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23 October 2016


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Wasn't your brother among them?

I seem to recall your brother dying there. 1983?

RIP all of you

James F

May God rest their souls... As far as I know this 1988 song by Patti Smith is the only one written about the Marines. It may not be to everyone's taste but it got a lot of play in my barracks and I can't think of the Marines without hearing it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=022tvozftNk lyrics are on the page

David Habakkuk


Martin Oline

Dear Lord, lest I continue in my complacent ways, help me to remember that somewhere someone died for me today and help me to remember to ask, “Am I worth dying for?”

mike allen

PB - Thank you!


I was a Marine in 1/8 Weapons Co. back in the mid 90's. We had battalion formation to commemorate the event every year. I wonder if they still do.


We're having our replica Vietnam War memorial dedication this Veteran's Day in Punta Gorda. I'll be there and will say a prayer for the Marines and French paras who died this date 33 years ago. Thanks Patrick for the reminder.

Patrick Bahzad

BLT 1/8 took the most casualties. I would expect them to still commemorate this event.

Patrick Bahzad

BW, thx for the prayer

mike allen

An observance begins at 2pm eastern time this afternoon in Lejeune Memorial Gardens.


I am told they will also be honoring those 58 French paras.

Patrick Bahzad


Thx for the info, means a lot to me. PB


May their souls rest in peace.

I always quibble when I hear the moniker "terrorist" attack" for the incident, even though these were suicide bombing. Good that Patrick is not doing so.

The U.S. was at that time party of the war and was firing its heaviest naval guns and the marine's 155mm piece in support of the (partisan) Lebanese Gemayel government and army (and Israeli interests). More than 600 heavy shells, many hitting (Shia, Druze) civilian areas for lack of forward artillery observers.

The other side (Druze, Syrians, Palestinians, Shia) had little abilities to counter that but finally found a military target they could attack. The attack achieved its aims. The U.S. withdrew. The French had argued against the U.S. active role at that time. But that was in the backrooms and the anger over the shelling hit it too.

The Iranians are regularly accused for the attack. I doubt that. There were many possible perpetrators with sound motivations and I see no immediate Iranian motivation for such an attack. (I lack knowledge on this point though)

Patrick Bahzad

b, I'm publishing ur post but I have to say, both on a personal and factual level, I find it quite biased.
Sounds like you don't really have an idea about what happened back then, especially regarding the "war in the mountain". Thousands were displaced and this was a dirty, bloody, cruel civil war.
As for the guilty party and individuals responsible for the cowardly Beirut attacks, they are well known. May they rot in Hell, for all Eternity.
Amen !


I always have respect to the people who stand up when their country asks them to. The members who died in these attacks certainly fit into that category.

However we also need to remember how we got to that point if we don't want a repeat. This was an occasion where the US really was trying to do the right thing and was willing to put American blood on the line to achieve it. But once again the US got screwed by Israel and a lot of dead Americans, French and others was the result of association with Israel and the following cover up.



Eric newhill

A sad day. Thank you for the post remembering it, Patrick.

Outrage Beyond

"In the summer if 1983, this same informant told the Mossad about a large Mercedes truck that was being fitted by the Shi'ite Muslims with spaces that could hold bombs. He said that it had even larger than usual spaces for this, so that whatever it was destined for was going to be a major target. Now, the Mossad knew that, for size, there were only a few logical targets, one of which must be the U.S. compound. The question then was whether or not to warn the Americans to be on particular alert for a truck matching the description.

"The decision was too important to be taken in the Beirut station, so it was passed along to Tel Aviv, where Admony, then head of Mossad, decided they would simply give the Americans the usual general warning, a vague notice that they had reason to believe someone might be planning an operation against them. But this was so general, and so commonplace, it was like sending a weather report; unlikely to raise any particular alarm or prompt increased security precautions. In the six months following receipt of this information, for example, there were more than 100 general warnings of car-bomb attackes. One more would not heighten U.S. concerns or surveillance.

"Admony, in refusing to give the Americans specific information on the truck, said, 'No, we're not there to protect Americans. They're a big country. Send onlyt the regular information.'

"At the same time, however, all Israeli installations were given the specific details and warned to watch for a truck matching the description of the Mercedes."

--By Way of Deception, Victor Ostrovsky, p. 321

mike allen

The "Organisation du Jihad Islamique (OJI)" admitted their guilt, and bragged about it.

Those French and Americans (plus the Italians in the Multi-National Force) were sent there to provide security for the evacuation of Palestinians from refugee camps where they had been subject to atrocities by some Lebanese while the Israelis looked on and cheered.

Those MNF peacekeepers at the airport were the target of many mortar and artillery attacks over a period of two to three months. Two Marines were killed and ten wounded by those attacks long before 23 October. I do not know about French or Italian casualties then but am sure there probably were some. So finally Reagan got off his butt and changed the ROE to authorize counter-battery fire, which is when the USS Missouri and Marine artillery came into action. I believe the Missouri was a bad decision by Reagan. Naval gunfire back in those days was not accurate and definitely not appropriate for counter-battery. But Reagan wanted a show of force with 'Big Mo'.

mike allen

By the way, a word of thanks to all who rendered assistance in casualty assistance operations, including:

Lebanese civilians, Italians, French (even though they had their own casualties to look after), Sailors, RAF and their hospital in Cyprus, and probably many others.

mike allen

My bad. Reagan did not re-activate the Missouri until just after the Beirut bombing. The NGF I assume was by a cruiser or destroyers. But at that time they were just as inaccurate as 16 inch guns on a BB - especially when employed perpendicular to the target line.


Patrick Bahzad

Morts pour la France. Toutes nos condoleances. pat et marguerite


mike allen

Semper Fidelis. pl


A friend of mine from 1 RCP was there.
146 camarades were killed in Lebanon.
We planted a cedar in the middle of camp Beaumont.
Never forget

mike allen

And to you. Also to Travis above.

scott s.

Not sure I agree with this assessment. Both Virginia and John Rodgers had GFCS Mk 86 which had a much better capability for NGFS than prior systems. Any way I think it was New Jersey which arrived off Beirut in early 84.

The Twisted Genius


As Patrick said, you're wrong about the Druze in the Mountain War. They were armed with Syrian artillery and tanks and were quite formidable. I was there and it was as intense as any other conventional fighting.

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