Not since 2001’s “Black Hawk Down” has there been a film that captures modern combat so well as the new film by Director Michael Bay, “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi”.

Much like that earlier film by Ridley Scott, depicting a similar incident in recent history, “13 Hours” is the tale of Americans isolated in a North African city, desperately fighting for their lives without the support and reinforcement from home they require.

As a former Special Forces Operator, I both love such films and tend to judge them critically. With any film in which the viewer has a deep familiarity of the subject matter, one can’t help but notice flaws in the narrative or details. It’s both a blessing and a curse to know too much about the subject; and I go to every war movie prepared to be disappointed, and to make allowances for minor mistakes.

But with “13 Hours“, there were no moments that made me mentally “wince”. Instead, from the opening to the end I was riveted to the screen; and at no time did my finely-tuned “bullshit meter” go off.

download.jpegBenghazi survivor John “Tig” Tiegen shows actor Dominc Fumusa (who portays “Tig” in the film) how to handle his weapon. The film’s realism comes from the presence of these veterans on set

Since “Black Hawk Down“, there have been a handful of movies similar in style and subject: “We Were Soldiers” (2002), “Act of Valor” (2012), and “Lone Survivor” (2013). All shared the same theme: American fighting men put into deadly peril without proper support…

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  1. You post about historical battles and wars, that are well researched and your style of writing is exciting and alive. ‘Black Hawk Down’ is an ace movie and one of my favourites, so I am looking forward to seeing 13 Hours and thanks for the tip.

  2. Have been reading your blog for quite a while and wanted to let you know that I enjoy your posts, and that I went to see “13 Hours” on your recommendation. You had me when you compared it to “Black Hawk Down.” Don’t know if you ever read the book, by a journalist named Mark Bowden, but as in many similar cases, the book is 10x better than the movie.

    I’ve noted that you have posted several blogs about the ancient Spartans. I’ve written two historical novels about them, and plan to write a third. It’s called “The Wandering King” series, and is told from the perspective from the nephew of Leonidas, who is named Euryanax. You can look the books up on Amazon if you want to check them out. My guess is that you would enjoy it, as it is based on Herodotus’ “The Histories” and does not consist of the comic-book, garbage you find in movies like “300.” The real story is much better than the Hollywood version.

    As I have been enjoying your writing for so long, if you would like a free copy of the first book in “The Wandering King” series, I would be glad to send it to you gratis. Just drop me an email at steve.marte@hotmail.com. Would need to know if you wanted a hard copy or the ebook version.

    Thanks again for all of the informative and entertaining reading!

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