Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War by Mark Bowden

By Mark Bowden

Already a vintage of battle reporting and now reissued as a Grove Press paperback, Black Hawk Down is Mark Bowden’s fantastic account of the longest sustained firefight concerning American troops because the Vietnam struggle. On October three, 1993, a couple of hundred elite U.S. infantrymen have been dropped through helicopter into the teeming industry within the center of Mogadishu, Somalia. Their venture was once to abduct most sensible lieutenants of a Somali warlord and go back to base. It used to be imagined to take an hour. as a substitute, they discovered themselves pinned down via a protracted and bad evening combating opposed to millions of seriously armed Somalis. the next morning, eighteen americans have been useless and greater than seventy have been badly wounded.
Drawing on interviews from each side, military documents, audiotapes, and video clips (some of the fabric continues to be classified), Bowden’s minute-by-minute narrative is among the most enjoyable bills of contemporary strive against ever written—a riveting tale that captures the heroism, braveness, and brutality of conflict.

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Nuclear weapons Bombs or missiles that release nuclear energy to create a massive explosion—for example, an atom bomb or hydrogen bomb. samizdat The term for a book or pamphlet secretly circulated among dissidents in the Soviet Union. SIS Secret Intelligence Service: the British organization for espionage and other covert operations abroad. Soviet Union Officially known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), a communist-ruled federation of 15 republics, dominated by Russia. special forces Elite military personnel skilled in operating behind enemy lines and using guerrilla tactics.

FIRST STRIKE FEARS “Nuclear deterrence”—avoiding war by threatening mutual destruction—was a dangerous business. Both sides feared that their enemy would launch a surprise “first strike” to destroy their nuclear weapons before they could respond. The United States and its allies established an early warning system to keep a 24-hour watch for any sign of an enemy first strike. A far-flung chain of radar stations was linked to an underground command base tunneled deep inside Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado.

HIDDEN WAR IN VIETNAM In the 1960s, the United States became involved in a major conflict in Southeast Asia. US aircraft bombed communist-ruled North Vietnam, and hundreds of thousands of US soldiers were deployed against communist-led guerrillas in South Vietnam. In parallel with these large-scale military operations, a ruthless secret war was fought by the CIA and US Army Special Forces. A US Special Forces officer leads Montagnard fighters on a jungle patrol in the Vietnam War. A-TEAMS The US Army Special Forces, or “Green Berets,” were elite soldiers trained to operate in small groups behind enemy lines.

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