In connection with the jubilee — 18 years and 7 months — I wanted to talk about the noticeable events in 1993 that took place in the capital of the Republic of Somalia. "The Day of the Rangers" was a resounding failure of international peacekeeping operation in Somalia, dealing a blow to the prestige of the U.S. Special Operations Forces "Delta".
Despite the tactical success — the seizure of senior officials of the "shadow cabinet" General Aidid, on that day the South American contingent suffered a tangible loss in manpower and equipment, which, in turn, led to the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the territory of Somalia in the spring of 1994. Strategic victory went militants Mohammed Farah Aidid, who, feeling the favorites, further tightened its policy.
Easing monetary and military support from the Soviet Union in the late 80's has put the Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party and her favorite Mohamed Siad Barre in a very unenviable position — one-on-one against Islamic extremists and the representatives of all the clans of Somalia. Trying to save the country from chaos, Barry spent several violent operations against the rebels was the most resounding aircraft bombing the town of Hargeisa, in the deaths of up to 2 million inhabitants. How annoying would it sounds, nothing could save the situation by January 1991 in Somalia prveratilos apocalyptic horror. All samples "razrulit" the situation of the UN forces and Somali militants to disarm of success had not.
One of the main figures of civilian war was Mohammed Farah Aidid, the last chief of staff of the army of Somalia. Aidid formed around a strong group of like-minded and, with the support of Islamic design movements took control by some parts of the country. From the beginning, he abruptly bad attitude to the intervention of UN forces in the conflict, declaring "blue helmets" open war. After the death of 24 Pakistani peacekeepers in March 1993 adopted a brand new UN resolution number 837, in accordance with which the command of the peacekeepers decided to conduct an operation to arrest Aidid: the capture of the 1st of the favorites of the militants and the defeat of his forces should be sobering and other warlords.
Intervened in the conflict U.S. aircraft, using aircraft fire support AC-130 "Spectrum". For two weeks with the support of UN forces from the air has been destroyed headquarters and the radio station Aidid seized weapons and military equipment. During the raids had been cleared of militants significant territory formerly controlled by Aideed, but full of success was not achieved. Aideed disappeared, flashed a bloody guerrilla war.
Rangers are on the prowl
In August, the most notable action of the story — in Somalia arrived operational and tactical group "Rangers", consisting of:
— With the riot squad "Delta"
— 3rd Battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment
— 160th Aviation Regiment special purpose "Night Stalkers", equipped by helicopter UH-60 "Black Hawk Down" and OH-6 "Little Bird"
Also as part of the "Rangers" were special forces SEAL («seals") and search-and-rescue crew of the 24th special squadron — only about 200 personnel. Task — to capture or elimination of General Aidid and the coming of his entourage.
Even before the arrival of the main forces of "Rangers" began Operation "Eye of Mogadishu" — in the skies over the Somali capital without annoying reconnaissance helicopters circled by controlling the movement of vehicles.
Based on intelligence disk imaging Intelligence Support Activity (ISA) — CIA division in effect at the location of Somalia, the Rangers had several unsuccessful raids and ambushes. Every time Aideed disappeared without any trace, and information about his whereabouts turned out of date. This adversely affected the state of Special Forces soldiers — meeting nowhere stern resistance, they lose care. Unsuccessful crosses on the hot streets of Mogadishu exhausted personnel, the men did not understand the aims of the operation, their passivity annoyed control and a ban on open fire.
Meanwhile, the situation was complicated — 15 September of Mogadishu was hit by a grenade RPG light reconnaissance helicopter. First alarm bell went unheeded — Commander of the "Rangers" General Harrison considered it an accident and do not take into account when planning the use of the following operations against militants RPG aerial targets.
October 3, 1993 the agents figured whereabouts of Omar Salad and Abdi Hasan Aval — prominent associates of General Aidid. Both field commanders were hiding in the building of the hotel "Olympic", located in the heart Bakara market. No good place to get at the commandos nickname "Black Sea".
The Rangers have started to prepare for the exit. After a while vyyasniolos that the agent of the local terrified and could not drive up to the house of a wanted. Once again, due to the poor performance of intelligence units "Rangers" were on the verge of having to storm the wrong target.
Somali agent raced back to the car on the Bakara area. From above, from the board of "Orion," the U.S. Navy, followed closely watched by camera operators. Who exactly African braked in front of the house where the militants were favorites and opened the hood, imitated breakage. He did everything as taught, but very rapidly closed the hood of the car and drove away from dangerous places — operators do not have time to fix the coordinates of the house.
Agent gave the order to repeat all at first. In the third time he drove to the house where the militants were hiding favorites and opened the hood (it's amazing how he was not shot). Now the error should not be — the agent pointed to the building one block north of the hotel "Olympic", the same place where the morning air reconnaissance spotted the "Land Cruiser" Salada.
This story says about the quality of U.S. intelligence agencies in Somalia — often had to rely on unreliable people and unverified information, and "superspy" of the local had no harsh training.
Hawks over Mogadishu
Roy dark helicopters soared over the Indian Ocean surf. The commandos of the "Delta" flew at 4 light MH-6 — "Little Birds" could without fear of landing in narrow quarters of the town and the roofs of houses. Ranger Group of 4 "Black Hawk Down" was supposed to parachute through the "fast rope" in the corners of the block and form a protective perimeter.
Marines covered the four attack helicopters AH-6 with machine guns and Nursi on board. Another "Black hawk"With the search and rescue team was patrolling the air above the Bakara market. The situation in the area saw three helicopters intelligence "Kiowa" and loitering high in the blue sky P-3 "Orion".
The proposal on the allocation of General Harrison aircraft fire support AC-130 "Spectrum" with 105-mm howitzers and
40 mm automatic cannon were ignored — by the views of the Pentagon, the use of such massive funds does not correspond to the status of "local operation" and could lead to an escalation of the conflict . Accordingly, the requests were rejected by the strengthening of the "Rangers" languid armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles. Apprehensively general all the same ordered to equip helicopters blocks rockets. To somehow protect the "Black Hawks" from ground fire, equipment spread out on the floor of the cockpit and landing cockpit vests.
After landing assault helicopters were patrolling in the air, covering the fire special forces. To do this, the crew of "Black Hawk Down", except 2-standard on-shooters, including at 2 sniper "Delta".
As part of the ground convoy moving 9 armored "Humvees" and three five-ton truck M939. In the process of breaking the goal became clear that non-structural protection trucks even sweep of Kalashnikov assault rifles. Better protected "Hummers", nevertheless, could not ram the barricades and were often in the feeble position on the narrow streets of Mogadishu.
The commandos were left on base suhpayki, bayonets to rifles, night vision, all the excess for non-long supposed to daylight raid. The following steps 3 October turned into a continuous battle, which took the lives of many American fighter.
The soldiers of the "Delta" lossless planted on the roof of the headquarters of militants stormed inside, killed the guards and smaller co-hort captured 24 people. Reynzhderam less lucky — already at landing one of them, 18-year-old Todd Blackburn, broke the rope and got a languorous injury. To the place of the operation were rapidly shrink militants and a crowd of local residents that are indistinguishable from each other. There was a growing roar of fire, the course went grenade launchers. At times, shot from above the minigun — when the fire is six-barreled gun, the individual shots together in a single roar, as if at the turbine. Fire from helicopters allowed to keep militants at bay.
Despite the heavy fire, the convoy was able to break just right to occupied buildings. Three cars had to highlight the urgent evacuation of the wounded Private Blackburn, two ("Hammer" and M939) were destroyed by an RPG-7.
5 minutes later came the event that changed the entire course of the operation — from a grenade launcher was hit by "Black Hawk Down" (callsign Super 6-1). The explosion damaged the tail box and the machine, spinning furiously, fell into a dusty alley. It was not just a helicopter crash. It was a blow to the invulnerability of the U.S. military. "Black Hawk" was their trump cards. Crowds of Somalis have fled to the crash site, "pinwheel" — the Americans were well aware that the angry residents of the pilots will tear to shreds. Special forces, plunging the prisoners in trucks rushed to the fallen "Black Hawk."
After a few minutes a side street near the downed helicopter landed AN-6 — the crew of "Little Birds" managed to pull out from under the smoking wreckage of 2-the wounded. Under saturated fire helicopter took off, taking on board the rescued soldiers. The dead were left lying in the pilots downed "Black Hawk Down."
Soon search and rescue "Black Hawk Down" (more precisely its modification HH-60 «Pave Hawk») delivered to the site of the crash 15 people SWAT and nurses — Shredded pieces of special equipment, they got 2-hand side still alive. At the time of loading the wounded rescue helicopter got into the side of a grenade RPG-7. Somehow taking off, he could hardly have lasted 3 miles to the coming terms, to control the South American military.
"Black Hawk Down" falling like plums
A little ground convoy moved through the rubble in the streets, carrying the prisoners to the South American base, rocket grenade caught the tail rotor of another "Black Hawk Down" (call sign "Super 6-4"). Pilots, alternately turning off the left and right engines, tried to stabilize the flight. Helicopter ryskaya feral zigzags, moving in the direction of the base, but it would be a shame as it may sound, has not held — tail completely unbalance the box: the rotation was so spirited that falling from a height of 20 meters, the helicopter had to make 10-15 revolutions before impact the ground. "Black Hawk Down" crashed a couple of miles from Bakara market.
At this point, the remainder of the special forces in the town were killed and wounded fighters already half, the only search-and-rescue team was busy evacuating the crew of "Super 6-1". Helicopter fell away from the main body and the ambulance was nowhere to be expected.
Suddenly, two snipers from the helicopter crew "Super 6-2" — NCO Group "Delta" Randall Shughart and Gary Gordon decided to parachute at the crash site for the protection of the surviving crew members of the "Black Hawk Down." "Super 6-2" promised to stay in the air and cover them with fire of their own "minigun", but just the snipers were on the ground, in the cockpit of "Super 6-2" knocked up pineapple — a helicopter with difficulty reached the area of the port of Mogadishu, where he collapsed , becoming the fourth day of a disabled "Black Hawk Down." By the way, this helicopter lucky — in the area of his opponent out an emergency landing because the crew was quickly evacuated.
Shughart and Gordon were alone among the angry sea militants. Under the fragments they found a downed helicopter pilot living with broken legs. In the operations center at the U.S. base followed the catastrophe — the picture in real-time broadcast from a helicopter tracking, flying high in the sky. Was urgently formed a new convoy of 22 "Hummers", but there was an acute shortage of personnel — had to send in Mogadishu even staff officers. How unfortunate it did not sound, the guards could not get through to the crash site of the second "Black Hawk Down," stumbled on the impenetrable barricade and fire an angry Somalis. Having shot 60,000 rounds of ammunition, the soldiers returned to base. Shughart and Gordon some time on the defensive against the Somalis, until they were swept away by the mass. The helicopter tracking reported: "Wreckage captured by local".
With the coming of darkness, it became clear that the Americans seriously're in trouble — ther
e was no ability to evacuate the remaining 99 people in the town (including the — the wounded). The soldiers barricaded themselves in several buildings, to break through to the base without covering the heavy armor was suicide. Head of Somalis are not weakened. At 8 pm, "Black Hawk Down" (call sign — "Super 6-6") supplies to the besieged threw water, ammunition and medical supplies, but the receiving holes 50, limped slightly to the base.
The South American command was forced to seek help from UN peacekeepers. At night in the direction of Mogadishu moved rescue convoy of four Pakistani tanks and 24 armored personnel carriers Malaysian peacekeepers. All night over the place where the Americans were hiding circling helicopter gunships — for 6 sorties "Little birds" shot 80,000 rounds of ammunition and fired hundreds of rockets around. The effectiveness of departures AN-6 remained low — light helicopters without special sighting system could well hit point targets in total darkness, shooting through the squares.
Rescue convoy reached the besieged Special Forces only to 5 am on the way surveying the wreck of "Super 6-4", but found there no survivors or bodies of the dead — only charred debris and piles of spent cartridges. All places in the armored cars was not enough — some soldiers had to run under the cover boards APCs. Of the side streets of the dilapidated town for runaway Yankees watched thousands of Somalis. It was their day. It was a victory for them.
Total South American military had lost 18 men killed, 74 were seriously injured. Reminiscing about his own losses, the Americans somehow forgets to honor the memory of those who rescued them life — from the rescue convoy 1 Malaysian tanker died 2 more Pakistani peacekeepers were injured. One Yankees — the pilot of the "Black Hawk Down" Michael Durant was captured, from which he was rescued after 11 days in exchange for a 2-captured Somalis. Clear loss of Somalis are unknown, although General Aideed called the next number — 315 people were killed, 800 wounded.
In general, the massacre in Mogadishu — no perceptible battle, which became known only thanks to magnificent film "The Fall of the Dark Hawk." Similar operations with heavy losses and a useless result — a permanent event in military history. The main reason for the failures — vile plan without taking into consideration existing realities and the infidel intelligence. The South American commanders knew perfectly well that the special forces will be faced with many times superior forces of the enemy in numbers, but not allocated to cover up their heavy weapons and assault aircraft. Americans traveling to Mogadishu as a sightseeing trip, zapamyatyvaya that General Aidid — a graduate of Russian military academy, and in the middle of the coming of his entourage — seasoned fighters from Near East and Afghanistan, had many years of experience in guerrilla warfare.
In this history can be noted for the future 4 points:
In-1's, there is no reliable means to cover fighter than languid armored vehicles, while at the same time, the tanks in the streets of the town without a high-quality cover for infantry converted into easy targets (which justified the assault on Grozny-95).
In-2, fire support to those with no structural armor helicopters — risky, which is understandable since the days of Vietnam.
B-3, light maneuverable helicopters may prove very useful tool in the storming of the city limits. Flying through the narrow maze of streets and sitting down on any "patch" small "pinwheel" can be invaluable in helping frisky desantirovanii on site or evacuate the wounded.
And, perhaps, the last important conclusion — the results of operations of such gap stretches responsible person must together put off by the court. Pokomandovat barge in Kolyma, fathers-commanders, maybe learn when planning operations to think about things about which they would not like to remember.
Graphic material — footage from the movie "The Fall of the Dark Hawk"
The official name of the military "Hammer" — HMMWV