Battle of Mogadishu, October 1993 Term Paper

Pages: 3 (1460 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Military

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[. . .] 50 caliber machine guns and automatic grenade launchers; ground force interdiction and other close air support was provided by Blackhawk and Little Bird (AH-6) gunships. By sharp contrast, the Somali forces were equipped with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) (Edwards 15). Furthermore, the American forces were unaware of the layout and nature of the street system in the city but the Somali forces were intimately familiar with them and the route the patrol was taking. When the patrol rappelled into the gathering of clan leaders, the Somali forces recognized that a relief convoy was going to be required to extricate them and quickly set up roadblocks throughout the city (Edwards 15). Despite the initial success of the mission (e.g., 24 Somali prisoners were taken at target house), any further attempts to remove the hostages and American forces were profoundly altered when a Blackhawk helicopter (Super 6 -- 1) was shot down four blocks east of the target house; this was not the end of the mounting problems for the stranded American forces as yet another Blackhawk (Super 6 -- 4) was also shot down approximately a mile away (Edwards 15). An airmobile search and rescue force was deployed to the Super 6 -- 1 crash site; in addition, a light infantry force rappelled down to the site in an attempt to assist the wounded crew while a Task Force Ranger was sent the site for extradition purposes; no rescue force was available to secure the second site and it was overtaken by Somali forcers (Edwards 15).Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Term Paper on Battle of Mogadishu, October 1993 Assignment

The original patrol convoy with the 24 Somali hostages was ordered to secure the second crash site; however, it was unable to achieve this objective. In fact, Edwards points out that, "It wandered around the city suffering ambush after ambush until it eventually aborted the rescue attempt and returned to base. At one point, after about 45 minutes of meandering, this convoy ended up right back where it started" (emphasis added) (Edwards 15). Another convoy of HMMWVs and three five-ton flatbed trucks were sent from the base of operations at the Mogadishu airport base in an effort to rescue the crashed Super 6 -- 4 Blackhawk; those vehicles were also forced to turn back under heavy fire though. Every troop on the ground was under constant fire and it was not until a multinational military force comprised of four Pakistani tanks, 28 Malaysian APCs, and elements of the 10th Mountain Division managed to break through barricades and ambushes to rescue the Task Force Ranger at 1:55 A.M. On October 4 (Atkinson A11).

While it is impossible to fault the troops on the ground for their actions in the Battle of Mogadishu in October 1993, it is possible to identify some doctrinal issues that adversely affected their ability to accomplish the original hostage-taking mission, which were further compounded by the underestimation of the firepower brought to bear on the airmobile forces deployed for rescue purposes. For example, Edwards notes that by and large, the U.S. commandos followed the standard doctrine required for city fighting: "Using fire and maneuver, teams and squads leapfrogged each other. At times, infantry moved out on foot to cover the convoy from both sides of the street. The main problem was that the convoys kept halting, exposing vehicles located in the middle of street intersections to concentrated enemy fire (emphasis added) (Edwards 15). Therefore, it is recommended that in future operations of this nature, more detailed intelligence should be obtained concerning the actual layout of the streets, pedestrian walkways, central public areas and other like municipal data to ensure that a viable path is available for extrication purposes, as well as several contingencies since no battle plan survives the first shot. In addition, improved intelligence concerning what types of armaments (particularly the dreaded RPGs) the Somalis would likely bring to bear on such an encounter should have been accomplished. On a final note, in 2004, the 10th Mountain Division (U.S. Army) was deployed to Afghanistan (Hall, 2004).

Works Cited

Atkinson, Rick. (1994, January 31). "Night of a Thousand Casualties; Battle Triggered U.S.

Decision to Withdraw from Somalia." Washington Post A11. In Edwards 15.

De Waal, Alex. (1998). "U.S. War Crimes in Somalia." New Left Review a (230):132.

Edwards, Sean J.A. Mars Unmasked: The Changing Face of Urban… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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