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Battle of Mogadishu (1993)

Battle of Mogadishu
Part of Operation Gothic Serpent and the Somali Civil War
Black Hawk Down Super64 over Mogadishu coast.jpg
CW3 Michael Durant's helicopter Super Six-Four above Mogadishu on 3 October 1993.
Date 3–4 October 1993
(1 day)
Location Mogadishu, Somalia
Result

Pyrrhic tactical U.S/U.N. victory; Strategic SNA victory

  • U.S. withdraws 25 March 1994
  • U.N. withdraws 28 March 1995
Belligerents

UNOSOM II

Somali National Alliance (SNA)
Al-Qaeda
Commanders and leaders
United States William F. Garrison Somalia Mohamed Farrah Aidid
Strength
Initially: 160 men
12 vehicles (9 Humvees, 3 M939 trucks)
19 aircraft (16 helicopters – 8 Black Hawks and 8 Little Birds)
4,000–6,000 militiamen and civilian fighters
Casualties and losses
U.S.
18 killed, 73 wounded, 1 captured
Malaysia
1 killed, 7 wounded
Pakistan
1 killed, 2 wounded
SNA Militia and civilians
200–315 killed (per ICRC)
300–500 killed (per U.N.)
315 killed (133 militiamen), 812 wounded (per SNA)
350 killed, 500 wounded (per U.S.)
500 killed (per neutral Somalis)
  • Note: Task Force Ranger achieved the mission objectives of capturing specific Aidid lieutenants, but the political fallout from the resultant battle and consequent eventual U.S. withdrawal from Somalia could classify this as a Pyrrhic victory.

Pyrrhic tactical U.S/U.N. victory; Strategic SNA victory

UNOSOM II

The Battle of Mogadishu or Day of the Rangers (Somali: Maalintii Rangers), was part of Operation Gothic Serpent and was fought from 3–4 October 1993, in Mogadishu, Somalia, between forces of the United States--supported by UNOSOM II--and Somali militiamen loyal to the self-proclaimed president-to-be Mohamed Farrah Aidid, who had support from armed civilian fighters. The battle is also referred to as the First Battle of Mogadishu to distinguish it from subsequent battles in that city, such as the Second Battle of Mogadishu of 2006.

The initial U.S. Joint Special Operations force, Task Force Ranger, was a collaboration of various elite special forces units from Army Special Operations Command, Air Force Special Operations Command and Navy Special Warfare Command. Task Force Ranger was dispatched to seize two of Aidid's high-echelon lieutenants during a meeting in the city. The goal of the operation was achieved, though conditions spiraled into the deadly Battle of Mogadishu. The initial operation of 3 October 1993, intended to last an hour, became an overnight standoff and rescue operation extending into daylight hours of 4 October.


Name Age Action Medal
Operators of the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta
MSG Gary Ivan Gordon 33 Killed defending Super Six-Four's crew Medal of Honor, Purple Heart
SFC Randy Shughart 35 Killed defending Super Six-Four's crew Medal of Honor, Purple Heart
SSG Daniel D. Busch 25 Crashed on Super Six-One, mortally wounded defending the downed crew Silver Star, Purple Heart
SFC Earl Robert Fillmore, Jr. 28 Killed moving to the first crash site Silver Star, Purple Heart
MSG Timothy "Griz" Lynn Martin 38 Mortally wounded by an RPG on the Lost Convoy, died while en route to a field hospital in Germany Silver Star, Purple Heart.
Soldiers of the 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
CPL James "Jamie" E. Smith 21 Killed around crash site one Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device and Oak leaf cluster,
Purple Heart
SPC James M. Cavaco 26 Killed on the Lost Convoy Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart
SGT James Casey Joyce 24 Killed on the Lost Convoy Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart
CPL Richard "Alphabet" W. Kowalewski, Jr. 20 Killed on the Lost Convoy by an RPG Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart
SGT Dominick M. Pilla 21 Killed on Struecker's convoy Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart
SGT Lorenzo M. Ruiz 27 Mortally wounded on the Lost Convoy, died en route to a field hospital in Germany Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart
Pilots and Crew of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment
SSG William "Wild Bill" David Cleveland, Jr. 34 Crew chief on Super Six-Four, killed Silver Star,
Bronze Star,
Air Medal with Valor Device, Purple Heart
SSG Thomas "Tommie" J. Field 25 Crew chief on Super Six-Four, killed Silver Star,
Bronze Star,
Air Medal with Valor Device, Purple Heart
CW4 Raymond "Ironman" Alex Frank 45 Super Six-Four's copilot, killed Silver Star,
Air Medal with Valor Device, Purple Heart
CW3 Clifton "Elvis" P. Wolcott 36 Super Six-One's pilot, died in crash Distinguished Flying Cross,
Bronze Star,
Air Medal with Valor Device, Purple Heart
CW3 Donovan "Bull" Lee Briley 33 Super Six-One's copilot, died in crash Distinguished Flying Cross,
Bronze Star,
Air Medal with Valor Device, Purple Heart
Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division
SGT Cornell Lemont Houston, Sr. 41st Engr BN 31 Killed on the rescue convoy Bronze Star with Valor Device,
de Fleury Medal, Purple Heart
PFC James Henry Martin, Jr. 23 Killed on the rescue convoy Purple Heart

See Timeline of the Battle of Mogadishu for a detailed chronology from a U.S. Army perspective
  • U.S. withdraws 25 March 1994
  • U.N. withdraws 28 March 1995
  • Note: Task Force Ranger achieved the mission objectives of capturing specific Aidid lieutenants, but the political fallout from the resultant battle and consequent eventual U.S. withdrawal from Somalia could classify this as a Pyrrhic victory.
  • Bowden, Mark (1999). Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War. Atlantic Monthly Press. 
  • Eversmann, Matthew (SSG) (2005). The Battle of Mogadishu: Firsthand Accounts from the Men of Task Force Ranger. Presidio Press. ISBN . 
  • Wright, Lawrence (2006). The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. New York: Knopf. ISBN . 
  • Allard, Colonel Kenneth, Somalia Operations: Lessons Learned, National Defense University Press (1995).
  • Boykin, William (Maj. Gen.), Never Surrender, Faith Words, New York, NY, (2008).
  • Chun, Clayton K.S., Gothic Serpent: Black Hawk Down, Mogadishu 1993. Osprey Raid Series #31. Osprey Publishing (2012).
  • Clarke, Walter, and Herbst, Jeffrey, editors, Learning from Somalia: The Lessons of Armed Humanitarian Intervention, Westview Press (1997).
  • Durant, Michael (CWO4), In the Company of Heroes, (2003 hb, 2006 pb).
  • Gardner, Judith and el Bushra, Judy, editors, Somalia – The Untold Story: The War Through the Eyes of Somali Women, Pluto Press (2004).
  • O'Connell, James Patrick (SGT.), Survivor Gun Battle Mogadishu, US Army Special Forces. (New York City) (1993).
  • Prestowitz, Clyde, Rogue Nation: American Unilateralism and the Failure of Good Intentions, Basic Books (2003).
  • Sangvic, Roger, Battle of Mogadishu: Anatomy of a Failure, School of Advanced Military Studies, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (1998).
  • Stevenson, Jonathan, Losing Mogadishu: Testing U.S. Policy in Somalia, Naval Institute Press (1995).
  • Stewart, Richard W., The United States Army in Somalia, 1992–1994, United States Army Center of Military History (2003).
  • Somalia: Good Intentions, Deadly Results, VHS, produced by KR Video and The Philadelphia Inquirer (1998).
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Wikipedia

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