On Twitter today, U.S. Army Special Operations Command tweeted a link out about the Battle of Mogadishu. (See below.)
That tweet brought back some memories.
I was finishing high school when this battle happened, and I can distinctly remember cutting out newspaper clippings and stuffing them in a file folder. In the weeks leading up to this, I wanted to know everything.
Where troops were positioned. Information about the raids. And eventually the infamous 18-hour battle. All of this nearly caused me to drop my childhood dream to become a Marine and join the Army instead, with the hopes that I could eventually become a Ranger myself. (Especially since my Marine recruiter was saying they had no guaranteed infantry slots…)
But this battle — and the horror of seeing Americans dragged through the streets — infuriated me. And the visuals and nightmares of this hellacious firefight would push me and my men to train as hard as we possibly could once I finally made it into an infantry platoon.
Besides motivating front-line troops like myself, the battle also motivated the Corps and Army to take more serious their urban tactics. Long term, the battle probably saved lots of lives. But for those who lived it, that’s probably little comfort.
Did this battle make an impact on you? Do you remember seeing the horrendous footage of the American dead dragged through the street? Or of Mogadishu civilians bouncing on helicopter blades from a crashed helo?
It might have just been me and my tightly-focused world, but I’m betting this battle impacted many of you as well.
If it did, comment below. I’d love to hear about it. And if you personally knew of anyone who served in it, sound off with their name below. Let’s honor them.
And whether the battle did or didn’t impact you, let’s never forget the sacrifices made on that day. Roughly 160 Americans fought thousands of Somali fighters on that day, in some of the most brutal combat seen since at least Vietnam.
Stan R. Mitchell
Stan R. Mitchell is the author of ten, fast-paced novels. He’s sold more than 70,000 books and writes military action and mystery genre, mostly. He’s also a prior infantry Marine, who LOVES writing!! If you’re looking for an independent artist to support, look no further. You’ll love Mitchell’s books. Click the link below to check out his books.