Black Hawk Down

November 27, 2011

Black Hawk Down
By Mark Bowden
Reviewed by C. Snapp
Rated 5 out of 5 Stars

“They heard the awful slap of bullets into flesh and heard the screams and saw the insides of men’s bodies spill out and watched the gray blank pallor rise in the faces of their friends, and the best of the men fought back despair” – Mark Bowden Black Hawk Down

Black Hawk Down is a historical nonfiction story about the U.S. Army Rangers. It set in Somalia in 1993. It is a horrific story in the fact that this is a true story, and that these are real people. The plot is about a group of U.S. Army Rangers who have to go into Mogadishu, Somalia and capture a high ranking person amongst the warlords. There are many characters in this story, and the book kind of reflects into the personal lives of the characters. It sounds like a simple mission, right? The Rangers are advised that the mission should not take more than an hour to complete (missions were strategically planned because most of the Somali men (The main fighting force) are usually coming off of a high caused by a methamphetamine known as “Khat”, and they will be basically out of commission) and that it is going to be done in the middle of the day. The Rangers want to travel with as much ammunition as they can, so they leave out a lot of their gear, including night vision goggles, which will be fatal for some. Also, Somalia is plagued with poverty, warlords, fighting, famine, hunger, and death. The Rangers feel sorry for the Somali children because of all of the horror that surrounds them, but they feel contempt for the adults. Two men, snipers who fly into battle to try and rescue some of the Rangers, are killed by the Savage Somali hoard. They will be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest honor given by the US Armed Forces. Sadly, the heroes were not alive to receive the award. This is a 100% true story.

I give Black Hawk Down 5 out of 5 stars because it is a great story, very well written, and it really displayed the violence, destruction, and horror of war. I would recommend this book for any U.S. history enthusiast, and any historical fiction and nonfiction reader.

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