Show 12: Black Hawk Down – the Battle of Mogadishu part 1

It’s October 3, 1993 and 160 soldiers of an American task force are making a routine raid into Mogadishu. It should have been just another minor skirmish. It became a battle that would cost the lives of thousands. On today’s show we’ve got a classic showdown of cutting-edge military technology and training versus the sheer numbers of the ill-led Somali militias. It’s a unique battle made famous in the epic war-film Black Hawk Down. It’s also our first show about modern warfare here on Battlecast – the world’s foremost podcast about war. We released this one a week early as a Christmas gift to you and want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a safe New Year. To all of you traveling out there, stay warm and stay safe.

The beer this episode is Sam Adams Winter Lager – 4 bullets out of 5.

Download episode 12 here: download

Maps and Illustrations:

Map showing the location of Mogadishu in East Africa and battlefield. Courtesy the Philadelphia Inquirer / MATTHEW ERICSON.

moga2 The philadelphia inquirer matthew ericson

Map of initial assault on target building. Courtesy the Philadelphia Inquirer / MATTHEW ERICSON

assaultThe Philadelphia Inquirer MATTHEW ERICSON

Locations of crash sites and target building. Courtesy the Philadelphia Inquirer / MATTHEW ERICSON

chalk two crash site matthew ericson phili inquirer

Initial deployment of Rangers around the first crash site. Courtesy the Philadelphia Inquirer / MATTHEW ERICSON

crashsite the philadelphia inquirer matthew ericson

Typical Street in Mogadishu


A US Marine helicopter flies over Mogadishu. Note, this is not a Black Hawk or Little Bird helicopter. Notice the unpaved streets.


General Garrison’s letter to President Clinton. Courtesy the Philadelphia Inquirer / MATTHEW ERICSON

General Garrison's Letter to President Clinton

Audio Clips:

Survivors from the Battle and Radio Traffic:


A Modern History of the Somali by I.M. Lewis

Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden

Inside Delta Force by Eric Haney

In the Company of Heroes by Mike Durant

The Fate of Africa by Martin Meredith

“Black Hawk Down: An American War Story” by Mark Bowden. Web.

Music References:

Kemper Crabb – “Es Kommt Ein Schiff” 


2 thoughts on “Show 12: Black Hawk Down – the Battle of Mogadishu part 1

  1. Hey Bill,
    Thanks for listening. When I saw your post, I went back to the source. Here is what author Mark Bowden wrote, “This time Nelson didn’t have time to weigh alternatives. He cut loose with the 60 and his rounds tore through the crowd” (Bowden, “Black Hawk Down,” page 49). After reading your comments, I realize Bowden was referring to Nelson’s M60 and not the caliber of his firearm. However, if you go back to Bowden’s text, the author doesn’t specify that Nelson was using an M60 (pages 48-49). We always follow our sources to a fault and while it is true that Nelson was using 7.62×51 mm rounds, his actions are portrayed correctly in our show. Thanks for taking the time to respond.


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