The Battle of Mogadishu, depicted in the film Black Hawk Down, occurred. U.S Army Rangers and Delta Force personnel captured Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid’s lieutenants inside the Olympic Hotel. The capture was successful, but the aftermath erupted into a city-wide firefight between 160 American servicemen and 4,000-6,000 militia and civilian fighters.
The U.S. won the battle – 18 American dead, versus 800-1,000 Somalis killed – but we lost the war, so to speak. Three days after the battle, President Clinton stopped all actions against Aidid, and announced the U.S. withdraw by March 31, 1994. There are countless accounts of American heroism that day, and two veterans of the battle recently returned to the scene.
Sergeant Jeff Struecker was 24 years old when he led a squad of men through Mogadishu in an assault mission that quickly took a horrific turn. In an interview with ‘This Week,’ Struecker remembers the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu and his recent return to Somalia, which was documented and made into a short film, “Return to Mogadishu: Remembering Black Hawk Down.”
The US military intervention intended to restore peace to Somalia, but quickly ended as soon as it turned deadly for the American elite army team, whose black hawk helicopter was brought down by warlord militiamen. The episode was the inspiration for both a book and a Hollywood film – “Black Hawk Down.”
“I went through what is still to this day the most intense gunfight I’ve ever been in, in my life … One of the men that I was responsible for was shot in the head and killed instantly right behind me as I was driving back to our base,” Struecker said. “And there was nothing that I could do about it.”
You can watch the Struecker film here. It’s only ten minutes long, but it is worth your time…