Black Hawk Down

Question: Why did the film makers portray Sgt. Eversmann as the main character/hero of the story? I've read the book and his involvement was minimal.

Chosen answer: The answer to this question is quite simple. Whenever any book is put on to the screen things must be glorified in order to catch the eye of a film goer. In movies like this one, heroes, brave men, and down right bad ass characters are what people need to see. If the movie was just like the book, there would be just a whole bunch of equally important characters, which is something very rarely seen in movies. So in short they made sgt Eversmann a main character simply because the movie needed one.

Question: What ever happened to the pilot that was captured by the Somalians (who had the picture of his wife and child), did he get rescued or killed?

Chosen answer: Mike Durant was released 11 days after his capture. He retired from the Army a few years later and published a book about his time in the 160th.

Question: In the scene where Eversmann is briefing his team ready for them to gear up and go out, he says something like "sorry ass JROTC". What does JROTC stand for?

xx:xx:xx

The-Immortal

Chosen answer: Junior Reserve Officers Training Corp. You have JROTC in high school and ROTC in college. It's a way of getting a commission in the military early on. It's often not looked fondly upon by officers who came up through the enlisted ranks first.

Grumpy Scot

Question: When the informant drives his car up to the meeting place the helicopter circling above is a UH-1. Did they really use UH-1s in Somalia or had this something to do with the making of the movie?

Chosen answer: During the making of the film the director couldn't rent or buy Blackhawk helicopters. So the only way was to contact the government to get their permission to get military Blackhawks from them. By the time they received it they were already filming so they used Hueys until the Blackhawks arrived.

Question: In the movie Danny McKnight is built up somewhat as being the guy who seems to almost ignore some of his surroundings. Many times he's shown just casually walking around exposed with bullets flying past him. Did he or would anyone in any sort of battle like this actually behave in that way?

andyog88

Chosen answer: In the book it does say how Danny walked around the gunfire in that way.

Question: What movie are they watching when he starts to have a seizure?

Crump87

Chosen answer: The 1979 Steve Martin film "The Jerk".

Sierra1

Question: When Lt. Beales has the seizure and Schmidt runs to the floor to grab Beale's upper body another guy gets next to Schmidt [maybe another medic] and grabs Beale's legs. Who is that guy? [name].

Chosen answer: It is Techical Sergeant Tim Wilkinson. Schmidt calls out to him "Wilkie grab his legs" and later in the SSgt Eversmann also calls him "Wilkie". He is an airforce pararescueman or PJ and he ropes down with the CSAR bird to the first crash site.

Question: What is the name of the soldier that's sketching while in the barracks (and which one is he during the raid?)? I never could catch the name, and it's not in the subtitles.

Chosen answer: Master Sgt. Tim 'Griz' Martin, played by Canadian actor Kim Coates. He's also the Delta taping his blood type to his boot. During the raid, he's thrown from a Humvee by a RPG. He loses both his legs and bleeds to death.

Question: Strange question, but I was wondering why the soldiers were using what looks like a Vietnam-era M60 machine gun. Wouldn't they be using the newer version of the gun the M60E3 (which looks different than an old M60 - most notably the fore grip), which was reportedly lighter and easier to use? Also, the M249 SAW (FN Minimi) is carried by a few soldiers and I've been told that this much-more-reliable gun replaced the older weapon entirely.

Chosen answer: At the time of the battle, not all units had gotten or were going to get the M60E3 which was mostly issued to Special Forces units. The M249 SAW has neither the range or power of the M60. It is designed to provide extra firepower to a squad and it will only supplement the M60E.

Grumpy Scot

Question: My friend told me that there were facts missing from this movie - for example, the involvement of the UN troops in Somalia. Is this true?

Chosen answer: It depends on what facts they are talking about. The involvement of the UN troops in relation to the events of the movie is accurate. The UN troops as well as the US 10th Mountain Division where involved in Somalia in different areas.

pross79

Question: Right after Blackburn falls, Everest calls over Galentine so he can contact Capt Steele. Galentine tries several times but can't raise him. Then Everest uses his communicator to try and raise him. Why would he call over a soldier who is defending their location to do something he can do himself?

Chosen answer: First off its Eversmann, and he called over Galentine because he had the large radio on his back. It would cause less static, and he then used his radio to call Steele creating two calls to the same person which would make Steele know the situation was urgent.

Question: Sgt. Eversman says that none of it would have happened if Blackburn hadn't fallen. I don't understand in what way his fall started things.

Chosen answer: If he hadn't fallen they wouldn't have had to send men down to retrieve him with the stretcher etc., and they would have gotten out of the area immediately.

Nick N.

Question: In the film they are referring to the Somalians as "skinnies". Can anyone confirm if this was the actual name used by Americans to call the locals in Somalia in the 1993 conflict?

killin_kellit

Chosen answer: My source is one of the real life members of the Black Hawk crew and he tells me that the Somalians were indeed were regularly called "Skinnies", as well as "Smallies" and, unfortunately, the "N" word, too. He is not proud of this, but said in the spirit of truth and honesty felt this was the best answer to this question and hopes sincerely no one finds this offensive. Additionally, the term "Skinnies" itself comes from Starship Troopers, a 1959 book that has become required reading for the modern US Military (and which was also made as a movie in 1997). The word references the alien antagonists in the book.

OneHappyHusky

Question: I was talking with a friend and we were trying to figure out why the little birds and black hawks took off from the base and arrived at the city in such a tight and uniform formation. Wouldn't this have been a clear sign from miles away the Americans were up to something?

Chosen answer: While its minor, the militia does pick up that the Americans are up to something and they call each to warn everyone the Americans are heading their way. The best explanation as to why the helicopters and black hawks took off altogether was they wanted to give the militia as little time to organise an offense. The Americans' plan was to have helicopters land many of the troops on the ground to capture the prisoners and to give cover to the troops travelling by armored vehicles. As the film shows the Americans under-estimated the Somalians and their plans from the beginning were very questionable. In the film Tom Sizemore's character goes into detail after the briefing about all the problems including going in the day instead of night.

Lummie

Question: During the scene where the soldiers are running away from the fighting or "the Mogadishu mile" there is a soldier carrying a SAW who appears in many of the shots during this scene, but never throughout the rest of the movie. He is seen at the lead of the group just before and when they emerge from the fog and are greeted by the African children. He appears to be too tall and broad shouldered to be Twombly or Waddell. Who is this soldier?

Chosen answer: This soldier is Dale "Adonis" Sizemore, played by British actor Matthew Marsden. It was documented that he grabbed a SAW to enter the battle with Struecker's column of Humvees when they made their 2nd trip into the battle of Mogadishu. He was shown in several other scenes of the movie - he was the soldier who cut off his cast.

Question: Several times in the movie, you see a solider bang a magazine against his helment as he reloads. Why do they do this?

Chosen answer: It's to make sure all the rounds are properly seated in the magazine, and to remove sand/dirt, greatly reducing the chances of jamming an M-16.

Grumpy Scot

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Quotes

Pilla: Colonel, they're shooting at us! Colonel, they're shooting at us!
McKnight: Well shoot back!

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Mistakes

Near the end of the movie when the convoy is heading back to the Pakistan Stadium, a Humvee stops briefly to allow a man to walk across the street with a child in his arms. When the shot changes and the Humvee begins driving again, a crew member or cameraman is seen inside the Humvee wearing a white shirt. All of the men who entered the Humvee were wearing fatigues.

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Trivia

According to veterans of the actual event, when the Rangers got the go-ahead for the mission and were getting their gear ready, "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns N Roses was playing on the base's loudspeakers. There were some half-serious comments among the men about the appropriateness of this song. However, the film's producers failed to secure the rights to use "Welcome to the Jungle," so they substituted Faith No More's "Falling to Pieces"--which is perhaps thematically in line with what happened on the raid.

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