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7th Rangers: 19th Royal Malay (Mechanized Infantry) - Battle of Bakara Market (First Posted - Friday, November 16, 2007)

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19th Royal Malay (Mechanized Infantry) - Battle of Bakara Market (First Posted - Friday, November 16, 2007)
Tuesday, January 03, 2023

Image above shows joyous Americans posing outside the Malaysian Condors after being rescued. Alot of people seem confused about the contributions of the 19th Battalion Royal Malay Regiment, otherwise known as 19th Mech or MALBAT.
This battalion by itself was commanded by Lt Col Rozi, who was the Deputy Commander of MALBAT. Mark Bowdwn and Scott Ridley did not do justice to 19th RMR (Mech), they spun history their way, in the movie "Black Hawk Down". The Pakis who were in tanks turned tail and fled leaving the Malaysians and the Americans to fend for themselves. I am no great fan of the RMR but credit should be given where it is due. Even in Malaysia, no one knows the Leading Platoon Commander who led the column into Bakkara Market. Anyway, maybe he was a 2nd Lieutenant Kamal-edit

Autumn/Winter 1997–98 / JFQ 9
FOR THE RECORD To the Editor—In “War Criminals—Testing the Limits of the Military Force” which appeared in your last issue ( JFQ, Summer 97), F.M. Lorenz makes the following statement about the efforts of the Malaysian Battalion (MALBAT) in Somalia on October 3, 1993: When U.S. Rangers were under attack . . . the Malaysian force had the only armored vehicles in Mogadishu capable of mounting a rescue effort. But they refused to engage pending approval from Kuala Lumpur, and that took more than five hours. That assertion is not only untrue but is totally unfounded. Based on our records, the situation that evening unfolded as follows:

Above, at the stadium after the rescue, Malaysian Condors can be seen in the foreground-edit

On October 3, 1993, at approximately 1645 hours, UNOSOM II Headquarters requested MALBAT Headquarters to provide assistance to the U.S. Quick Reaction Force (QRF) to extricate approximately 70 U.S. Rangers and crew members of Cobra helicopters trapped in the vicinity of the Bakara Market. Earlier the Rangers had mounted an operation to arrest Farah Aideed near the Olympic Hotel where Aideed was meeting with his followers. The U.S. troops met with stiff resistance. In the ensuing firefight, two Cobras were shot down and a third sustained damage but managed to land safely at New Port. Subsequently, four rescue attempts by the remaining U.S. Rangers failed to break through the rebel defenses and also suffered heavy casualties.

Above, a Malaysian Infantry Fighting Vehicle, the Condor, an armoured wheeled vehicle-edit

The first MALBAT company assembled at New Port and was ready for final orders at 1755 hours and the second company assembled at 1830 hours. They were mounted on 32 APCs. In just about two hours, the two companies under the Malaysian commander, Col Latiff, were ready to deploy and “the decision came from him and never from Kuala Lumpur.” After further planning, the task force commander decided that the coalition force for the operation was to comprise two U.S. QRF companies mounted on MALBAT APCs, but with Malaysian drivers, gunners, signallers, vehicle commanders, and officers. There was also another company of U.S. Rangers on HUMVEEs and one troop of Pakistani tanks (4 tanks only-added by me - when the firing started the Pakis turned tail and fled abandoning the Malaysians and the Americans).

The coalition force departed New Port for Bakara Market at approximately 2325 hours. The rescue operation was under the command of LTC William David, USA. In the operation MALBAT sustained one soldier killed and six wounded as well as having four APCs (corrected by me from two APCs) destroyed. It was the combined effort by the Rangers, MALBAT, and Pakistani troops that resulted in success. It must be stressed that the whole operation from briefing to deployment and execution was done at night, which is inherently difficult and complex. Any delay was largely due to the force having to appreciate, coordinate, and plan what was a dangerous rescue operation.

At all stages of the effort MALBAT acted spontaneously under Col Latiff and did not refer to Kuala Lumpur. Testimony by MG Thomas M. Montgomery, USA, deputy force commander of UNOSOM II, and LTC William C. David, USA, commander of 2/14th Infantry, verifies these facts. The men and women of the Malaysian Armed Forces are a dedicated, disciplined, reliable, and courageous force. In peacekeeping missions, through diligent esprit de corps, willingness to cooperate, and self sacrifice, they have gained a reputation for trust and prowess. The “Malaysian Tigers” are respected and accepted wherever they go. With the highest esteem for JFQI request that you print this letter to correct the record.

—Col Chia Chan Sing, RMAF
Defense Attaché
The source....
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 3:50 PM  
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