How accurate is the movie Black Hawk Down?




 
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August 12th, 2004  
Keist IV
 

Topic: How accurate is the movie Black Hawk Down?


I just recently watched the movie Black Hawk Down. In the special features on the DVD it talks about how the actors portraying Rangers and the actors portraying Delta actually went to the appropriate training schools so the movie would be more like the actual events. My question is, how accurate is the movie based on the actual events in Mog?
August 12th, 2004  
Airborne Eagle
 
 
I'll just say this (since I wasn't there), it closely followed the book by Bowden and he went by first hand accounts.
August 13th, 2004  
Acerbus
 
They didn't go through the actual schools. What they went through were adapted training for actors dealing with stuff that they would need to know for their role. Not quite the real thing, but just enough make it Hollywood.
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August 13th, 2004  
GuyontheRight
 
A few things that come to mind...

Chalk 4 was not commanded by Sgt Eversman, it was instead commanded by Lt. Ditommaso (Spelling?)

'Hoot' and 'Sanderson' aint real, but rather a combination of personalities (Correct me if Im wrong, but not Delta who survived was ever mentioned by name in the movie. Also, I think Sanderson was based on Paul Howe, a Delta Operator from real life)

'Hoot' and Strueker enever came back before nightfall for a rescue attempt. Strueker participated in the nightime rescue.
August 14th, 2004  
RnderSafe
 
 
It was not accurate by any means. It was a good Hollywood portrayal, that is about all.

Even with all of the hard work Mark Bowden put in, his book was skewed - the movie fed off of the book, and then "Hollywoodised" it for the end product.
August 14th, 2004  
jen.parabellum
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RnderSafe
It was not accurate by any means. It was a good Hollywood portrayal, that is about all.

Even with all of the hard work Mark Bowden put in, his book was skewed - the movie fed off of the book, and then "Hollywoodised" it for the end product.
I agree, even in the sources information, he admits to not talking to several people involved in the mission (Blackburn for one) and he chose to ignore several people's point of view and only went with a handful of others.

Now by the maps, he provides for everyone, in the book:

Chalk One - Cpt. Steele
Chalk Two - Lt. DiTomasso
Chalk Three - Sgt. Watson
Chalk Four - Sgt. Eversmann

It mentions that Sgt. Eversmann, got the command of the chalk due to one soldier leaving due to a health problem and another to a family illness.

For example, I'm sure, not to hender Lt. Gen. Boykin's record but it's been stated all over the Internet that he was the CO of Delta and that's where he earned his Purple Heart from getting wounded due to a mortar. However if you read to Bowden's "Killing Pablo" book, he states Boykin "overlooked" some areas.

*shrugs*

I think it should also be said that Bowden thought Baghdad was going to be Mogadishu II. Maybe people think he's a better author than he really is?!? I mean you have numerous books written on WWII, Vietnam, even the first Gulf War and you have one book written like a fictional story detailing the Battle of the Black Sea. Perhaps one day, there will be another version?


POSSIBLE STRATEGIES FOR THE BATTLE FOR BAGHDAD


Quote:
Mark Bowden is the author of "Black Hawk Down," an account of the Americans trapped in urban fighting in Somalia in 1993. He says Baghdad could be much worse. He writes in the New York Times that "US soldiers would be moving in a 360 degree battlefield with obstructed sight lines and impaired radio communications, trying to pick out targets from a civilian population determined to hide, supply and shield the enemy."
Quote:
Mike Durant, who piloted a helicopter downed in Somalia, says US forces are now better prepared. He writes in "USA Today" that precision bombs will precede troop-carrying helicopters, which will be protected by attack helicopters and by tanks and armored vehicles on the ground. He says this kind of support was lacking in Somalia.
August 14th, 2004  
Keist IV
 
Interesting info guys. Thanks for the responses. I was also wondering myself about Bowden's accuracy in his book as well and what was turned around or left out to add to the editing of the book.
August 14th, 2004  
RnderSafe
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keist IV
Interesting info guys. Thanks for the responses. I was also wondering myself about Bowden's accuracy in his book as well and what was turned around or left out to add to the editing of the book.
Bowden did not have access to everyone involved. Many of the opinions in the book are representative of one man, which does not represent nor reflect the general opinions of many from that particular unit at that time.

Bowden is a journalist. Not a government official writing a memoir, not an operator writing a "no shit, there I was" expose, not a participant in the events, and not a historian or an analyst. He also has no military experience whatsoever.

Add these two things, along with various other little tidbits of misinformation, misunderstanding, etc .. and you get a good read, but not a great account of the actual events or emotions that were involved.

The same would be applied to the movie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jen.parabellum
I mean you have numerous books written on WWII, Vietnam, even the first Gulf War and you have one book written like a fictional story detailing the Battle of the Black Sea. Perhaps one day, there will be another version?
There are other versions, Mark's just happens to be the best out there.

Quote:
However if you read to Bowden's "Killing Pablo" book
Killing Pablo was thrown together, it's a tabloid piece. I think Bowden, after the success of BHD, was thirsty to release another "winner." It did not work for him. The book is rife with inaccuracies.
August 15th, 2004  
Keist IV
 

Topic: Kinda figured.


I kind of figured that about him. A good read but not at all truly what it felt like and what all actually happened. Not like it would be from someone who was actually there. That is a shame that his other work was full of inaccuracies. I guess that happens after the first one is a hit and then people like that (writers, movie directors etc.) like them deep pockets they get from the first and try to write, film another one but don't put half as much effort into it knowing people will buy due to the success of the first. That may not be true for all but it sure seems that way. Oh well, what can you do but (and maybe whine about it too)
August 30th, 2004  
Aaron
 
offcourse it was never going to be acurate they had to tame stuff down a bit and some of the places they faught in are gone now but they did the best job thye goood do with the resourses they had