Black Hawk Down (book)

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Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War
Black hawk down bookcover.png
First-edition cover
Author Mark Bowden
Country United States
Language English
Genre War
Historical non-fiction
Publisher Signet Books
Publication date
February 10, 1999
Media type Hardcover
Trade paperback
Pages 320
ISBN 978-0-87113-738-8

Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War is a 1999 book by Mark Bowden that chronicles the United States Army Rangers, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, Delta Force, Navy SEALs, and UN forces attempt to capture Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid in Mogadishu and the intense battle that resulted between U.S. forces and local militia and citizens. One of the key events is the downing of a pair of UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, from which the book derives its title, and the subsequent attempt to rescue their crews.

The raid quickly became the most intensive close combat in the military history of the United States since the Vietnam War. The events of the raid were later renamed the Battle of Mogadishu by international media, as opposed to the operation's name of Gothic Serpent.

Bowden is not a historian, but a journalist, and, as such, writes his account of the battle as a narrative, rather like a novel. Bowden's sources included extensive research, interviews with participants from both sides of the conflict, footage recorded by observation aircraft, and recordings of radio traffic.

The book is based on a series of articles written by Bowden for The Philadelphia Inquirer. The book was a finalist for the 1999 National Book Award for Nonfiction. A film adaptation directed by Ridley Scott was released in 2001.

See also[edit]


  • Bowden, Mark (March 1999). Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War. Atlantic Monthly Press. Berkeley, California (USA). ISBN 0-87113-738-0

External links[edit]