Mogadishu Diaries 1992-1993: Bloodlines

Mogadishu Diaries 1992-1993: Bloodlines

4.3 25
by Eddie Thompkins, Raina Joyce

Ten months before Blackhawk Down, US Marines launched its first major offensive against militias in Mogadishu. Top US military strategists for Operation Restore Hope recognized the critical importance of identifying Somali clan leaders responsible for the country’s instability and violence. It became apparent that one man needed to be captured in order to help…  See more details below


Ten months before Blackhawk Down, US Marines launched its first major offensive against militias in Mogadishu. Top US military strategists for Operation Restore Hope recognized the critical importance of identifying Somali clan leaders responsible for the country’s instability and violence. It became apparent that one man needed to be captured in order to help establish order. This warlord eluded the most elite US Special Forces teams in our military for almost a year during Operation Restore Hope/Continued Hope. There are many theories that explain how Mohamed Farrah Aidid won the cat and mouse game.
This is my account…

Stills from the VHS tape capturing the US Marine Air/Ground assault are featured in this book. Actual footage of the USMC Takedown of Aidid's Safehouse maybe seen on YouTube: username:smokehouseuk

Product Details

Eddie Thompkins III
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Mogadishu Diaries , #1
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Mogadishu Diaries 1992-1993: Bloodlines 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
kmoody83 More than 1 year ago
Eddie Clay III’s Mogadishu Diaries 1992-1993:Bloodlines is a well-done example of military fiction. This book will be a treat to any fans of television shows like MASH or who like to read military fiction. When a request for augmentees (members sent to another unit to provide support) to deploy with an MAF unit to Somalia, Gunnery Sergeant “Gunny T” Thompson and his friend, Corporal Ramirez volunteer. Constantly butting heads with the commander, Captain Shaffner, who sees augmentees as thorns in his side. Gunny T tries to get his friend Corporal Ramirez noticed. If he can get his friend noticed or granted awards for service, the corporal will get promoted. Unfortunately, things aren’t starting to look in their favor. To make matters worse, things are getting more violent and dangerous in Somalia and Shaffner’s opinion of the two augmentees seems to be affecting the man’s judgment. Can the duo survive Somalia and get the recognition they deserve or will Shaffner ruin their careers? One great aspect of Clay’s novel is the camaraderie the main character and his friend have with not only the natives, but the other staff members as well. Their likable, flawed, personalities only increases the book’s natural way of grabbing the reader’s interest. The mix of seriousness and humor is masterfully done and adds fun, entertainment value to the story while still keeping true to the events that occur in the book. I also enjoyed the inclusion of real photos from the author’s time in Somalia and appreciated the appropriate tribute to the fallen in the book. The one problem with this novel is it would have been nice to get to see more of the conflict going on in Somalia. Although the reader was shown glimpses of through some of the natives’ point of views , the only war conflict we saw was at the end of his deployment. This probably was true to the author’s memoirs and may have disrupted the integrity of the story if it was included. Regardless, I was engrossed in the story from page one and can’t wait to read more about the author’s experiences. I would definitely recommend this book for someone who wants a military memoir or novel that is funny and serious that is accurate in its portrayal of historical events.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.   Hedi Harrington
LeahCramer More than 1 year ago
This book was incredible. I am not usually a fan of war novels, but the emotion in this book is spot on. The author pulls you in, and you feel like you are in Somalia. The characters are very relatable, and I really enjoyed reading about the relationship between Thompson and Ramirez. Reading about that camaraderie brings up the classical mental image of the United States armed forces. These two characters were truly brothers in arms. Getting to see into Thompson’s thoughts was an interesting experience. His moments of happiness, sadness, fear, and excitement made the story real. Understanding his emotions helped me to get a better feel for what it is like to be in the military. I cannot imagine what it is like to go through the things that these men and women go through. The way that Thompson is able to keep his composure by relying on his comrades is a strong testament to the teamwork of the military. Captain Shaffner and Corporal Warren make great pseudo-villains. The way that they are described in the novel harkens back to my experiences in elementary school. There is always that one teacher who does not seem to like you, and that same teacher always has a favorite student that just so happens to be the most annoying kid in class. I loved the tension that the author builds between Shaffner, Warren, Thompson, and Ramirez. This made for an interesting plotline. Last, I have to mention the layout of the book. For an e-book, the layout was great. There were barely any typos, and I loved that the book was divided into short chapters. This made it easy for me to read bits and pieces at a time. If you are a busy person who only has short amounts of time to read, this layout is perfect for you. Overall, I found this book to be fantastic. I encourage everyone to read it, even if you are not normally a fan of war stories.
MBLevine More than 1 year ago
Mogadishu Diaries 1992-1993: Bloodlines is a fictionalized account of actual events that took place in Somalia during Operation Restore Hope. Author Eddie Clay III offers readers an inside view of the life of a Marine on a mission that begins as a humanitarian effort, but turns into a violent conflict. In November of 1999, Gunnery Sergeant Thompson “Gunny T” is attempting to catch a military flight back to his post in Okinawa, Japan. Gunny T runs into Chief Warrant Officer Barnes who served with him in Somalia from late 1992 to early 1993. As the men talk, Gunny T learns that Barnes was awarded a Combat Action Ribbon for his participation in a major conflict in Mogadishu. Gunny T was also a part of mission Imminent Thunder, but his nemesis, Captain Shaffner, did not recommend him for an award. The author tells the story of Gunny T’s Somalia deployment in flashback. Thompson, a divorced, single father, volunteers to deploy to Mogadishu. He hand picks Corporal Ramirez, the best shooter in their unit, to deploy with him. Thompson and Ramirez become close friends. Gunny T makes it his personal mission to get the young corporal promoted. This goal leads Gunny T to bump heads with Captain Shaffner, one of the leaders of the Mogadishu mission. Captain Shaffner’s dislike of Gunny T escalates while they are in theater. Clay describes Gunny T’s daily experiences in Mogadishu in vivid detail, including the Marines’ deplorable living conditions, the periodic sniper attacks, and the patrols throughout Mogadishu. The primary goal of the patrols is to disarm the residents. Later, the Marines are charged with gathering information about two wanted Somali men: a warlord involved in the 1991 coup against the Somali government and a wealthy arms dealer. During the information gathering patrols, Gunny T meets a wealthy Somali man, Mohamed Ali, who gives the sergeant important intelligence information. When the warlord’s hideout is identified, Gunny Thompson becomes a part of the mission to take down the safe house. The outcome of the violent confrontation ultimately increases the conflict between Thompson and Shaffner. Clay’s account of the mission in Mogadishu goes beyond the historical facts of the period. The author offers an intimate look at military life: the emotional and physical ramifications, as well as the role of politics in the service. While in the midst of the conflict with the warlords’ defenders, Gunny T is faced with the possibility that he will not live to see his son again. In spotlighting the life of a Marine, Clay offers readers a broader perspective of military life. Mogadishu Diaries 1992-1993: Bloodlines is a military novel with a surprising focus on the effects of conflict on the people who fight the battles. Melissa Brown Levine for Independent Professional Book Reviewers
jpara More than 1 year ago
Mogadishu Diaries 1992-1993: Bloodlines is work of military fiction by Eddie Clay III that reads like a true story. The narrative sucks you in to a snapshot of the experience of Gunnery Sergeant Thompson’s involvement in “Operation Restore Hope” in Somalia. A career Marine, Gunny T relays everything in almost diary form; the desire to go to Somalia, arrival, day to day banality of deployment and the excitement and adrenaline of being involved in firefights. What really sucked me in, as a reader was the more personal accounts of the various relationships Gunny T has with different characters in the book. Ramirez, his buddy, finally arrives in country and leaves within a week and you can feel the sense of relief when he arrives so Gunny will have a familiar face to hang with and the frustration of the bureaucracy surrounding Ramirez’ departure.  The interpreters Hussein and Ayan show the complicated nuances of the Somali people and illustrate the ignorance on the part of Gunny T and the reader.  The best character, Mohamed Ali, although not in the book very much, is the cultural touchstone for the reader and for Gunny T. Those discussions, interactions and cultural insights help you through the complicated reality that is Mogadishu. Even at the end of the book, Mohamed Ali brings the story full circle and made you question everything you had just read.  Though a work of fiction, “Mogadishu Diaries” draws upon real life happenings. Direct and honest, this book is a great example of less is more and lets the actions of the characters move the story along in an engaging fashion. Along the lines of “A Rumor of War” and “The Things they Carried,” “The Mogadishu diaries although a written as a work of fiction brings the reader into the deployed military world and honestly gives an account of how it is. That world is not always full of action but it is honest and shows that it is not always black and white, there are always grey areas and that is where the humanity lies. 
rhettaa More than 1 year ago
Mogadishu Diaries 1992-1993 is, according to the author, a military fiction based on true events. There appears to be an issue about the author's name, as it is listed as Eddie Clay III on the book cover but as Eddie Thompson III on Amazon. At any rate, the author was in Mogadishu, Somalia during Operation Rescue Hope in 1992 and 1993. The operation was supposed to be a humanitarian effort. Its main purpose was to identify the clan leaders who were responsible for the violence and chaos in Somalia. It quickly became a search for one man, Mohamed Farrah Aidid. Aidid eluded top military forces during the entire operation, and Gunny Sergeant Thompson was right in the middle of the action. The material covered here is similar to other war stories such as “Blackhawk Down” and “Jarhead,” and will be enjoyed by readers who enjoyed those stories. This story does read like a first-person true account of the experiences of this marine in this situation. It is not all action; there are hours of playing cards, small crises involving disagreements with officers, and a little bit of possible romance which goes basically nowhere. It is all very believable. The author's concise way of writing, with little emotional development, is very appropriate for this type of fact-based fiction. He keeps things moving along quickly and all of the characters seem real. There are some situations which seem ridiculous, but then ridiculous situations occur in military operations. There are a number of grammatical errors in the book, which is understandable since the epilogue points out that the book was written in six weeks,, and the author is not a career writer. The errors are small, and do not detract from the story. In a number of instances, military jargon was used that I, as a civilian, did not understand. Perhaps a small list of terms and definitions in the back would have been helpful. Also, since this is written in the style of a journal, some story lines end abruptly just as they do in life. Readers accustomed to more defined plots may find this a little disconcerting. Overall, I would recommend this book, especially for readers interested in military history and historical fiction. The bottom line is that Eddie Clay (or Eddie Thompson) is the real deal, an actual veteran of the events described, and that makes this book a fascinating read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Take yourself to 1992, and the region of the world known as the Horn of Africa. There you will find Somalia. This once peaceful country with a history that goes back to the biblical days has degenerated into open warfare, chaos, and anarchy, where whichever warlord has the most guns makes the rules. This is where the United States, working under UN resolutions, sweeps in to save the day and the new novel, Mogadishu Diaries Bloodlines dives into headfirst. The author, Eddie Clay III, spent 21-years as a marine, and he writes what he knows. He served in Somalia during Operation Restore Hope/Continued Hope and he freely admits that portions of the fictional work are autobiographical. The book has the feeling that it was scratched into a green rite-in-the-rain will book with a skillcraft pen while the writer shaved with a K-bar. Don’t let the conversations involving chits and Space-A flights, or knowing the difference between S-1, J-3, CLP, or JP-5 trick you into not reaching for this novel. While Clay brings the Corps out in his writing, you do not have to have a bird, ball, and mudhook on your shoulder to easily understand the tale. Clay's hero is US Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant Thompson, referred to in the work primarily as "Gunny T,” an augmentee to the Security Company of the I MAF as it gets ready to deploy to Somalia. The character is a likeable single-father and career NCO who relates the tale in a first person narrative that, while limiting in sweep, gets the point across. Gunny T and his sidekick strategic corporal quickly end up on the wrong side of an arrogant and overbearing company commander--, which is told with such realism that it reads just like a conversation with any active duty member of the military. Gunny T and company get their call to the Moog and find themselves in a world of anarchy, missed opportunities, military catch-22's, and the like that would seem to almost be dark comedy if it wasn’t for the underlying ring of truth to every interaction. Awkwardly trying to figure out the local culture, the hero has hits and misses in a one-man effort to win hearts and minds. As the work picks up pace, it runs into the inevitable combined arms land battle hinted to in the opening 'flash-forward' chapter that is told with great attention to realism that leaves the reader almost expecting to have to move piles of empty brass to turn the next page. A quick read at just over 30,000 words, Diaries is borderline novella in length. This keeps character development to a minimum but with the first person narrative from the eyes of Gunny T, this is nearly inescapable. This makes the work a great novel for anyone interested in an oft forgotten military history told from a personal level, and is basic enough in its telling to be approachable to readers of a wide scope. Bring your Kevlar.
ETDevlin More than 1 year ago
Mogadishu Diaries gives the first-hand account of a Gunnery Sergeant in the US Marines during Operation Restore Hope in Somalia in 1992-1993. Less of a linear story and more a series of vignettes, the author uses military jargon from the get-go. While this is initially a bit confusing, I found it drew me in and made me feel more a part of the story. The author (Gunny Thompson) is the protagonist, as we hear about superiors on base who become thorns in his side. We find out about the Gunny Thompson's backstory as we hear tales of his own attempts to be a mentor, woo a female interpreter, and acquire local assets. Whether describing the interminable boredom that can come from long, dull work shifts or the terror of being at the mercy of enemy soldiers, Mogadishu Diaries brings you into a world - and a conflict - that few experience or understand. From scenes similar to what we see in movies - desperate local civilians trying to communicate with foreign soldiers for assistance- to the mundane realities of sharing rustic toilets - the book gave me a renewed respect for those who serve, and served as a reminder that in a conflict, no side is either wholly good or evil. Some highlights include suspense-filled moments as a fellow Marine deals with family drama at home (which is WAY deeper than it seems at first glance), what a small group of soldiers do when locals report gang rape, and a latrine-based encounter with the coolest, calmest Marine in history (exaggeration only slight).
TiffHanks More than 1 year ago
This book is really written for a niche audience. I think that in some cases you have to have similar experience with the Marines to understand how to feel about certain situations. It starts out a little slow in order to introduce Thompson in a logical way. But once you get past the lead up of the deployment to Somalia, I find that I am laughing to the point of tears every couple of pages. I also find my heart breaking at the obvious futility and frustration of the situation over there. Mogadishu Diaries focuses on the emotional toll of going to war. Thompson feels and reacts to a given situation. He fears and worries for the things that he may have to do to complete the mission at a time of war. I find myself relating to him on a basic level. So much so that I want to read the book again. It just might be a book that you like more every time you read it until eventually you love it despite the flaws. And there is a jarring one. A lack of description. Not when it comes to what happened at a confrontation, that’s spot on to me. When I think of a good story, I think of the characters, the setting, the plot line, how the story should be presented and things like that. For a fact based accounting of events, those things are even more important in order to fully immerse the widest possible range of audience into a glimpse of history. Mogadishu Diaries does NOT do that. The book is missing the expected in depth depiction of the physical characteristics of the people and places encountered in the time leading up to and the actual deployment for Operation Hope. Of course, I’m not a Marine. I don’t know where Camp Pendleton is without research. I am shocked at the concept of a marine getting in trouble for not saluting a car that has an officer sticker on it. I’m glad that there were some sharp looking marines, but I really wish I had a better accounting for what everyone looked like. That is the only reason for my 3 star review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading Bloodlines. It was one of the best books I have ever read. It moved me where it should move me. I didn't want to put it down.  My favorite part of the book was how it was all written out as a flash back. I love books and movies like this. It gives you a sense of security that you know that everything will be okay in the end. This book really flowed well. I also loved the pictures that were included of actual events that the story itself was based on.  There were parts in this book that I wish it had gone more in detail on. I would personally like to know what happened to him and the lady friend that he met while on assignment. Did they hit it off and become lovers? Did they keep in touch at all? Did they wind up being really good friends? I also wished that he had went in more detail on his son. His son was only mentioned a few times in the book. I know that he wasn't a part of the story line, but I think it would have been really touching to get a scene of him returning home to his son.  Books that allow you to get caught up and actually feel like you are right there alongside the characters are worthy of recommendation in my eyes. This was definitely one of those books for me. I felt like I was there every step of the way. I could see the surroundings in my head like I was really there. I felt like it was all really happening around me. That was one of the best parts about this book in my opinion. The author was very vivid on details. Hope to see more work of his!
Deviantd More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing story about one solders experiences before, during and after Operation Restore Hope in Somalia. Those in the armed forces will appreciate the honest and entertaining portrayal of what they go through while deployed in a foreign  country. For civilians, we get a look of what they day to day life is like for our military when fighting, from the action of the battle field to the  action of the card games. The characters are very realistic, and make the story all that more believable, which is good since it is based on true events. A lot of times I didn't want to put the book down because I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. Do brush up on your military  jargon before reading though, some of the terms I didn't really understand at first.
jlynnp79 More than 1 year ago
Eddie Clay III’s Mogadishu Diaries 1992-1993: Bloodlines, follows the journey of the author as he prepares to be deployed to Somalia to help with Operation Restore Hope, which was an operation that the US participated in to help to restore order in Somalia after the government was overthrown by rebels.  The goal of the mission was to get aid and food to the people of the country and not allow the rebels to intercept the supplies that were being sent so that they were getting to the people of the nation that needed them the most.  This is an autobiographical account of how the mission was planned and carried out by those who were on the front lines.  This story goes from a soldier who is living on a military base before the mission is assigned, to following him through the deployment and his thoughts on the experience after he returns.   This story shows the real life experience of someone who lived through this deployment and how dangerous it was when they were over there trying to help out the people of the country and intercept the supplies that were to be sent to those who were most affected by the famine and civil war that was taking place at the time in the country.  The real dangers are expressed in this story as well as some of the feelings of the people that are over in the country during the turmoil.  Getting food, water, and other important supplies to the people is the mission of the troops that are deployed, and this story tells how the mission can be disrupted and the goals not reached in an instant if the rebels are able to intercept the supplies and kill those who are trying to get the supplies where they need to go.   I think that this story is a great firsthand account of the experience through the eyes of one of the soldiers that was there and living through it.  I also think that his relationship with the man that ended up being the son of public enemy number one to the country of Somalia is a great example of how the rebels used trickery and intimidation to intercept the supplies that other nations attempted to deliver to the people of the nation, but they ultimately lost the battle and order was mostly restored to the country due to the presence of the US troops and the United Nations who put the needs of the people above those of the rebels to ensure that the people got the supplies that they needed with the fewest possible casualties.  While there were many lives lost during this mission, the rebels were ultimately restored to order so that the people of the nation were able to live peacefully and restore their government to order.  
JZSpeaks More than 1 year ago
        Mogadishu Diaries, 1992 - 1993: Bloodlines is a compelling account of actual events surrounding Operation Restore Hope.  The military engagement on this operation had the altruistic objective of facilitating humanitarian aid to those severely impoverished and in some cases killed as a result of a civil war in Somalia.  Eddie Clay III does a wonderful job of telling of these events from the perspective of Gunnery Sergeant Thompson.  The body of the story begins with Thompson requesting to be an augmentee along with a Corporal Ramirez to 1 Marine Amphibious Force.  This battalion was soon to deploy to war torn Somalia.  Thompson was able to get his request granted for both he and his junior soldier.  It did not take long after the pair reported to the unit that trouble began for them.  Like with any large organization of people certain politics must not only be successfully prosecuted, but must be nimbly navigated through.  Thompson had to do this with his superior officer on a number of times before the battalion even deployed.        Beginning with the flight to Mogadishu, Somalia, Thompson faced a number of challenges on his virgin deployment he didn't expect.  As he states, however, the years of service in the Corps previous to the deployment proved to be an unbelievable value as a rehearsal for this operation.  Clay humorously lightens the mood of the story as he describes the limited bathroom facilities soldiers lived with during the operation through an anecdote.  The portable potty like structures contained three bench toilets without partitions.  If a male was in the facility only two other males could enter.  If a female entered the unit the exterior sign designated it and only females could enter.  Given the relatively small population of female soldiers one could imagine how little time was given for the female soldiers.  The punch line of the story is delivered when a female soldier fueled by an acute bowel urgency, barges into the unisex bathroom when it had a male designation.  She apologizes for coming in to facility with Gunnery Sergeant Thompson and another male soldier, but without further preamble she proceeds to use the bathroom.  The other two males leave as soon as they can to give her privacy and respect her protracted need.        Eddie Clay III does an excellent job of retelling this snapshot of life as a soldier.  The complexity of the novel could have been further developed with the a more intricate and perhaps embellished subplot.  Clay does have a few story lines going that include a non-combatant local dignitary, a love interest, and Thompson's efforts to get Corporal Ramirez promoted.  It would have made this book more in depth to perhaps have the subplot of the romance blossom, for example, so that the reader could see how it affected the Gunnery Sergeant's deployment.
Ronald_Beasley More than 1 year ago
Mogadishu was once called the “White Pearl of the Indian Ocean.” Today it’s probably known, if the name is even recognized by younger people, as the most dangerous city in the world. For a brief period in the early 1990s, a coalition of international peacekeepers, including U.S. Marines, attempted to bring order and humanitarian aid to Somalia, where a savage civil war completely destroyed that country’s government and the security of its people, and continues to this day. Mogadishu Diaries is the story of one of those peacekeepers, told in his own words. From the twenty hour flight that brought him to the Horn of Africa, to a courageous but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to take down Mohamed Farrah Aidid, the instigator of the civil war, this book covers all the bases and answers many questions about the Somali conflict, while leaving us with a much-needed impression of what it was like to be on the ground and risking one’s life for the mission. For those of us who do not choose military service, we should be reminded, even if we can’t quite imagine it, that going to clean out a den of warlords is a nasty business that takes more than guns, missiles, and brute force. This book points out, more than once, how important it is for goodwill to protect civilians from suffering casualties, and we are warned how traumatic it can be to inflict those wounds accidentally. That’s why this story rightly spends a lot of time on the camaraderie between Marines, and how those bonds are necessary to stay sane in an environment of urban warfare. The ugliness of the experience is illustrated on every page, with corpses, heat, and terror always threatening these men and women. Some of them can’t take it, and one of them tries to lie to get home, only to get caught. His punishment is severe, but for all he knows, he might have saved his own life. Too many people have died in that brutal war. Though it’s been twenty years since American soldiers were sent to Somalia, relatively few books have been written about this war. Gone are the days when all the great war books were written by generals, presidents, and prime ministers. This book was written by a man who walked, talked and fought on the ground in his war, and naturally it doesn’t disappoint. Anyone interested in the history of Somalia or the U.S. Marines should read this harrowing and heroic account of the days when Americans were under fire in Mogadishu.
Maureen0 More than 1 year ago
Eddie Clay III’s historical military fiction novel, Mogadishu Diaries 1992-1993: Bloodlines, gives a firsthand account of the United States’ “Operation Restore Hope” in Somalia. The book tributes, not only men and women who served in Somalia, but all U.S. armed services. Bloodlines follows Gunnery Sergeant Thompson as he remembers his time spent in Somalia during the early nineties as he, along with other servicemen fight to bring a sense of peace to the people of Somalia, as well as to keep each other sane. The most impressive thing about the story is its ability to make the reader feel as though he or she is there with the main character. The description of events, like riding down a road in a Humvee and facing the guns of hostile soldiers, puts a clear sense of fear into the reader. The characters and dialogue sound real. Each one, even not the nicest of characters, is empathetic. The main character, Sergeant Thompson, works well as a guide through this dangerous and sometimes unfair reality. The story flows very easily from one event to the next, and one can’t help but wonder what will happen next. One problem with the novel is it sometimes speeds through events so quickly the reader doesn’t have time to really understand what has happened. Chapters are so short that they’d be over before the reader could dive into the situation. Also, the censoring of swear words didn’t make sense. Language in a book should be expressed honestly, as it is spoken in real life. Using asterisks to hide words felt more like a television show more than reading a book. Despite these minor flaws, the book remains an engaging read, especially for anyone with experience in the service.
ReadersFavorite2 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Sylvia H. for Readers Favorite The "Mogadishu Diaries" by Eddie Thompkins III details the events that took place during the humanitarian relief mission in Mogadishu, Somalia, from late 1992 to early 1993. The story is told from the viewpoint of Gunnery Sergeant Thompson who served in the Marine Corps. 'Operation Restore Hope' was a mission to bring aid to the people of Mogadishu as well as to restore peace within the faction government. The provisional military assignment also included the take down of warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid and his financier and arms dealer Semi Osman. Gunnery Sergeant Thompson, who had already served 13 years in the Marine Corps, was craving for an adventure, and became excited about joining the mission in Mogadishu Somalia. He voluntarily asked to be sent to Mogadishu and requested that his friend Corporal Ramirez be approved for the mission as he was the most expert Marksmanship Shooter in the unit. However, because of the military rules of engagement in wartime and all of the restrictions that were placed on his Marine unit, Gunnery Thompson soon became a little disillusioned about the efforts to aid and restore peace to the poverty-stricken, war-torn country. The natives eventually resented the presence of the U.S Military and the other allied countries that were also sent there to help. The "Mogadishu Diaries" is an account of what Gunnery Sergeant Thompson lived through while serving time “in country”, as he and his fellow Marines attempted to carry out 'Operation Restore Hope'. The "Mogadishu Diaries" by Eddie Thompkins III was very intriguing to read and really captured my attention. Before I read the account of "Mogadishu Diaries", I was unfamiliar with the mission carried out by the Marines in 'Operation Restore Hope' during 1992-1993. Having recently been discharged from the Army a couple of years prior to the mission to aid Mogadishu, Somalia, I was out of the military loop and rarely kept up with the military politics and the policies of that time as I was a new mother and also was really busy with college classes. Because of this, I found "Mogadishu Diaries" interesting as well as informative. I thought that the ongoing “battle” between Gunnery Sergeant Thompson and Captain Shaffer was very funny and provided the necessary comic relief during a very difficult time. I also enjoyed looking at all of the author’s photos, and thought that they were a real enhancement to the book as a whole. The accompanied visuals provide the reader with the “real world bird’s eye look” through the lens of Gunnery Sergeant Thompson’s eyes during his time in Mogadishu. I also feel that the photos give his readers an opportunity to view some of the events as they took place while also giving the book a very realistic feel. I would recommend "Mogadishu Diaries" to anyone who enjoys reading and learning about major military operations. This account of 'Operation Restore Hope' told through the first hand account of Gunnery Sergeant Thompson will provide that and much more.
ReadersFavorite1 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Brenda B. for Readers Favorite Written by a US Marine, "Mogadishu Diaries 1992-1993: Bloodlines" shares his deployment to Somalia. Although they were welcomed by the villagers upon arrival, the tone quickly became volatile. Every turn, every step, is possibly the last in this very real experience. Politics are rampant, especially when it comes to one hateful, vengeful officer whose sole intention seems to be making people miserable. Losses happen daily and sometimes the job feels thankless but our Marines continue their mission nonetheless. The book contains black and white photos that are taken from the ground. The very best part of the book is the reference to those who did not come back. May they rest in peace! This genre is definitely a niche but has its followers. The book is easy to follow and pulls the reader in from page one. To know that this is the actual memoir of a Marine in a combat situation for a year makes it incredibly intense (as it should)! I appreciated the photos and found myself studying them with recognition from the chapters. The tribute to those fallen is moving and very appropriate. In fact, after reading the book, I will expect nothing less from this author. He is one upstanding man and Marine. I believe his work will be not only award winning but also best selling. Best Wishes!
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Alice D. for Readers Favorite Author Eddie Clay served as a United States Marine from 1979 to 2000 when he retired. With the permission of the Department of Defense and by changing the names of actual people that he served with, Clay gives the reader an extremely clear view of the ups and downs, the personality clashes and day to day life as an on-duty soldier serving the United States in a relief effort and not in actual battlefront engagements. In "Mogadishu Diaries: 1992-1993 Bloodlines", the reader engages with narrator Gunnery Sergeant Clay Thompson as he volunteers to go as an augmental soldier in the 1992 Humanitarian Relief Operation in Somalia where United States soldiers are to take down the forces of Aidid and aid the starving, oppressed people of Somalia. Through Thompson, the reader meets the exceptional Master Sgt. Howard who has been the sole survivor of four horrific crashes, encounters the Marine who falsifies a sex-tape to get home and away from battle, the Somali children who steal soldiers' sunglasses only to be shot and killed, and how the narcotic plant, Khat, is illegal in the United States but perfectly legal in Somalia. He also learns that the role of gays in the military is being questioned. "Mogadishu Diaries" is well-written and deals effectively with violence and the Marines' reactions to the unfailing horrors of death. The reader will learn about the underbelly of a peacekeeping mission, in this case, the Humanitarian Relief Operation for Somalia. Eddie Clay deals especially well in his writings with the United States Marines having to deal with Somalis and their opinions, often quite different from what was expected. He is honest about how his characters react to each other, often in anger and strike-backs that don't quite work. "Mogadishu Diaries" should become a classic as it tells of a humanitarian effort that might not be remembered as the violence of our present world is recalled nightly by the media.
KenishaP More than 1 year ago
Mogadishu Diaries is a fictional story based on real events that creates a very vivid, lifelike picture of events during Operation Restore Hope in Somalia. Gunnery Thompson, the protagonist of the book, is finally getting to return home on leave to see his family. After meeting an old comrade, Thompson begins to reminisce about what it was like in Somalia at the time. Eddie Clay weaves a compelling tale that covers the bloody conflict between different groups and gangs in Somalia, as well as infighting between members of the military. The writing was excellent and breathed life into this conflict. The unfairness of some situations made my blood boil. There certainly must have been a good deal of research put into this novel. There were also pictures, which helped provide a good look at the places depicted in the story. A very good book, and perfect for people who like historical fiction or military-based stories.
troyciesco More than 1 year ago
Normally, I don't like journal-style books. However, Mogadishu Diaries has definitely changed my mind about that. The great thing about this book is that it's not a Hollywood war story. According to the synopsis, it's fiction based on real events, and the author does a great job of making the whole book believable. Even parts that seem ridiculous are told in a 'war story' kind of way, in that you're not sure of what actually happened but the soldier telling you his story makes it seem completely real. Don't expect this book to have a clearly defined plot. It's more of a recount of a deployment, and it has real-life ups and downs instead of the typical rising and falling action. There was a few spelling and grammar mistakes, but it's a journal. Normally I'm a stickler for proper format, but I can overlook it because I felt like I was reading the author's thoughts. I also finished this book in two days at the beach, so it moves at a great pace. This is definitely worth reading, and fully deserving of five stars.
tiffanydavis2 More than 1 year ago
Mogadishu's Diary, by Eddie Clay III, is a story that follows a US Marine and his participation in Operation Restore Hope in Somalia. The the story is a work of fiction, it is based off of real life events. The US' mission during Operation Restore Hope was to secure the supply routes while creating a safe environment in Somalia. The author does a great job with the main character, Gunnery Sergeant Thompson. The story is told through Thompson's eyes. It is an account of his memories of serving during Operation Restore Hope in Somalia. The detail of the story makes it easy to imagine what is going on. It allows you to easily picture the scenery and events. Thompson is a very likable character that is easy to relate to. You get the story from his mind and memories. I was able to read this book in a day. It is very hard to put down, and even though the narrator tells of some of his more boring events on occasion, the story itself never gets boring. I definitely recommend this book to anyone in the military, or those who enjoy military stories or history, though do note that there are a couple of disturbing parts. Great job to the author!
dcl55 More than 1 year ago
Mogadishu Diaries Bloodlines, Author Eddie Clay III I was mildly surprised as I read the diaries which are based on true events but written as fiction for the timeline of 1992-1993, and set primarily in Mogadishu. Author Eddie Clay III has written a book which is easy to read, concise with the details, and holds your interest. I know the book is a work of fiction, but I was able to read the diary entries and feel I was there with Gunnery Sergeant Thompson as the country was torn with civil war between rival clan leaders wanting power, and street gangs thieving, raping, and killing people. In the book, The Mogadishu Diaries, the author tells of an “Operation Restore Hope” program approved by the UN. Resolution 794 was a way to facilitate humanitarian aid to the starving and war ravaged Somalis. The US and coalition troops were authorized to help secure supply routes for relief aid, such as food, and medical or first aid supplies. In preparation for this duty, Gunnery Sergeant Thompson feels compelled to have Corporal Ramirez, who is the best marksman in the unit join this operation. The two men are finding unexpected obstacles as they proceed to volunteer for this tour of service. Corporal Ramirez is not acknowledged with the respect he is due among other authority figures. Gunnery Sergeant Thompson does not follow the path of least resistance without taking action to bring notice to Corporal Ramirez and his abilities. I have watched and read news accounts and other books regarding the suffering and cruel treatment of the Somalia people. I am very empathetic for these people and children who have been trapped in the middle of rogue fighting between selfish leaders and also the roving gangs and thugs who have preyed upon them. I suppose I was expecting another heart-rending accounting of the horrific condition of the poor and starving, but The Mogadishu Diaries are a different view from the heart and mind of a Gunnery Sergeant. I will not write any spoilers in this review, but the diaries will give the reader an armchair view of some problems in our military hierarchy or chain of command, and also you will feel the heat of a battle which has your heart beating faster than normal !
Janet16 More than 1 year ago
For a non fiction book this reads really easy and much like a novel. Because of the author's conversational writing style and the short length, I was able to get through this in one afternoon. The first chapter draws you in. From the start, I almost forgot that I was reading a single man's account of his tour in Somalia during the 1992-1993 Somalia conflict. That's is actually a good thing, since most non fiction books tend to bore you after the first 20 pages. Mogadishu Diary is an ex-Marine's account of his tour in Somalia during 1992-1993. Despite it's short length, the reader receives an interesting portrayal of life in the Marine encampment and the surrounding area. I do find it interesting that the narrator ends up befriending the son of the very man the Marines were sent to capture. What are the odds. If you are interested in the Somali conflict, this books adds ones man's account in a major event. Well worth the read.