The Battle of Mogadishu: First Hand Accounts From the Men of Task Force Ranger4.11 · Rating details · 375 Ratings · 14 Reviews
“No matter how skilled the writer of nonfiction, you are always getting the story secondhand. Here’s a chance to go right to the source. . . . These men were there.”
–MARK BOWDEN (from the Foreword)
It started as a mission to capture a Somali warlord. It turned into a disastrous urban firefight and death-defying rescue operation that shocked the world and rattled a great na“No matter how skilled the writer of nonfiction, you are always getting the story secondhand. Here’s a chance to go right to the source. . . . These men were there.”
–MARK BOWDEN (from the Foreword)
It started as a mission to capture a Somali warlord. It turned into a disastrous urban firefight and death-defying rescue operation that shocked the world and rattled a great nation. Now the 1993 battle for Mogadishu, Somalia–the incident that was the basis of the book and film Black Hawk Down–is remembered by the men who fought and survived it. Six of the best in our military recall their brutal experiences and brave contributions in these never-before-published, firstperson accounts.
“Operation Gothic Serpent,” by Matt Eversmann: As a “chalk” leader, Eversmann was part of the first group of Rangers to “fast rope” from the Black Hawk helicopters. It was his chalk that suffered the first casualty of the battle.
“Sua Sponte: Of Their Own Accord,” by Raleigh Cash: Responsible for controlling and directing fire support for the platoon, Cash entered the raging battle in the ground convoy sent to rescue his besieged brothers in arms.
“Through My Eyes,” by Mike Kurth: One of only two African Americans in the battle, Kurth confronted his buddies’ deaths, realizing that “the only people whom I had let get anywhere near me since I was a child were gone.”
“What Was Left Behind,” by John Belman: He roped into the biggest firefight of the battle and considers some of the mistakes that were made, such as using Black Hawk helicopters to provide sniper cover.
“Be Careful What You Wish For,” by Tim Wilkinson: He was one of the Air Force pararescuemen or PJs–the highly trained specialists for whom “That Others May Live” is no catchphrase but a credo–and sums up his incomprehensible courage as “just holding up my end of the deal on a bad day.”
“On Friendship and Firefights,” by Dan Schilling: As a combat controller, he was one of the original planners for the deployment of SOF forces to Mogadishu in the spring of 1993. During the battle, he survived the initial assault and carnage of the vehicle convoys only to return to the city to rescue his two closest friends, becoming, literally, “Last Out.”
With America’s withdrawal from Somalia an oft-cited incitement to Osama bin Laden, it is imperative to revisit this seminal military mission and learn its lessons from the men who were there and, amazingly, are still here.
From the Hardcover edition....more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published August 3rd 2004 by Presidio Press (first published 2004)
Event Date: Thursday Morning :11/10/2011 – 7:30A-9:30A
Special Location: NASCAR HOF
Matthew Eversmann is a testament to the true nature of war and heroism. He was immortalized in the epic film Black Hawk Down (his character was played by Josh Hartnett), which tells the heroic account of a group of elite US soldiers sent into Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1993 as part of a UN peacekeeping operation. Young Rangers and veteran Delta Force soldiers fight side by side, outnumbered and surrounded, for 18 hours in the most hostile district of Mogadishu until a rescue convoy could be mounted to retrieve them. As a part of that mission, both as a survivor and a hero, Eversmann brings to life the horrors of his experience, what he took from it, and humanizes the creed by which he lived: “Never shall I fail my comrades…RANGERS LEAD THE WAY!”Eversmann enlisted in the Army as an infantryman in December 1987, and was stationed at Fort Drum, NY, with the 10th Mountain Division. In 1992, he reenlisted and arrived at Fort Benning, GA, for his assignment in the Third Battalion, Seventy Fifth Ranger Regiment. He spent eight-and-a-half years in the Regiment, serving as a squad leader, a weapons squad leader, the battalion air operations sergeant, the battalion liaison sergeant, and a platoon sergeant. Eversmann also was the officer in charge of the 75th Ranger Regiment’s Pre-Ranger Course that helped train future leaders to pass the grueling Army Ranger School.While serving as a sergeant in the Ranger Regiment, Matt traveled the world. From Panama to England, Korea to Egypt, he met and trained with soldiers across the globe. In August of 1993, Matt and his company deployed to Mogadishu, Somalia, in support of Operation Gothic Serpent.
Eversmann has attended many military schools: Airborne, Ranger, Sniper, Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape or SERE School, the Primary Leadership Development Course, the Army’s Basic Noncommissioned Officers Course, as well as the Advanced Noncommissioned Officers Course. He was the Leadership Award winner at Ranger School, the Primary Course, and the Basic Course. He also graduated from the Master Fitness School, Jumpmaster School, Special Operations Tactics course, and the Equal Opportunity Course. Eversmann wears the following awards and decorations: the Army Service Ribbon, the National Defense Service Ribbon, eight Army Achievement Medals, four Army Commendation Medals, a Meritorious Service Medal, the Ranger Tab, Master Parachute Wings, Royal Thai Jump Wings, British Jump Wings, Egyptian Jump Wings, and the Expert Infantryman’s Badge. For his service in Somalia, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor device and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge.
In August 2000, Eversmann was awarded an honorary bachelor’s degree from Hampden-Sydney College in recognition of his service to his country.
Eversmann has lectured on his experience in Somalia all over the world. He has given presentations to soldiers at all levels, from officer candidates at Fort Benning to colonels at the Army War College. He has represented the Army on Larry King Live and on Dateline with Stone Phillips, and has lectured the cadets and faculty at West Point, Annapolis, and the Air Force Academy. Eversmann’s list of presentations to the professional community is impressive. He has appeared before audiences at Ford, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Goldman Sachs, Merck, RAND, the Bakersfield Business Conference, USA Today, and the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce. Eversmann has been to many colleges across America, too, from Penn State to Notre Dame, Virginia Tech to Ball State, and he makes lasting impressions on every campus he visits.
Eversmann recently returned to the United States after serving 15 months in Iraq. He retired from the Army as an Infantry Company First Sergeant after 20 years of service. He continues to serve others as the founder and president of Freeman Phillips LLC, a leadership development company. Eversmann is co-author of The Battle of Mogadishu (2004).
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