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The Historical Background Of The Battle Of Mogadishu History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

Various vehicles and modes of transport were used n the course of the war such as road vehicles such as Humvees while other soldiers traveled on foot to the battle fields. Consequently, air transport was heavily used as some of the soldiers who took part in the battle were being transported from countries as far as Pakistani and Malaysia hence a faster mode of transport had to be used. Many casualties were obtained form the Battle of Mogadishu from various countries which had collaborated to ensure that Mohammed Farrah’s powers were reduced or snatched from him to allow the Somali people enjoy liberal political and religious freedom.


The historical background of the battle of Mogadishu

Prior to the Battle of Mogadishu, the Somali president Mohamed Siad Barre had been overthrown by a revolutionary coalition named the United Somali Congress in 1991. When Siad was removed from office, the coalition spit into two groups which were led by two opposing individuals; Ali Mahdi Muhammad and Mohammed Farrah Aidid who were late on faced by rivalry from subsequent groups which emerged from the initial two leading groups. These groups were named as follows according to the formation emergence stage; United Somali Congress (USC), Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF), Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM), Somali Democratic Movement(SDM) and Somali National Movement (SNM). It was this later group which took the northwest portion of Somali and named it Somaliland Republic[1].

Consequently, these subgroups went into severe war in September 1991 in Mogadishu which saw a lot of the agricultural activities being disrupted in the country. Similarly, the war did cost Somali more than 20, 000 lives and casualties in that year such that the international community had to get into action to provide food, as well as, relief for the casualties and victims of the war. However, the humanitarian relief failed to create the intended impact as food supplies were being stolen by clan leaders and exchanged with other countries for weapons. The lose of lives due to the inert-clan wars did cost more lives due to starvation while more than 1.5 million people were displaced by effects of the war and the United Nations sent military observers to watch over food distribution in the country.

Similarly, on August 1992, the then United States President George H, W, Bush joined hands with the UN in maintaining multinational relief to the Somali people. This was the first ever United States deployment in Somali with over ten C-130s and more than 400 people; the Operation Provide Relief was initiated. The 86th Supply Squadron was responsible for foodstuff and medication supplies such that when their efforts proved inadequate due to increasing casualties, the United States Marine Cops were deployed.

They landed in Mogadishu with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit which was composed of 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 3rd Battalion, 11th Battalion, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines and HMLA-369. The activities of these military groups were to airlift humanitarian supplies, as well as, securing routes used by the relief groups when delivering the supplies. This way, the Somali, militia had minimal effect on the overall distribution activities1.

Security threats on humanitarian efforts

The impact of UNITAF in Somali had been observed in increased security situations, as well as, efficient distribution of humanitarian supplies hence the U.N Secretary-General recommended for the transformation of UNITAF to UNOSOM II. However, due to inadequacy in effective government and police forces in southern, as well as, central Somali, UNOSOM II was authorized to ensure that security was enhanced in the entire Somaliland so that creation of a democratic state could be achieved.

In a conference based on National Reconciliation held on March 15th 1993 in Somali, the various sub-groups signed a document which was aimed at establishing peace and democratic in Somali. However, the group led by General Mohammed Farrah Aidid failed to heed the agreement such that their side was not cooperative as Farrah wanted to maintain leadership of all the groups hence becomes president of Somali[2].

Attempts by the UNOSM II to implement overall cooperation from this group were faced by great challenges and it resulted into violence. Consequently, the area surrounding Mogadishu which was controlled by Aidid experienced heavy fighting and more than 24 Pakistani troops who were in the UN force were killed in the first day. Similarly, the UN Security Council issued Resolution 837 to the troops which permitted them to arrest and try the militia responsible for the attacks.

The UNOSOM II was also given the mandate of disarming the warring factions, restoring law in the country, as well as, introducing a representative government which would ensure that Somali was reconstructed. Consequently, President Clinton reduced the American forces which had been deployed in Somali as a way of reducing the violence and suffering exhibited by the Somali natives. However, these efforts were thwarted as the reduced number of American troop’s generated intense violence and the UN launched a major operation in Somali which was by Aidid’s move to attack the charging army and especially the US forces.

Attack on the Aidid safe house

As the hunt for Aidid and his troops intensified, the United States launched an attack on a known safe house where the clan members of Aidid were meeting. However, only elders of the clan were found there as the gunmen had been excluded from the meeting. Sources from the meeting indicated that the meeting had been called to peacefully resolve conflicts, as well as, demoting Aidid as the leader of the clan. After gaining access to this safe house, the U.S Cobra combat operation carried out a 17-minute attack which entailed firing of TOW missiles and cannon rounds into the compound. Over 73 clan leaders were killed during the attack, as well as, journalists who were attacked by angry Somali hence initiating the first war against Somali. Consequently, this was the first instant which resulted in Somali militia and groups from uniting to fight the United States army.

Similarly, the hunt for Aidid led to introduction of Task Force Ranger which was deployed by the Clinton administration to eliminate Aidid. Consequently, a secrete initiative was established by President Clinton to negotiate with Aidid for ways of collaborating in order to minimize violence and human suffering in Somali. The Task Force Ranger which was led by Major General Garrison was used carry out the secret negotiations as it operated differently from the United Nations contingent hence their reported directly to the United States Central Command rather than the Commander United States Forces, Somalia; Major General Montgomery[3].

The Task Force Ranger assault in Olympic Hotel

Task Force Rangers was responsible for capturing most of lieutenants in Aidid’s army although the warlord remained way ahead of the American Military. Fortunately, late September 1993, saw Aidid organize for a meeting with his top lieutenants in Olympic Hotel. Task Force Rangers got wind of the meeting and they planned an operation aimed at eliminating the top leadership of the liberal party hence reduce chances of Aidid being a threat to the restoration of Somali.

The operation which was headed by Ranger and Delta Force troops entailed initial utilization of air assault on targets which resulted in capturing of twenty four Somali militia, after incorporation of convoy trucks and Humvees. The air assaults were being carried out using Army Black Hawk and Special Operations helicopters. The locality of attack was in Aidid’s vicinity near Bakara market where the ground troops were faced by intense resistance from all sides due to high occupation of the area by Aidid’s men. Thus the Rangers and Delta Forces recorded more casualties and to sum it all, Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG) employed by the Somali militia to fell two Black Hawk helicopters hence bringing the attack mission to a halt[4].

Consequently, due to the large numbers of casualties from the American side, the attack was a running gun battle as the Somali militia they were fighting was several times larger in size. Efforts to reinforce the Rangers were thwarted by the long dual chain of command as there were two rival leaders of the American and UN troops. However, after a considerable amount of time a rescue force was deployed from 10th Mountain Division, two Malaysian mechanized companies and one Pakistani tank platoon. These forces and special operations aircraft were used to find the stranded troops before beginning the famous “Mogadishu Mile” which comprised of Ranger and Delta Force trailing from the battle field to the city.

Although the battle was surrounded by plenty of wrongs, it was considered a success as high levels of professionalism and dedication as despite experiencing many casualties the basic combat skills exhibited by the troops was commendable. Similarly, the Rangers and Delta Forces managed to capture twenty-four of the senior men in Aidid’s clan.

Timeline of the Battle of Mogadishu

On October 3, 1993, the Delta Force and Task Force Ranger, in addition to, the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment organized attacks which would lead to capture of Aidid’s foreign minister; Omar Salad and his most senior political advisor; Mohammed Hassan Awale. The Delta Force was in charge of assaulting the building using MH-6 Little Bird helicopters while the Rangers were delegated to form a 4-corner defensive perimeter around the targeted building hence ensure that the prisoners were captured alive. The operation was projected to take no more than half an hour to accomplish.

The Rangers were supposed to arrive at the scene of capture a few minutes after the operation began but this was no attained as Somali militia and citizens had set up barricades of rocks, as well as, stones on the streets leading to Mogadishu. Consequently, the tires of vehicles were burnt hence arriving at the venue was delayed considerably by resistance from the Somali[5].

After attack commenced, a pilot by the name Todd Blackburn slipped from his helicopter as it was carrying out subsequent maneuvers to evade Rocket Propelled Grenades. Other casualties include Super 6-1whch was consequently shot down and its occupants killed while a Delta sniper was able to survive the crash and he managed to hold off the Somali militia until he was evacuated by an MH-6 Little Bird helicopter. Unfortunately while defending the downed chopper he was shot and died alter from severe injuries.

Three helicopters were shot down in the initial stages of the attack and the situation grew worse when the ground convoy together with the assault team waited for a long period of time for any signal to move out. Each side was expecting the other to give the signal hence unnecessary delays were encountered. Members of the assault team who managed to move were able to reach the first crash site with high expectations of rescue but they were engulfed by intense militia fire and held up for a considerable period despite the air operation rescue which had been deployed in the area.

The second crash site was being protected two 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (Delta Force), SFC Randy Shughart and MSG Gary Gordon. The site was protected from the surging mob and the first casualty was Gordon and Randy managed to keep off the militia for some time before an angry civilian mob beat him up such that were it not for Aidid’s militia who took him as a prisoner he would have succumbed to the beatings. Several other attempts were put in place by the Somali militia to overrun American soldiers but their efforts were counteracted and the Somali National Alliance Militia reported 700 killed Somalis while the wounded were 1000.

Consequently, a convoy was sent to the crash site to rescue the injured American troops and the Battle of Mogadishu was ended on Monday October 4th 1993 at 6.30 am. Similarly, the rescue operation helped the casualties move from the city in an armored convoy while those who failed to get space in the vehicles run out of the city on foot.

Barely two weeks after the Battle of Mogadishu, General Garrison accepted responsibility of the war officially and he further on indicated that the objective of the Task Force Ranger had being achieved; capturing the participants in the Olympic Hotel meeting.


The Battle of Mogadishu was initially thought to be a battle against Aided by the American and UN troops. However, later on in the war, the entire Somali citizens were united and collectively fought against the opposing sides. This made the war even worse as the entire country was thrown into turmoil and the war was prolonged prior to execution of the objective. However, after the war, the American and UN troops were able to attain their objectives.


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Black hawk down, battle of mogadishu?

I am writing a research paper on the battle of mogadishu otherwise known as Black Hawk Down. The fighting in Mogadishu led to the deaths of thousands of somalian militia, which caused America to intervene leading to one of the most embarrassing attempts in the United States military history.

This is my thesis statement I am looking to edit and improve this, any advice would be great, thanks!

3 years ago

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I am not insulting the men who fought as being a failure because they were far from it. The failure was that they did not succeed in their mission to capture the Somalian warlords

3 years ago

Chrisby Chris

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they were there on a peace keeping mission, to provide help to starving civilians, they weren’t there to try and fight the clans in mogadishu, but the decision to try and capture warlord Mohammad Aidid was made as they felt that they could only achieve so much with him seizing food shipments and killing civilians,

it could be said that it led to the deaths of thousands of somali militia, but clans were fighting constantly before and after, the country was in civil war and the men in the fight all fought hard and they went to a massive extent to remove the bodies from the downed black hawk, super 6-1, and two delta snipers, SFC Randy Shughart and MSG Gary Gordon, gave their lives to help Micheal Durant, the pilot in the second downed black hawk, super 6-4, they chose to face impossible odds, but made the decision to die protecting him rather than do nothing and watch him face certain death alone, and were rightly given the medal of honor posthumously, so although yes, ultimately the US army failed in catching Aidid (he was never caught, but was killed in mogadishu in 1996) i wouldn’t agree with the statement of it was a failure and an embarrassment, they gave aid to people in the most dangerous city in the world (fact), even with all their funding and training there only so much they could do when fighting a whole city

every one watches the film and assumes that they were there to fight the militia, but they were actually trying to capture aidid in order to remove his reign of terror over mogadishu, and the mission was to capture ‘tier 1 personalities’, aidid’s advisors not aidid himself, and they did capture them, the mission turned into fight for survival after the back hawks were downed, and with the combination of the fact that the army did probably underestimate the capabilities of the somali’s and that the somali’s smoked a local drug called cot, which made them very aggressive and agitated, and they went in when they would have been ‘high’ on its effects, meant that it turned into what was deplicted in the film.

so no, they didn’t suceed in capturing him, but that wasn’t their primary goal in being in somalia, it was to provide aid.

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Cby C

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America intervened at the behest of the UN. The UN was involved because a series of droughts had ravaged the countryside and thousands were dieing. Somali warlords were commandeering these food shipments and extorting the people.

So the statement “The fighting in Mogadishu led to the deaths of thousands of somalian militia, which caused America to intervene” is not accurate and needs to be revised.

The US was not the only country that was actively pursuing these warlords with Special Operations units. The Italians also conducted raids all over the city. The problem from a military standpoint is the Rangers had established a predictable pattern from previous raids the Somalis picked up on. They then prepared by placing RPG gunners all over critical areas and dug pits so gunners could shoot straight up above them without having to worry about the back blast. They knew the helicopters were flying low to support the Rangers and it made it easier to target them.

The failure was NOT a military one. Even with two helicopters shot down a small handful of Americans fought off overwhelming odds, conducted the rescue, and returned to base with most of their prisoners with only 18 having been killed. The failure was a political one because certain key weapon systems were not allowed to be employed by US forces because of public image concerns. Two in particular were US armored personnel carriers (other countries had them but had the US had its own the rescue would have happened faster) and AC-130 gunships which can deliver a massive amount of fire power and loiter for long periods of time.

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Shawnby Shawn

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The word embarrassing is inaccurate and insulting to the men who lost their lives there. They performed their jobs admirably under the worst conditions with minimal support while exponentially outnumbered. They didn’t have the up-armored HMMWVs that are rolling around these days. They had thin aluminum doors and soft-topped 5-ton trucks and HMMWVs to exfil from the enemy most hostile territory. They had no armored personnel carriers, tanks, air support (other than the few mini-guns and rockets of the 160th’s pilots) because of political decisions.

Additionally you simply have the word ‘attempts’ without saying what was attempted. You can discuss the Marine’s safeguarding UN food deliveries, or you can talk about Operation Gothic Serpent (the real name of Black Hawk Down events) and the Rangers/Delta/160th’s attempts to capture Adid and his top lieutenants who were responsible for hoarding the international food deliveries in order to use hunger to coerce his opponents into submitting.

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Jim Aby Jim A

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The Battle of Mogadishu was one of the most lopsided military victories of all time. The Battle did end with the US goals for that particular day achieved. They did capture all of the persons they were after. The battle was an unfortunate side effect of the original operation.

The only reason the US was even there was to provide help and support to the people of Somalia. The US military was operating under such severe guidelines they could not operate as an effective fighting force. Had the Clinton Administration sent in the proper military equipment the entire Battle might have been averted.

The operation was not an embarrassment. Our military did what they could with what they were allowed to use.

SFC Randy Shughart and MSG Gary Gordon gave all for that mission. They are heros as all all the members of the US military that took part in the operation.

The militia members in Somalia were the cause of the problems. They with held relief to their fellow country men, thus requiring the involvement of the US forces. Had these people acted with compassion for the fellow man, this might not have happened.

I feel you have an agenda in your paper to vilify the US military and its members. I do not feel any of those men would consider their time in Somalia as an embarrassment. Shughart and Gordon repeatably requested to be sent into the battle. They knew it was a one way ticket, but they still went. They gave their lives saving one man.

Sorry if I did not help with YOUR paper, but our military was only doing a job. Our men went there to help Somalia in a dark hour.

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m1ndfr34k117by m1ndfr34…

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We were successful in our mission so I’m not sure why you say it was embarrassing for our military. I’d hope your teacher isn’t patriotic ’cause I would mark off just for saying that. Also, it’s not known as Black Hawk Down. Black Hawk Down is simply a movie based off of said events. No one refers to the incident itself as “Black Hawk Down”. Other wise, it looks descent.

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