Hollywood vs. History: 'Black Hawk Down'
The 2001 film Black Hawk Down earned praise for its visceral depiction of modern warfare. Director and co-producer Ridley Scott figured to get that right.
How true did he stay to the rest of the story about the horrific 1993 Battle of Mogadishu, in which 18 American soldiers were killed and more than 70 were wounded in an ill-fated attempt to capture two top lieutenants of a notorious Somali warlord?
Military historian Dirk Ringgenberg assesses the historical accuracy of the movie – adapted from a book by journalist Mark Bowden – in the latest installment of the Library’s Hollywood vs. History series in partnership with the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.
Ringgenberg is an assistant professor at the Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, specializing in the field of military technology. He spent 24 years as an Army infantry officer, serving four combat tours in the Gulf War, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and earned the Silver Star for Gallantry and a Bronze Star for Valor while serving as a paratrooper company commander during intense fighting in Afghanistan in 2005.
He’s currently a doctoral candidate at Iowa State University, completing his dissertation on the adoption of wireless communication in the U.S. Army.