The Day of the Rangers – a bloody Battle of Mogadishu

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The scene from Black Hawk Down, describing events from Battle of Mogadishu in 1993

On October 3, 1993, one event attracted media attention worldwide and remained on the headlines for days. A bloody incident in Somalia which overturned into a bloody battle between US Special Operations Forces and Somali militia. Somalia,  one of the poorest countries in the world, whose only asset is geostrategic control of oil times in the Horn of Africa was ruled by the notorious warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid.

The Operation Gothic Serpent had only one mission objective, to capture notorious warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid and his associates. The mission involved U.S. Special Operations Forces including helicopter units and Army Rangers – a total of 160 soldiers backed up by UNOSOM II.

The operation was supposed to be a one-hour mission, but it turned into a nightmare that lasted for 18 hours in the downtown of Mogadishu. The first phase of the mission went brilliantly, 22 close associates of Aidid were arrested. But the real battle was just starting when US forces faced with the unexpected resistance of local militiamen armed with AK-47 and RPGs.

In total, two UH-60 “Black Hawk” helicopters were lost, and during a rescue operation and withdrawal from the two crash sites, 18 soldiers were killed, while 73 soldiers were wounded. The Somali militia lost between five hundred and one thousand soldiers.

Shortly after Battle of Mogadishu, General William Garrison, who led operation retired, and the Americans have withdrawn from the fiercest military conflict since the Vietnam War in next few months.

So far, many stories have been told and movies were filmed, but only a few pictures and videos have found its way to the public. Here is a video released by Pentagon which shows JOC footage filmed on that October 3, 1993.