The blogger otherwise known as the Scientist Gone Wordy and I join up for another round in the parallel post series of ours. For this, we will examine two timely and remarkable works. I selected this non-fiction book and film tandem specifically because this duo post would land near the twenty year anniversary of a significant battle. Perhaps, the epoch-making event of the post-Cold War.
Known by the men who fought in it as the Battle of the Black Sea, it shocked nations worldwide when it splashed across news networks in early Fall of ’93. Just as quickly, once the dust settled and the bodies buried, it was put aside by the U.S. government and public, destined as forgotten history. That is, until the details many weren’t aware (or cared to know) were resurrected a few years later in the writings of one journalist.
I speak of the book written by Mark Bowden that was published in 1999, Black Hawk Down. Its title instantly became synonymous to its generation for the distinct clash of men on an ancient land. A battle seen by some as wholly frustrated as Gallipoli, a Rork’s Drift substantiation by others. My colleague will appraise Mr. Bowden’s harrowing, bullet-by-bullet narrative, which was the New York Times Notable Book of the year. I’ll examine its 2001 film adaptation that landed in the epochal aftermath of 9/11. Rachel’s book review can be found here:
Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden
A brief synopsis of the film: October 3, 1993, Taskforce Ranger, consisting of various highly skilled Spec-Op teams, launch an operation to capture two of the self-proclaimed president-to-be Mohamed Farrah Aidid‘s high-echelon lieutenants during a meeting in the city of Mogadishu, Somalia. The rare daylight mission is to chopper in Delta Force operators near the Bakara Market stronghold of the warlord, seize their prizes from a nearby hotel, and return to base. Accompanied by Army Rangers providing perimeter cover, it was supposed to take an hour. Instead, two U.S. Black Hawk helicopters are shot down by RPGs, and the operators and Rangers are pinned down through a long and terrible night, fighting against thousands of heavily armed Somalis.