Term Paper: Black Hawk Down: A Story

Pages: 4 (1413 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Military  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] The book also delves into some of the Somalis who are returning fire, or are caught in the middle of the battle, and how some of the men feel about killing their first battle casualties. The book attempts to give a balanced view of the events, so the reader can make up their own mind about what happened, and what went wrong. The book shows the realities and ugliness of war, and how going into battle should never be taken lightly. This mission was seen as simple and to the point, but it was not. Most of the men expected to be in and out in an hour, and so there was little long-range planning and tactical discussion. When the men ended up waiting for the convoy to return for them, and stuck in abandoned buildings, they had no food, water, and few medical supplies. It was here the men were at their best, because they worked together, banded together, and gained strength from each other as much as the situation. This indicates how the training and leadership worked, and the camaraderie that exists between men in units is one of the most important tools when it comes down to life and death in battle.

One of the criticisms of this book is that it was written in a journalistic style, rather than a military style, and even though the author attempts to keep bias out of the narrative, there seems to be some kind of journalistic or liberal bias to the reporting. The author notes that he interviewed as many participants as possible, and relied on numerous accounts to corroborate facts and memories, but there is still a slight edge to the reporting, and it is clear the author does not come from a military background, and brings a journalistic and liberal bent to the narration. In fact, the author notes in the Afterword to the book that he has no military training (Bowden 423). For example, there is some underlying sarcasm or cynicism in sentences such as, "The Hoo-ahs couldn't wait to go to war" (Bowden 10). It is subtle, but it is there, underlying the profiles of the men and the relating of events as they happened.

The author is strongest in his portrayals of the people involved in the mission. Through interviews and extensive research, he paints realistic pictures of the men, their ideals, and their beliefs. He illustrates what makes a good Army officer by showing these men at their best, and at their worst. Even a non-military reader will get an idea of the dedication to duty these men possess, and their importance to the Army and the Army mission. As the reader becomes more involved with the men and the situations, they become like friends, and the reader begins to understand their motivation as soldiers, and their needs as people. It makes them more real and engaging to the reader, but it makes the reader root for them, hoping they survive the nightmare the mission has degraded into. Some do, and some do not. It is real combat, with all the problems, solutions, and logistics that complicate any real life scenario. Civilians reading this book may get a better picture of just what it is that soldiers face every day they head into battle.

In conclusion, this book is a detailed and often emotional look into the men of the Army Rangers and Delta Force. It shows their fellowship, their dedication, and the demands their role as a soldier asks of them. The book has its flaws and weaknesses, and relies too heavily on some journalistic insights that take away from some areas of the book. The author is a journalist, not a military man, and so, despite his painstaking research skills, he still has prejudices and political thoughts that cannot help but come through in his writing. Other than that, this book is a graphic and realistic portrait of men at war, and it will linger in the mind of the reader long after the reading is done.

References

Bowden, Mark. Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Black Hawk Down: A Story.  (2004, October 19).  Retrieved May 25, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/black-hawk-down-story/5383808

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"Black Hawk Down: A Story."  19 October 2004.  Web.  25 May 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/black-hawk-down-story/5383808>.

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"Black Hawk Down: A Story."  Essaytown.com.  October 19, 2004.  Accessed May 25, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/black-hawk-down-story/5383808.