR commanders together worked up templates for various kinds of missions -- taking down a house, vehicle, etc. Specific planning for each individual mission was done hastily before launch, based on recon photos of the target and intelligence. As I understand it, the brass pretty much just signed off on the final plan. MB

    James R. Keller Taylorsville, UT 11/21/97 2:15:50 PM
    What you are doing is great. I was there that night of 3 October 1993 with 2-14 Infantry Battalion. Being in the lead vehicle that went in the second time to rescue Task Force Ranger. It is about time someone told the story. the problem i
    Mark Bowden 11/21/97 4:06:23 PM
    Thanks, James. We lost the last lines of your message. MB

    dave karasic quincy, ma 11/21/97 3:23:30 PM
    This is some of the most exciting, powerful journalism I've ever read. Bravo, and keep up the good work.
    Mark Bowden 11/20/97 5:00:57 PM
    Thanks. MB

    Drew Bowden Arnold, MD 11/21/97 4:18:27 PM
    Why, after Super 61 was shot down by an RPG, did they send Super 64 to fly over the same area, exposed to the same risk?
    Mark Bowden 11/20/97 5:00:57 PM
    The helicopters were keeping the growing mobs of Somalis off the assault forces. Even with their firepower on the ground, the choppers were essential to keep from being overrun. When I was in Somalia, the Habr Gidr fighters all said that if it weren't for the helicopters, they would have killed all the Americans. The Rangers readily agree. MB

    Robert Redding Erie, Colorado 11/21/97 4:21:42 PM
    What about Shugart and Gordon? Did your Delta contacts talk about their involvement in the operation
    Mark Bowden 11/20/97 5:00:57 PM
    See Chapter 8. MB

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