“Amazing . . . One of the most intense, visceral reading experiences imaginable. . . . The individual stories are woven together in such a compelling and expert fashion, the narrative flows so seamlessly, that it’s hard to imagine that this is not fiction.” Michael Maren, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Black Hawk Down
A Story of Modern War
978-0-8021-4473-7 • $16.00 • Paperback • Apr. 2010
elite American soldiers are trapped in the middle of a hostile city.
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 firefight American soldiers have fought since
the Vietnam War.
in the afternoon of Sunday, October 3, 1993, the soldiers of Task Force 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.
they were pinned down through a long and terrible night in a hostile city,
locked in a desperate struggle to kill or be killed. When the unit was finally
rescued the following morning, eighteen American soldiers were dead and dozens
more badly injured. The Somali toll was far worse: more than five hundred
killed and over a thousand wounded.
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. A Black Hawk
pilot is shot down and besieged by an angry mob, then saved by Somalis who plan
to ransom him to the local warlord. A medic desperately tries to keep his
grievously wounded friend alive long enough to be evacuated—only to have him
bleed to death in his arms. The company clerk, who is the butt of jokes in the
barracks, rises to the task and per-forms extraordinary feats of valor.
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.