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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 7/22/2001 9:47:40 AM EST
Clinton and his Secretary of Defense took flak for not ordering armor to Somalia to help our troops. I think it might have been good in the rural areas, but Mogadishu would have been a deathtrap for armor.
Link Posted: 7/22/2001 10:58:26 AM EST
I wonder why so many "experts" think the lack of armor was critical?
Link Posted: 7/22/2001 5:38:08 PM EST
After reading posts by Raleigh Cash, J Belman and other TFR members at Cinemayhem´s BHD forum, THE one most needed piece of equipment were the AC130s. Those could have coordinated their flight patterns with the helos and could have shot the s*** out of Somali roadblocks and thus aided a more rapid arrival of the vehicle convoy to the crash sites and also in the exfil phase. And the Spectre´s would have wrecked mayhem to any other targets also.
Link Posted: 7/23/2001 8:58:30 AM EST
I think the biggest mistake was being overconfident. 1)They needed better between unit communication 2) They should have arranged for more reinforcements and/or rescue. That being said, considered how FUBAR the whole thing went, Delta and Ranger individuals did a fantastic job. I would have been a mass of quivering jelly hiding in a corner if it had happened to me.
Link Posted: 7/24/2001 4:11:26 PM EST
Maybe the biggest obstacle was crappy leadership in the White House. Too bad the military could not have made Clinton walk point. John
Link Posted: 7/25/2001 12:22:41 AM EST
Mogadishu was not exactly ideal tank country, but I don't think it would have been a death trap for Abrams and Bradlys, either. After all, the inferior armour used by the allies did fine, and the RPG-7 (the best AT weapon the Somalis had in quantity) is marginal against American armour. If duce and a halfs and armoured Humvees could survive, Bradlys sure could.
Link Posted: 7/25/2001 10:25:39 AM EST
I really have a hard time seeing how it would have *hurt* to have a few M1A1s on standby or leading patrols in case things went sideways. Even if only using their co-ax guns, they could still do a lot of good. Likewise, Bradleys would've stood up to the fire a lot better that the Hummers, as has already been pointed out. Gutless leadership. Didn't the father of one of the SF heroes who earned the CMH refuse to meet w/Clinton?
Link Posted: 7/25/2001 11:34:01 AM EST
Dogcaller, it was SFC Randall Shughart´s(1st SFOD-D) father. But he met Slick Willie in the White House and told him that he was not fit for a commander in chief. Randy, Gary, Earl, "Griz", Dan and all other members of TFR KIA on Oct 3rd 1993, may you rest in peace
Link Posted: 7/27/2001 4:41:36 PM EST
Definitely remember the book, in the Philly Inquirer, and the comment that the 5.56 used was armor piercing and passing through the Somalians. One of the Delta had an M14 and had major results with the 7.62. Poorly planned and the good guys were left hanging in the wind.
Link Posted: 7/28/2001 10:19:26 AM EST
Having a few M1's, just a platoon, would have made a big difference in the Rescue effort. The lesson has not been lost, at least on the Marines. The MEU/SOC's now rarely go out without a M1 plt with them for just this contingency. But a rescue would not have been needed if they had had the AC130's available, like thay had had on two prior attempts. Of course, we didnt have to send anyone after Aided... we could of offed him from a distance, without risking ANY men at all. Somebody posted a picture here taken from the Mogadishu airport looking toward the Olympic Hotel. And it showed how flat the area around Mogadishu was, and how close it was to the ocean. Given that, to send a message to Aidded to stop stealing from the truck convoys, we should have simply levelled the hotel with naval gunfire. If a Iowa class battleship had been present we could of just leveled the hotel. A Iowa's main battery director overtopped most of Mogadishu, it would have been a direct fire shoot, as good as the Iowas are on indirect fire missions they are AWSOME on direct fire. And since the hotel was so close to the ocean- they could of picked which WINDOW they wanted to put the shells through. Collateral damage you ask? Just use the AP rounds, they are more accurate than the HC rounds anyway, they dont blow up but they would knock the shit out of concrete buildings. Concrete and stone fragments would provide all the wounding/killing in the building you could want. Overs would just bury themselves in the ground if they landed in the shanty towns.
Link Posted: 7/29/2001 8:42:18 AM EST
Don't need a battleship for that kind of mission. TACAIR & LGB's would be more than adequate. TOMAHAWK would work too, if you wanted to be really sneaky. Crumbling the buildings ain't hard. Crumbling them on top of the big cheese is a timing & intel thing. That's why your Aideed's, Saddam's, & Osama's keep quiet & keep moving. Battleships would be very handy for any number of other scenarios.
Link Posted: 7/30/2001 1:48:05 PM EST
Originally Posted By Voodoo17: Definitely remember the book, in the Philly Inquirer, and the comment that the 5.56 used was armor piercing and passing through the Somalians. One of the Delta had an M14 and had major results with the 7.62. Poorly planned and the good guys were left hanging in the wind.
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The book also mentions where one old man took three burts with an M-60 before he went down . . . The 5.56 used was not true AP, but M855. It produces essentially the same wound channel as M193, but the Rangers were using short barreled CARs (11.5") that didn't have sufficient muzzle velocity . . . The 14.5" M-4 only has sufficient mv for short distances, and anything with a shorter barrel will have poor performance with ball ammo. Also, I suspect that poor bullet placement had something to do with it. Poorly centered hits (or outright misses) at "easy" targets, and it's the round that gets blamed . . . Just my opinion . . .
Link Posted: 7/30/2001 2:53:56 PM EST
but Mogadishu would have been a deathtrap for armor.
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Yea, the Iraq Army would tell you how effective our armor is.
Link Posted: 7/30/2001 4:50:24 PM EST
M1's would lose most of their long distance advantages in a urban enviroment and tank treads would be very vulnerable to booby traps. Plus those Somali's were suicidal and would gladly trade their lives to take out American armor.
Link Posted: 7/30/2001 8:38:19 PM EST
No, tanks are invaluable in a urban enviroment. Just ask the Marines who retook Hue City how important the M48's were. The Somalies had no AT weapon that could take a M1 from the front. Keeping them from climbing onto the tank is the infantrys job. Sadly though, M1A1's do not yet have a cannister round. One has been designed, but it hasnt been purchased yet. They also dont have a WP round- however Israel and Germany do, so we could just buy a C17 load if we had to.
Link Posted: 7/31/2001 8:38:34 PM EST
First, regarding the “armor piercing ammo”, the muzzle velocity answer is the key. There is nothing wrong with the M855 rounds, or their ability to knock down skinny people. For the passages referring to poor stopping power, please provide page numbers. As far as armor, the M-113’s that went into the city that night were not uniquely armored, and managed to fight successfully to the surrounded troops without loss. This was mostly due to good training and tactics by the US infantrymen conducting the rescue. Luck always helps too. I would have preferred a few batteries of M198’s on call, or naval gunfire, but that was not an option. As far as collateral damage, who cares? If we had erased a few square miles of the city that would have been fine with me. The AC130 option would also have worked well. However, the gunships present did an excellent job hosing down the spectators surrounding the fight. Depending on the source, we killed between 1,300 and 3,000 of them. In fact, we successfully captured the targets of the mission per the plan. We ran into a deliberate ambush by a city full of bad guys, and killed a few thousand of them, while only losing 18 of ours. We can point out books worth of lessons learned, but that was a successful mission. In the future, we could do a number of things differently. I would have started by ringing the surrounded troops with FAE strikes. That should have sterilized a few hundred yards of city around our troops, and broken the back of the ambush. Again, collateral damage means nothing to me, so this type of strike would be my first choice. High Explosive would have been a poor second choice, but work in a pinch. I would also have done a much more detailed liaison with the regular US infantry that were tasked with extracting the Spec Ops guys if there was a problem. That was really the biggest shortcoming of the US operation. However, the fact that the vast majority of RPG rounds available to the ambushers were expended during the day fight may have saved the rescue force from losing M-113’s that night. There will always be plenty of what-ifs about the fight. I am just concerned that a bunch of PC crap will screw up the movie production.
Link Posted: 7/31/2001 10:40:14 PM EST
The US had M113's there? What unit? 10th Mountain doesnt normally have any armor. And I had thought that most of the rescue force armor came from the Pakistani's?
Link Posted: 8/1/2001 9:52:15 PM EST
Yeah, the Paki's had some M48A3's there too. Also some AH-1T TOW Cobras- still with miniguns and 40mm GL's like in Vietnam!
Link Posted: 8/2/2001 1:41:00 PM EST
Went to a party in the Fort Benning area with a buddy of mine. He said it was for one of his friends from high school. Turns out he was a Ranger and was involved in the Black Hawk down event. Anyhow, talked to alot of the Rangers and I have never met a better bunch of people. This party was back in 95 - 96 I believe, so I don't even remember my buddies high school friend but he did comment on some of the raid. I remember him saying that they killed in his words probably thousands of somalis and that towards the end they had to start shooting some somalis that were walking into the street and pointing out their positions. He talked of a buddy who died, was shot in the inguinal area / femoral artery. I came away from that nite out with a healthy respect for our military and the Rangers in particular. Not alot to add to the thread but they are helluva bunch of good guys.
Link Posted: 8/3/2001 7:44:36 PM EST
I wonder if there will come a time when we are the Somali's and peacekeeping forces are disarming us and capturing our militia lieutenants.
Link Posted: 8/5/2001 9:59:33 AM EST
A few tanks (M-60A3, M1, M1A1) or the old M728 CEV would have helped quite a bit, there aren't many roadblocks that would survive a 165mm HEP-T, a 120mm HE-or HEATMP, or even the 105mm WP, APERS-T, HEP-T. Let alone 48-70 tons of tank moving 30mph enough to crush and mangle raodblocks that would stop any armoured car, Hummer, deuce and a 1/2 or 5 ton. Tanks properly used with their necesssary Infantry support would have blasted through to the embattled boys alot sooner. Tanks are pivotal when used properly in MOUT (look at Aachen in '45, Hue city in '68 amongst other bits). Plus SpecOps' have a penchant for taking missions that they should not. The Somalis' did not know who the "U.S. ARMY RANGERS" were and did'nt give a damn: they were just another enemy to kill. The Rangers were in over their heads pure and simple, by simple arrogance and overconfidence that some units suffer from: I hear it all the time-"Do You Know Who We Are!" well the Somaili's obviously were not told or they would've run away screaming into the night. Not to down any particular units or people-the guys there had the guts to make the best of a bad situation and survive it and thats' what counts.
Link Posted: 8/8/2001 1:36:41 PM EST
As gratifying as it would have been to fire a few 16in shells into Mogadishu, or level a few city blocks with FAE (Fuel Air Explosive), neither of these, or any similar options, are courses of action that would have or should have been taken by US forces. The US military follows something called the Laws of armed conflict (LOAC). LOAC is based on international treaties (Geneva, Hague), and US law. LOAC prohibits the indiscriminate targeting and firing on non-combatants. Using any area effect weapons such as naval gunfire, artillery, AC-130s, or aerial bombardment, would have killed many non-combatants. Also, using such weapons would have been counter productive to the goals of US involvement in Somalia (more on this later). We were there for "Nation Building", not to level their capitol city. Yes, non-combatants were killed, but hat was by stray fire, they were not deliberately targeted. However, not all unarmed Somalis were non-combatants. Although many unarmed Somalis were shot at I would argue that by acting as a shield for armed individuals, or by acting as a spotter for enemy fire, that they gave up their non-combatant status. So that shooting them did not violate LOAC. So the question still remains - what could we have done to prevent the losses we suffered. I think there is something that we could have done . However a few other points first. I would argue that the mission was a complete success. We accomplished our goals for the mission with minimal loss of US life. And when the enemy tried to fight back we inflicted considerable damage on them. That's the nature of military operations. Sometimes the other guy decides to fight back. And sometimes no matter how good our plan is the enemy gives us a bloody nose. Yes, we should have had some more assets on hand. Armor, and a better placed quick reaction force. More CASR assets - I wouldn't stage an op with only one of something be it a squad radio, spare magazine, or CASR helo. What if the only CASR helo had developed engine trouble and had to RTB? These suggestions would not have resulted in no casualties, but would have reduced the ones we suffered. The only thing we could have done to avoid the casualties we suffered was to have never staged the op in the first place. I blame Clinton and Aspin for the deaths suffered in Mogadishu. When Butros-Ghali changed the UN mission form famine relief to "Nation Building" Clinton did not re-examine our level of commitment to the operation or set clear guidelines for the use of US troops. Colin Powel requested this numerous times during the summer of 93, but Clinton never did anything about it. By committing US troops to a military action without any thought given to what those troops would be required to do is criminal to say the least. By blindly following Butros-Ghali's lead Clinton got us involved in a civil war without the knowledge or support of the US people or Congress. That coupled with Aspin's theory of "Gradualism" (applying only just enough military force to win, instead of using overwhelming superiority) put our troops in a situation where lives were going to be lost. It would have been easier and quicker if Clinton had gone up to each soldier and shot them himself.
Link Posted: 8/9/2001 4:06:38 PM EST
You didnt read the posts very well Spatz. I said to use 16in guns because they [i]wouldnt[/i] destroy half of Mog.
Link Posted: 8/9/2001 4:15:27 PM EST
As for interesting bits they finished filming the Ft. Benning sequences for the movie "Blackhawk Down" on Ft. Benning about a month or two ago. The film crews were out almost the whole time in Rangerland on Ft. Benning-If I heard right from my Ranger buddy that Ewan MacGregor is in the film in the role of one of the REMFs' who goes up in the relief convoy. Not sure who else was in the flick though. And supposedly it is directed by Jerry Bruckheimer (Con-Air). They filmed this movie and We Were soldiers Once: And Young at the smae time (I have comments on this movie under the Viet-Nam movies thread).
Link Posted: 8/9/2001 7:13:51 PM EST
That’s OK, because I mentioned FAE to specifically level as much of the city as necessary to end the ambush. I’m fully aware of the Law of War, and I am not aware of any additional treaties that we have signed (although I am aware of some that we are understood to have signed, but didn’t) since WWII. Therefore, I will use that as a benchmark of the legality and morality of killing civilians in war. I don’t think we should get too spun up about a few thousand additional civilian deaths, especially considering the few thousand civilians we killed in the Kosovo bombings. The goal is winning with minimal losses to us. Firepower is the answer. Too bad for the enemy. It’s unfortunate that the bed wetters are in charge for the time being. I expect that to change as soon as we get into another major conventional conflict. Until then, we just have to put up with their whining and mewing.
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 3:25:44 PM EST
The book is downstairs and the computer is upstairs. In the beginning of the book a plastic covered titanium round is mentioned by a "60" gunner. A later reference in the book is made to a greentipped 5.56 round. The 60 gunner shot an old man 3 times. Watched him get up and fired more rounds at the individual, 8 I believe. Titanium sounds like AP to me. I don't know what the green tipped round is? any help. Book still gets me mad!
Link Posted: 8/15/2001 5:46:27 PM EST
Green tips are the standard round for M-16A2 & M-4 Series of weapons (Designated as M855). It consists of a 62 grain bullet with a small, hard metal "penetrator" (If memory serves me right tungsten carbide?) in the tip with a lead core behind it. It could be best described as semi-armor piercing. I tested some of this stuff a few years back by shooting it into large blocks of 1018 CRS (a very low grade carbon steel) nothing near RHA or even face hardened armor plate-trying to get some armor plate now and gonna see what it does here in a few months. In the CRS at 90 degrees at 25yds it penetrated about 1/2" before running out of gas. In armor plate I have heard pen. is about 1/4" (not sure though, will know soon enough). Not sure about the plastic covered titanium round-but titanium sounds like a poor choice for an AP type round. I'll check a few sources though.
Link Posted: 8/20/2001 2:44:15 PM EST
Pretty sure all such references were really to the M855. Titanium, Tungsten - Some 'T' word describing metal. Plastic coated - the green tip. I'm pretty familiar with M855 and must admit that the book lost me for a while on the ammo thing.
Link Posted: 8/20/2001 7:39:26 PM EST
M855 is just mild steel. Even the World War II M2 30/06 AP was at least hardened tool steel. But the M995/996 with the black tips are AP and they are tungstin and are "true" AP that will penetrate armor steel. M855 will shatter against steel armor.
Link Posted: 8/22/2001 2:39:19 PM EST
Armdlbrl: I guess you are right on that one about the "penetrator" being soft metal. I, at work tommorow I am going to try to find one and saw the bullet for my own verification, I am that way sometimes, I like to see things firsthand myself. I picked up the plate today but it will be some time before I can do my tests I need to get the AP ammo in various calibers (5,45mm,5.56mm,7.62mm,7.62x39,7.62x54 30.06,and .50BMG)so it will be a bit before I can do my testing.
Link Posted: 8/22/2001 2:50:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/22/2001 2:56:34 PM EST by ArmdLbrl]
Army Cartoon explaining difference in 5.56 rounds: [img]http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/556rvol.gif[/img] US 5.56 and 7.62 AP ammo page. [url]http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/m993.htm[/url] For the first time they used a real LAV, a ex-Iraqi BRDM-2 to test this. The ammo was designed by Rafuoss in Norway. Funny thing is, it has only been a standard item since 1996. This may not be what they were using in Mog. Has anyone ever explained just [i]why[/i] they were using AP ammo anyways? What on earth were they expecting to fight them? Its hard to imagine anyone in Somalia having body armor.
Link Posted: 8/22/2001 4:40:15 PM EST
From my sources, They (Task Force Ranger)in Mog. used the M855 round out the M-16A2 Carbine for the most part. A lot of people in the military are told that the green tip M855 has a steel penetrator in the core that will penetrate light armor and body armor and I think perhaps this is where it started about the A.P. characteristics. I remember being told it had a hard tungsten core in munitions training. Thanks for the info. you don't need AP ammo to damage AFV's or IFV's you can do it with ball ammo. I know that the AP rounds are pretty much a very limited issue item in that the tungsten used in the core is a strategic metal and is at a deficiet at this time in the U.S.
Link Posted: 8/22/2001 7:42:07 PM EST
I believe page 40 , in the book, describes a "slap" round. Either page 200 or 212 talks about "green" tipped ammo.
Link Posted: 8/22/2001 7:54:07 PM EST
ArmdLbrl, I’m going to throw the bullshit flag on your cartoon. First, FAS is not exactly an objective source. They began as a group whose purpose was to publish what amounts to classified information regarding WMD. Their bent was decidedly anti-American. They still have extensive expertise in strategic weapons. They have never been known as an accurate source for info on tactical weapons. I have no knowledge of an M995 round, unless that is new type name for the “envirofriendly” ammo that is being supplied to reduce lead contamination of training ranges. According to the FAS link, the page is regarding the “M993” round. That may be a simple error by a web developer, but attention to detail is everything. As far as the round comparison, the M193 round is 55 grains. I have never seen it documented as anything other than that. I have personally shot it at least ¼” into steel plate (not hardened armor plate, but simple NASCO surplus plate used for ship building). The range of the penetration test is not mentioned, but unless it is at least 300 meters, M193 Ball can definitely penetrate more than 1mm of steel. The M855 round is 62 grains, not 51.8 grains. I believe that it can not only penetrate 3mm, but probably a bit more. I have seen 3/8 inch plates penetrated by this round at 100 meters. As of 12 months ago, the new “eco” round had only just been approved. It was not specifically designed as armor piercing. The unfortunate thing is that the cartoon does not depict range and velocity of the round in the evaluation. I doubt I would believe the numbers if they did, given the lack of accuracy of the bullet weights, but at least we would know what is being claimed. There is nothing wrong with the M855 round’s ability to kill people. Shot out of 16” barrels, it is more capable of wounding people out to 200 yards than the M193 round. If you are going to use the Blackhawk Down episode to claim otherwise, please provide page numbers of your citations.
Link Posted: 8/22/2001 9:28:49 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/22/2001 9:40:51 PM EST by ArmdLbrl]
Well, were both part wrong Doug, Nammo Raufoss didnt build these rounds, Bofors in Sweeden did. But they are very real [url]http://www.dote.osd.mil/reports/FY97/army/97xm993-995.html[/url]. And the FAS Web page clearly shows that it covers M993/XM994/M995/XM996. The tracers remain X numbers, they were tested but the Army has so far declined to buy them as there wasnt enough difference in POI and accuracy from regular ball/tracer to bother. And I was trying to help Teufelmann55 figure out what the mysterious "T metal" he couldnt remember is. This:
There is nothing wrong with the M855 round’s ability to kill people. Shot out of 16” barrels, it is more capable of wounding people out to 200 yards than the M193 round. If you are going to use the Blackhawk Down episode to claim otherwise, please provide page numbers of your citations.
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wasnt even the topic of conversation. And the weights should read 56, 61.8 and 62gr somewhere their was a misprint. But the AP figures are correct, [i]and are for rolled homoginous steel armor plate- not marine construction steel[/i]and that is important because hardened armor steel will cause the mild steel of M855 to deform or even shatter depending on impact velocity and reduce its penetration. This picture gives a better indication of the rounds performance:[img]http://www.fulton-armory.com/cartridge.gif[/img] see [url]http://www.fulton-armory.com/AP.htm[/url] for details.
Link Posted: 9/10/2001 7:18:32 AM EST
I thought the book was outstanding and here are a few thoughts that I had about the operation. The Somalia perspective: It seems perfectly logical to me that the people of Somalia would rise up to fight the Americans. The book talks about a TOW missile attack against a clan meeting that had been organized by Admiral Howe. It reminded me of the meeting organized by The English King in Braveheart. He hung the Scottish clan leaders, the Americans used TOW missiles. The people of Somalia thought the UN and Boutros Ghali were using the US to do their dirty work. Adid realized the American weakness in the operation. Americans were superior in every means except one. The Americans weren't willing to die. He wasn't talking about the soldiers on the ground either. He was talking about the American commitment (Congress/public). He was right. With regards to the ammo they were using according to the book page 252. It was one of the D-boys Howe that complained about the ammo. He was also praising Shughart for his choice of gun/ammo.
Down on one knee, Howe swore bitterly as he fired. Everything about the situation was pissing him off, the goddamn Somalis, his leaders, the idiot Rangers... even his ammunition. He drew a bead on three Somalis who were running across the street two blocks to the north, taking a progressive lead on them the way he had learned through countless hours of training, squaring them in his sights and then aiming several feet in front of them. He would squeeze two or three rounds, rapidly increasing his lead with each shot. He was an expert marksman, and thought he had hit them, but couldn't tell for sure because they kept running until they crossed the street and were out of view. It bugged him. His weapon was the most sophisticated infantry rifle in the world, a customized CAR-15, and he was shooting the army's new 5.56-mm green-tip round. The green tip had a tungsten carbide penetrator at the tip, and would punch holes in metal, but that very penetrating power meant his rounds were passing right through his target when he hit them. Their shirts would lift up at the point of impact, as if someone had pinched and plucked up the fabric. But with the green-tip round it was like sticking somebody with an ice pick. The bullet made a small clean hole, and unless it happened to hit the heart or spine, it wasn't enough to stop a man in his tracks. Howe felt like he had to hit a guy five or six times just to get his attention. They used to kid Randy Shughart because he shunned the modern rifle and ammunition and carried a Vietnam-era M-14, which shot a 7.62-mm round without the penetrating qualities of the new green tip. It occurred to Howe as he saw those Sammies keep on running that Randy was the smartest soldier in the unit. His rifle may have been heavier and comparatively awkward and delivered a mean recoil, but it damn sure knocked a man down with one bullet, and in combat one shot was often all you got. You shoot a guy, you want to see him go down; you don't want to be guessing for the next five hours whether you hit him, or whether he's still waiting for you in the weeds.
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Link Posted: 9/10/2001 5:01:43 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/7/2001 6:21:05 AM EST
I love the "Knocking On Heaven's Door" song they use in the movie clip.
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