Black Hawk Down - Who won?

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
#1
a news story made reference to the events of the above film, about the yank raid into Mogadishu where "American Forces were defeated by local militia".
This got me wondering, did the Americans lose? Granted, they didnt grab their targets and took a bit of a spanking from the locals, but the militias were trying to wipe out the entire american force, but failed to do so and took heavy casualties in the process.

I would say that tactically at least, it was a draw. Strategically, of course it was a loss, as it led to the failure of the US/UN operation in Somalia as a whole.

Your thoughts gents?

And yes, i know i need to get out more...
 
#2
A defeat in the sense that the mission objectives were not wholly achieved.

The failure however was more political than military.
 
#3
I think it was a defeat of US foreign policy and a wobble to how the US military and specifically SOF operate, failed objectives probably more fitting rather than 'defeat'.
 
#4
Dollsteeth said:
I think it was a defeat of US foreign policy and a wobble to how the US military and specifically SOF operate, failed objectives probably more fitting rather than 'defeat'.
Agreed.. and they did manage to send an enormous amount of Skinnies off to paradise though so it wasn't all bad! :D
 
#5
Don't over-analyse. A few good guys surrounded by thousands of armed, angry Fuzzy-Wuzzies. Not a great day out for the Redcoats.

Oh, wait, you mean Mogadishu in 1993.... :oops:
 
#6
But is it any bleedin' wonder the US got a bloody nose.

They were using the same operational template that had used something like 6 times already in Mogadishu so its no wonder the other lot were ready, eventually. Then to compound matters, after having lost one helicopter they send in another stooging around at low level.

Its some time since I have read the book but IIRC the Americans lost more than two helicopters on the day although I think only 2 failed to make it back to the airport. They had been denied Spooky, which might have really added to the bloodbath, they had a convoluted comms system that routes through the Pentagon and had proven to be a failure time and time again before but they persist with.

At the end of the day the US forces were denied freedom of operation on the ground and had to be extracted using armour from another nation that they hadn't bothered to inform previously about the snatch. I give it to the Somalis.
 
#7
In one book I've read, an account from some of the U.N. staff, one of the friendly locals says that the militia had taken such a severe beating in the battle and were so low on ammunition that the U.N. could have rolled into Bakara market practically unopposed. Although I'm not sure how true it was.
 
#8
a "draw" that led to the withdrawal of the US taskforce?
Tac/Op level: nil -nil
Strat level: 1 to skinnies
Longterm historical overview : Whole of Somalia, (less ex brit bit to the north) has been on a loser since 91
 
#9
Your all wrong, there was only one winner ,Ridley Scott to the tune of about $175million
 
#10
The Americans failed to achieve their objectives and because of the backlash of that they had to end their campaign entirely.
They weren't defeated, because the enemy didn't actually do any of that. The Americans defeated themselves, both in Washington; the Pentagon and in Gen. Garisson's staff.

I think the American's were over confident, bordering on arrogance during that time. A bit like the Brits in the 19th century fin de ciecle era...
They were out to get some fuzziewuzzies and no-one was going to stop them. Nor did they have to inform the UN forces in country.

Still, those Rangers put up one hell of a fight given the odds. The Battle of Mogadishu will go down in history as a late 20th century Rorke's Drift.

Edited 'cause I'm butterfingered and should read what I wrote before hitting 'submit'
 
#11
tropper66 said:
Your all wrong, there was only one winner ,Ridley Scott to the tune of about $175million
Nice one tropper!
 
#12
BaronBoy said:
At the end of the day the US forces were denied freedom of operation on the ground and had to be extracted using armour from another nation that they hadn't bothered to inform previously about the snatch. I give it to the Somalis.
The Pakistanis, as they had the only APCs ready to go. I met one of their officers who was on the rescue mission and he was rather scathing about the Rangers' conduct during their tour but complementary about the other US Army unit (10th Mountain?) who were operating under UN command.
 
#13
C'mon... I can't believe that with his track record Orlando Bloom could have let the side down so badly......

Middle Earth needed him to overthrow the Red-Eyed One, and where would Deppy be without old Will Turner eh ????

Must have been because they had that pratt from NZ leading the S.Ops guys !!! :twisted:
 
#15
Dollsteeth said:
I think it was a defeat of US foreign policy and a wobble to how the US military and specifically SOF operate, failed objectives probably more fitting rather than 'defeat'.
A bit like "operation Eagle Claw" in Iran! :-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Eagle_Claw

I think our transatlantic cousins could learn a lot from our boy's!
 
#16
I would suggest that the Americans have learned a hell of a lot in the late 20th to early 21st century. Perhaps it is we that should be a little careful when throwing around the arrogance card.

In terms of the mission, and from what I have read, it would be fair to say that there was a lot of political pressure placed on the forces and staff actually on the ground. Indeed, I believe that it is referenced in the film concerning the requests from Washington for the daily SITREPs. Does that sound familiar to anyone serving in Iraq 2004 - 2009?

History is littered with lessons of Political (or perhaps popular) will vs military necessity.
 
#17
ex_colonial said:
Dollsteeth said:
I think it was a defeat of US foreign policy and a wobble to how the US military and specifically SOF operate, failed objectives probably more fitting rather than 'defeat'.
A bit like "operation Eagle Claw" in Iran! :-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Eagle_Claw

I think our transatlantic cousins could learn a lot from our boy's!




Really?

I grant you that Eagles Claw and the Somalia job wasn't the US's finest hour but what the hell could they learn from our boys?
We bottled Basra much the same way the Yanks bottled Somalia and I have no doubt we will take a back seat in Afghan soon enough. So I very much doubt theres anything they could learn from us anymore.

Interestingly enough, it was the Eagles Claw operation that led to the creation of the US Army's "Delta force" and SOAR. So they arguably learnt from that particular lesson anyway. I would even suggest that us Brits try to drop the attitude and try and learn something for ourselves.
 
#18
Prime example of "No plan survives first contact with the enemy". I think "whooah" won, because after the film everyone was doing it, oh and using the callsigns.
 
#19
To be fair to The Cousins the UN screwed this one up in the first place by mistaking a bunch of guys in suits who controlled one street in the capital for a government.

The Somalians lost big time in the long term. Did help give the likes of Bin Laden the idea that DC was a pussy.
 
#20
Private_Pepper said:
ex_colonial said:
Dollsteeth said:
I think it was a defeat of US foreign policy and a wobble to how the US military and specifically SOF operate, failed objectives probably more fitting rather than 'defeat'.
A bit like "operation Eagle Claw" in Iran! :-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Eagle_Claw

I think our transatlantic cousins could learn a lot from our boy's!




Really?

I grant you that Eagles Claw and the Somalia job wasn't the US's finest hour but what the hell could they learn from our boys?
We bottled Basra much the same way the Yanks bottled Somalia and I have no doubt we will take a back seat in Afghan soon enough. So I very much doubt theres anything they could learn from us anymore.

Interestingly enough, it was the Eagles Claw operation that led to the creation of the US Army's "Delta force" and SOAR. So they arguably learnt from that particular lesson anyway. I would even suggest that us Brits try to drop the attitude and try and learn something for ourselves.
Before all of the wham bam action mentioned above, the Americans in the guise of Ross Perot and retired military Col Bull Simons, ghosted into Iran and retrieved two American EDS employees jailed by the Iranians. That was in 1979.

The story was written up by Ken Follett (I know!) as ' On Wings of Eagles' Speaks volumes of the head of a company, Perot who took responsibility
for the mission and lead from the front.

Sorry to digress from the main theme....................
 

Similar threads

New Posts

Latest Threads

Top