Article

THE BATTLE OF THE BLACK SEA


Introduction

The battle of Mogadishu also known as the battle of the black sea, Was fought on 3rd October 1993 and 4th octomber. The war involved a Task force Ranger sent by United states government from the Delta force which is an elite nations command with an objective to arrest a war lord by the name Mohamed Farah Aided, together with his fellow clansmen from the Habir Gidil clan elders who had met to organize and arrange violence against the US and UN personnel who were involved with various crimes against humanity.

Following the civil unrest in Somalia whereby the warlords were battling for the control of somali. The UN and the international community had intervened to provide food and humanitarian support to Somali civilian. It was this idea of feeding the native Somali that didn’t go well with the war lords because they wanted to starve the natives. Despite the very high food supply of aid to relief organizations the Somalis starved thus they decided to attack the UN personnel at the food distribution sites where they killed the personnel and stole the food.

It was at this event where by four of the black hawk helicopters were shot down and one pilot it’s held prisoner for eleven days. During the event 18 rangers were killed 75 injured while it is estimated that between 1200 and 2000 Somalis died.


Overview of the battle

Following the attach of the UN personnel the US government responded through members of the Delta forces and rangers who fought battle against the rebel forces in Mogadishu streets in Somalia, The rebel Leander where in meeting at Olympic hotel at Mogadishu. The force consisted of 75 rangers and 40 delta force troops in 17 helicopters in addition to 12 vehicles with soldiers whose duty was to pick and forward the Somali prisoners.

Though the leadership of the chief warrant officer Michael Durant ordered the beginning of the mission, Delta commandos rode in -MH-6little alleys or rooftops. One of the black hawks had moved down over the city of Mogadishu accompanied by two little birds caring Delta force troops over the target which was the hotel at Olympic at Hawlwadig street whereby the leaders of the targeted militia were holding a meeting. The first to move were to little birds passed swiftly moved without raising attention from the people in the streets. There followed a Black hawk helicopter which had both Evermann and Todd Blackburn. Due to an explained circumstance the helicopters hovered just above the brown storm waiting for the rest.

It was at this moment where an unfortunate scenario where Todd Blackburn jumped had his goggles broken and missed the rope. He didn’t realize that they were in a higher position than they had been trained for. He had forgotten to take off his ear phones thus ripping their cord from the ceiling. It was at this time when he fell down on the streets just at the end of the rope.

Evermann quickly discovered the incident and came down to save his fallen colleague together with Mark Good and Bart Bulluck who was a medic. At the moment Blackburn was still alive but in a critical condition. He had sand in his eyes and nose. When admistering first aid to him they noticed bullets being fired at them, they took cover where they squatted behind two parked cars.


They grabbed and dragged Blackburn

Events to be unfolding faster than expected by Evermann, Fire exchange became heavier as officers at the command center watching on the screens. Cameras on the surveillance aircraft which captured barricading roads and lighting tires as a sigh to ask for reinforcement from their clans men, This lead to emergence of armed men who interacted with general public.

The crowds had begun moving closer to the scene as the armed fellows run towards the spot where helicopters were orbiting thus marking the battle target. At this moment they were not in a position to take any significant action. The war intensified as the Somali fighters used children and women as shields. These children and women were also said to fire rifles. The Somalis used automatic rifles and grenade launchers while the US and United Nations used helicopter gunships and automated weaponry.

Evermann crew shot at all directions except at the target building. The rangers were professionally trained such that they were supposed only to fire to individuals who pointed guns at them. It was the effectiveness of the American guns that repelled the mobs. The first Humvee which is a wide bodied arrived at the scene this was a sign of great relief to Evermann men.

For the crew to survive they had to fire as they drugged Blackburn and load him into the humvee.Events seamed to be hard as they returned. They encountered intense fight from Somali fighters who directed heavy automatic firing coupled to rocket propelled grenades. Fortunately Stueker and his companion had good weapons which outweighed the Somalis. They way able to drive back at the commanding base.


Lessons learned and their importance 

From the battle it was learnt that the right weapons and equipment, to march those of the enemy ,The Somalis had received massive support from the al Qaida lead by a notorious Osama Bin laden, This was in terms of finance, training and weapons’ this is demonstrated by the fact that Somali being a war torn country which had starving citizens could not afford the military power.

If the Clinton administration offered the required support as had been requested for provision of Armored vehicles and AC-130 gunships, the battle could have been won at ease .During the battle it advisable to act in a noble and courageuos.Despite the firing of rebels and rocket propelled grenades that hit a super 61s helicopter. The brave rescue and search team was not deterred. Despite the intense firing from the rebels, the combat team was able to reach the crash site, where they found the pilot already dead and five injured casualties.

They were able to make a shift shelter for the injured using the floor boards from the fallen Blackhawk helicopter. They had to take residents prisoners at night so as to have shelter for the injured rangers .This was demonstrated as was demonstrated by Delta snippers who gave their lives to defend the pilot who had his black hawk helicopter downed and held prisoner for eleven days. This was also demonstrated by Evermann when he noticed that Blackburn had fallen thus he went to his rescue. This where he fought as he took and drugged to take cover

It is also learnt that sending of direct pictures of unfolding events at the battle ground may lead to action taken by the mother nation thus recalling back home. This was demonstrated when news on screens were relayed to United States on how bodies of dead delta force rangers were being mutilated and drugged by civilians through streets of Mogadishu. This was done by the US authorities when the surveillance aircraft relayed the happenings of the battle zone where indications of 18 dead soldiers to the news agencies made administration to recall them. The Clinton quickly deployed its team of rescue and with drew its engagements and interests in Somali and later advocated for diplomacy instead of military operations.

To win a battle it good to be familiar with the ground and to involve soldiers who has fought similar battles unlike the battle of Mogadishu which was fought by inexperienced teenage solders. The harsh climate that included a stiff breeze stirred up blinding dense clouds of dust made it difficult for the Rangers and the rescue team to scene. Awareness of this could have assisted the Rangers with wealth of knowledge on target zone hardship example the dust and smoke from the burning tires, This will enable the fighter to known at which direction, best time to attack and the level to fly the helicopters and to know the expected response expected from the locals as was responded by Somalis who lit bone fires so as away of asking support from their colleagues.

Also to known how they behave when attacked as was demonstrated by Somalis where they consisted of all populations including women ,children, the disabled and the armed .this made it had for the rangers to shoot as they had rules to shoot at only those who directed weapons’ to them. It was also necessary to know the obstacles likely to be present example the rebels who engaged the rangers to battles at the streets of Mogadishu.

It`s also important to be very careful. Had Blackburn not carelessly hanged on black hawk helicopter the accident could have been avoided. He had jumped without taking to account how high they were as this was different from what they had been trained for. His goggles were broken as he jumped and forgot his ear phones which were ripped off on the ceiling, these gargets were important because they could have allowed his communication with Evermann.

Obedience is another lesson learnt no strict adherence to rules as was demonstrated by the Rangers where by they had to shoot at only armed people who directed weapons on them. This rule was upheld until women and children armed with automatic rifles begun to fire at the Rangers. During the battle the journalists had a lesson to learn; it’s risky to close the battle ground when covering the events. During the war several journalists were killed .These were Dan Eldon, Hansi Kraus,Hos Maina and Anthony Maina.

Ground and air coordinated attacks and adequate communication technological gargets so as to the air strikes, the ground and the commanding center, and to make sure that they are all in working condition unlike in the Evermanns case whereby they didn’t realize their communication gargets had been shot at ,and could no longer relay radio signals to the commanding base. Are part of the lessons learnt it that had it not for the arrival of the 1st- humvee things could have been hard for the soldiers. This enabled them to save their colleagues. Also it’s due to the quick response after the events were relayed on camera that made it possible for Pakistan and Malaysia to assist the US Rangers. Unfortunately there was no coordinated contingency arrangement with the United Nations prior to the attack.

The information given in time of war is supposed to be screened so as to avoid making solders to despair. This was demonstrated by Stueker who didn’t inform others about Pillas death. Recognition of efforts is portrayed where by fallen Rangers who died bravery defending their country were buried and accorded to military honors’ example two soldiers were awarded medal of honors [posthumously], while others got bronze and silver stars and purple heart with a V device to symbolize valor under fire, while the day the battle took place came to be named as the rangers day. High alertness is demonstrated by Evermann where his fellow ranger had missed the rope and fallen.


Lessons learnt and how they apply to future battles

In future battle journalists have to be more cautious when they cover the war. Thus they need to consider their security and safety. The battle had became a turning point where warring groups in Somali including the moderates and those opposed to Habar Gidir clansmen united against the US and UN .

Its good to be properly know the place where the fight was to take place. Stueker knew Mogadishu well than others thus he was the one to lead the ground convoy but unfortunately he lost direction and took the wrong turn away from the targeted building. The behavior of Somalis burning tires, using cow dung as fuel complicated the air together with stench from garbage, rocks used to barricade roads made it hard for Stuekers team.

To avoid killing of civilians as happened during the battle where by the Rangers killed citizens and unarmed elders instead of capturing them .A combat operation of the US cobra attack helicopters fired 16 TOW missiles and thousands of 20-millimeter canon into the compound killing 73 clan elders. Many civilians died because of the character of dense urban populations. Who didn’t know the dangers of engaging the United States rangers into battles.

Future delays in response of ground extraction convoy as was seen. The 1st humvee caused delays for a few minutes to reach the captive target after beginning of the operation. Time has to be taken when organizing for battle and too have all the required materials, troops i.e. to have the required back up from home in addition to be in apposition to know the enemies fighting abilities ,neither his organizational structures. From the battle the Rangers got major set back due to the fact that they didn’t know aidids guerilla abilities and training ,support and he had gathered from the al Quida and other Arabic criminal organizational groups. Part of the sophiscated weapon the Somalis had included a rocket propelled grenades that downed the black hawk helicopter.

Also its encouraged to take all the necessary materials and not to under rate the locals. It’s also very important to have a very well organized plan than that which Evermann heard. Evermann riding his super 67 code named bird, thought that his four chalk would immediately take down the street on the target house .Arrest the elders and get them on the ground compound drive them into the beach In the contest of the battle the Rangers commanded by captain Steele who were to guard the perimeter of the target forgot to carry with them night vision devices .this made it difficult for them to fight at night and to rescue their colleagues.

It’s advisable to have a backing of a rescue team as was demonstrated by a team of rescue operation comprising of 90 Rangers who went to the1st crash site. They found themselves under fire from the heavy firing from the militia. They got adequate air support but unfortunately they were trapped all night, with large numbers having been injured thus requiring shelter. The rangers quickly sought shelter from neighboring houses thus holding residents prisoners.
  

References

  1. Black sea battle (2008)The battle of Mogadishu, retrieved on 18th May, available at http://www.paulnwhelan.com/battleofmogadishu.html
  2. Brother Judd (2008) Black Hawk down, retrieved on 18th May, available at http://brothersjudd.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/reviews.detail/book_id/823
  3. Bowden M. (1999) Black Hawk Down: Story of Modern War, Signet publishers, California
  4. Daniel Gonzales (2006) Networked Forces In Stability Operations, Rand Corporation, New York
  5. Matt Eversmann, Dan Schilling and Tim Wilkinson (2004) The Battle of Mogadishu , McGraw Hill pres, New York
  6. Michael Durant and Steven Hartov (2003) The Company of Heroes, Putnam and Sons press, New York
  7. Philly ( 2008) the black hawk story, retrieved on 18th May, available at http://inquirer.philly.com/packages/somalia/nov16/default16.asp
  8. Shaul Shai, Rachel Liberman (2005) The Red Sea Terror Triangle: Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Islamic, McGraw Hill pres, New York
  9. Scott Peterson (2000) Me Against My Brother: War in Somalia, Sudan and Rwanda, Routledge Press, New York
  10. Terry Griswold and M. Giangreco (2005) America Elite Counterterrorist Force, Zenith Press, New York

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