Mogadishu Diaries


Mogadishu Diaries 1992-1993: Bloodlines
Eddie Clay III
Smashword (digital) Edition
145 Pages
Published: Jan. 30, 2013
Fiction/Historical Military

Harrington Review
Eddie Clay III’s book The Mogadishu Diaries: Bloodlines is a culturally sensitive and historically accurate account of one of the greatest humanitarian efforts in the 20th century: Operation Restore Hope. The memoir-based novel’s main character and first person narrator, Sergeant Thompson, gives the reader a succinct and insightful summary of the Somali situation before, during, and after his voluntary deployment to Somalia at the end of 1992 and the beginning of 1993. His story culminates in the 40-minute firefight during the US attack on the safe house of controversial warlord, Mohammed Farah Hassan Aidid on January 7, 1993. The incident was broadcasted around the world in form of pictures, videos, and news reports, which makes hearing the details from a first-hand source a real treat.

With an engaging style and suspenseful storyline, the author provides much more than faithfully recounting the events that unfolded in the January 7, 1993 night attack in Mogadishu, Somalia; he describes the emotions, thoughts, and doubts of a Marine caught in the crossfire of international political and military forces, including the fear, anger, the surge of adrenaline, and repeated self-evaluation only a warrior with crystal clear integrity would face. Whether familiar or unfamiliar with the events that resulted in the intervention of US-led Coalition Forces in Somalia, the reader will be thrilled to get the insider’s account about the beginning of a major political and military feat which started as a peace-keeping mission and ended up as a full-blown US military involvement for over four years, resulting in bloody battles that some sources compare to the Vietnam War.

Initially, the author’s use of military jargon and frequent abbreviations might be intimidating for civilian readers, but it enhances the authenticity of the account, and might offer more connections to readers with military background. Eddie Clay III portrays the life of Marines deployed on foreign land with vivid images and dramatic details. Beyond spine-tingling descriptions of life and death situations during patrols and battles, the reader also gets a comprehensive report about a Marine’s life in general, including hot issues such as gays in the military, marriage troubles exaggerated by deployment, internal conflicts of following orders, sex in camp, or latrine challenges of female Marines. A master of foreshadowing, the author provides suspense whether he writes about garrison life or imminent engagement in a firefight.

The only question mark that remains at the end of the story is related to the budding love affair of the narrator and a charming Somali interpreter. No complaints, though; it’s just one more reason to read the sequel.

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