Military History Urban Warfare
by
Louis DiMarco
  • LAST MODIFIED: 28 February 2017
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199791279-0171

Introduction

Urban warfare is a complex form of warfare whose uniqueness has always been recognized but whose importance was not emphasized by post-Napoleonic armies until the late 20th century. The study of warfare by military professionals, from the period of Napoleon forward, emphasized the idea of battle on open terrain, unrestricted by the presence of large noncombatant populations and significant man-made terrain. Armies since the era of Napoleon have generally ignored the necessity and the decisiveness of combat to seize and control cities. For the most part, actual warfare validated this appreciation of warfare with some notable exceptions such as the siege of Vicksburg in the American Civil War and the siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War. However, a closer, more nuanced study of the history of warfare indicates that urban warfare, most commonly taking the form of siege operations until the 20th century, was the dominant form of warfare for most of military history. For most of military history, the decisive battle in the open field was much less common than the systematic attack and defense of fortified cities. It is only during and after the Napoleonic period where the quest for decisive battle in the open dominated military operations. The dominance of open field battle lasted until approximately World War II when battle to control cities, urban warfare, reasserted its decisiveness in war. Since World War II, urban warfare has become increasingly dominant and increasingly decisive. This is due to a variety of factors including the search by less powerful armies for an asymmetric advantage among the urban population and landscape, the increased emphasis on revolutionary (insurgency) warfare, and dramatic global population demographic shifts from rural to urban geography.

General Overviews

There are several works that tackle the issue of urban warfare in a comprehensive way. None of them, however, is the definitive study. A very complete work is the classic Viollet-le-Duc 2000, but it suffers from being written as a fictional account and not addressing modern urban operations. The most comprehensive in terms of time is Davis 2001, which covers the spectrum from ancient military operations to capture cities to the siege of Sarajevo in 1999. Comprehensive in terms of analysis of modern operations is DiMarco 2012, which examines the evolution of urban warfare from 1942 to 2007 in Iraq by looking at the evolution of urban operations since World War II through the lens of nine detailed case studies, and includes an essay on the evolution of urban warfare to the modern era. Spiller 2001 is a more general examination of the urban environment in warfare, without a detailed focus on any specific operation. Ashworth 1991 is similar to Spiller 2001, with a greater historical focus and less focus on contemporary operations. Finally, Bell 1966 is a very narrow focus on operations during World War II and immediately after. Overall, there is not a lot of single-author works comprehensively looking at the subject of urban warfare through the course of military history. This reflects an underappreciation on the part of historians and military affairs writers of urban operations as a unique type of military operation. It also reflects the general lack of specialization in the area of warfare in cities until very recently.

  • Ashworth, Gregory J. War and the City. New York: Routledge, 1991.

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    A general look of urban warfare focused primarily on the Early Modern period. Its great weakness is the lack of any focus on contemporary operations.

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    • Bell, J. Bowyer. Besieged: Seven Cities under Siege. Philadelphia: Chilton, 1966.

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      This book is interesting because it covers some subjects that others do not. It also extends the idea of urban warfare into what US Army doctrine calls stability operations. The time period covered by the book is relatively short.

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      • Davis, Paul K. Besieged: 100 Great Sieges from Jericho to Sarajevo. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2001.

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        A solid survey of the great military sieges through the course of military history. The only work that covers operations to capture cities from the ancient to the modern. Its weakness is that such a broad overview lacks detail for any one specific operation or time period.

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        • Dewar, Michael. War in the Streets: The Story of Urban Combat from Calais to Khafji. New York: Sterling, 1992.

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          Useful as an introduction to the subject, but overly focused on the World War II British experience and lacks detail and focus.

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          • DiMarco, Louis. Concrete Hell: Urban Warfare from Stalingrad to Iraq. Oxford: Osprey, 2012.

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            A comprehensive look at urban warfare from World War II through the US-Iraq War. Heavily focused on tactical and operational approaches to urban warfare. Does a solid job of identifying and connecting historical trends to contemporary and future urban warfare.

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            • Spiller, Roger. Sharp Corners: Urban Operations at Century’s End. Fort Leavenworth, KS: Combat Studies Institute, 2001.

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              This work is a survey of the importance of cities to military operations and a general description of their physical characteristics and military significance. It does not make an attempt to do specific battle analysis.

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              • Viollet-le-Duc, Eugène. Annals of a Fortress: Twenty-Two Centuries of Siege Warfare. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole, 2000.

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                Originally published in English in 1875, this is a classic work describing the fictional history of a fortress as it evolved from ancient times to the late 19th century. The author describes the structural geographic changes made to the fortress over time as illustration of the evolution of both city design and military fortifications. The work ends with a discussion of fortifications and siege operations in the Franco-Prussian War.

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                Textbooks on Urban Geography and City History

                Military operations in urban areas are unique military operations because armies execute these operations in a unique and dynamic environment—the city. Understanding the city is essential to understanding urban warfare. Mumford 1961 comprehensively covers the history of cities, while Kostof 1991 describes in great detail the development of city design patterns. Hall 1998 examines specific cities in historic prime and how cities have found solutions to the challenges of urban development. Dickinson 1964 relates the city environment to the surrounding region. Brunn, et al. 2011 systematically analyzes contemporary issues affecting cities and urban development.

                • Brunn, Stanley D., Maureen Hays-Mitchell, and Donald J. Zeigler, eds. Cities of the World: World Regional Urban Development. 5th ed. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2011.

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                  This textbook in all its editions is an anthology that serves as a comprehensive guide to the state of urban development throughout the world. It provides an overview of global urban development and then more detailed region-by-region analysis.

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                  • Dickinson, Robert E. City and Region: A Geographical Interpretation. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1964.

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                    This classic work is somewhat dated and limited by the fact that its focus is Western Europe and the United States. Still, it is valuable because it articulates a systematic methodology for understanding the nature of urban areas and their relationships to the surrounding countryside.

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                    • Hall, Peter. Cities in Civilization. New York: Pantheon, 1998.

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                      An important work on the history and evolution of cities. Using major cities as case studies, Hall examines and documents the rising importance of cities and how they have adapted to challenges and advances in technology.

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                      • Kostof, Spiro. The City Shaped: Urban Patterns and Meanings through History. New York: Little, Brown, 1991.

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                        This book is a thorough, detailed analysis of urban plans and designs. It is organized around the five major patterns and describes the history and rational for each. Superbly illustrated.

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                        • Mumford, Lewis. The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1961.

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                          The definitive history of the city at the time of its publishing, Mumford’s work is still the standard for the history of urban development through the middle of the 20th century.

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                          Anthologies

                          Urban warfare is a subject that spans the length of military history. Thus, many of the works that deal with warfare in cities are compilations of short articles by period and battle subject-matter experts. They vary in quality in proportion to the expertise of the various writers. The best of the anthologies is Robertson 2003, which is a systematic, chronological look at urban warfare from World War II through the 1990s. Antal and Gericke 2003 is also very good. Desch 2001 and Goebel and Keene 2011 are valuable because their focus is diverse and they touch on issues such as logistics and command and control rather than strict battle analysis. The quality of contributors for both works was very high. As with most urban warfare writings, all of the anthologies focus on urban warfare in the modern period.

                          • Antal, John, and Bradley Gericke, eds. City Fights: Selected Histories of Urban Combat from World War II to Vietnam. Novato, CA: Presidio, 2003.

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                            A complete, comprehensive work that looks at urban warfare from World War II through Vietnam. Though it covers a broad range of subjects, it mostly focuses on straight conventional combat battle analysis and does not take the issue of the important urban confrontations at the end of the 20th century—Mogadishu and Panama City.

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                            • Desch, Michael C., ed. Soldiers in Cities: Military Operations on Urban Terrain. Washington, DC: Department of Defense, 2001.

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                              Quality writers mostly focused on common urban warfare case studies. However, a few exceptions such as a look at the Los Angeles riots of 1992 and operations in Lebanon in 1982 makes this a worthy reference.

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                              • Goebel, Stefan, and Derek Keene, eds. Cities into Battlefields: Metropolitan Scenarios, Experiences and Commemorations of Total War. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2011.

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                                A very interesting take on urban warfare because of the emphasis on aerial attack as a form of urban warfare.

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                                • Robertson, William G., ed. Block by Block: The Challenge of Urban Operations. Fort Leavenworth, KS: USA Command and General Staff College Press, 2003.

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                                  The best of the analogies covering all of the important urban operations from World War II to the end of the 20th century including operations in Grozny, Mogadishu and Panama City. It uniquely looks at the evolution of urban warfare from ancient to present times, humanitarian operations in an urban environment, urban terrorism in Argentina, and Afghanistan.

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                                  Ancient Urban Warfare

                                  Urban operations are operations designed to gain control of a city or to destroy an enemy force within a city. Controlling cities has been an objective of military operations since the beginning of military history, and thus urban operations has as well; fighting for, in, and around cities was an important form of warfare in ancient times, particularly as many of the great ancient civilizations centered themselves around fortified ancient cities. Siege operations, comprehensively covered in Campbell 2006, have been a part of warfare since the beginning of time, a form of urban operations, and a common military operation in the ancient world. Anglim 2002 devotes a portion of work to the special skills and tactics developed just for urban warfare. Miles 2010 provides a detailed case study of the destruction of city of Carthage by the Romans as an example of the role of cities in ancient warfare.

                                  • Anglim, Simon. Fighting Techniques of the Ancient World, 3000 BC–500 AD: Equipment, Combat Skills and Tactics. New York: St. Martin’s, 2002.

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                                    Good overall survey of ancient military fighting techniques. It includes a chapter on siege operations.

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                                    • Campbell, Duncan. Besieged: Siege Warfare in the Ancient World. New York: Osprey, 2006.

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                                      The complete work on ancient siege operations. Covers all aspects of siege tactics and includes several detailed case studies.

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                                      • Miles, Richard. Carthage Must Be Destroyed: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Civilization. New York: Viking, 2010.

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                                        This work centers on the Roman campaign to destroy the city of Carthage, and in the process, highlights most of the military aspects of ancient urban warfare, many of which remain relevant in the early 21st century.

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                                        Medieval Urban Warfare

                                        In the medieval period, the protection of the urban space took the form of the walled city. Medieval armies were expert at attacking and defending these cities with techniques and technology very similar to that utilized in the ancient period. Corfis and Wolfe 1999 is the definitive study of medieval siege warfare. Most of the analysis of medieval urban warfare is contained within larger works on medieval warfare in general, such as Delbrück 1982, Keen 1999, and Prestwich 1996. Reid 2007 highlights the importance of siege skill.

                                        • Corfis, Ivy A., and Michael Wolfe. The Medieval City Under Siege. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell, 1999.

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                                          Well-researched, quality work devoted to the close examination of the siege of medieval-period cities. This work examines every aspect of the siege, including offensive and defensive tactics, technology, and the siege in the context of campaigning, and includes comparative case studies from Europe and the Middle East.

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                                          • Delbrück, Hans. Medieval Warfare. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1982.

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                                            An excellent description of siege warfare in the Middle Ages, including a discussion of the military system of German cities.

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                                            • Keen, Maurice. Medieval Warfare: A History. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

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                                              A solid academic survey of various aspects of medieval warfare. Includes a chapter on the tactics and technology of the siege.

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                                              • Prestwich, Michael. Armies and Warfare in the Middle Ages: The English Experience. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1996.

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                                                A well-researched, comprehensive academic work on the broad topic of medieval warfare that includes a solid twenty-five-page chapter on siege operations.

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                                                • Reid, Peter. Medieval Warfare: Triumph and Domination in the Wars of the Middle Ages. New York: Caroll & Graf, 2007.

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                                                  This interesting work tackles the question of why the English army was dominant over the Scots and French in the period of the Hundred Years’ War, and part of the answer is superior siege skills.

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                                                  Early Modern Urban Warfare

                                                  In the Early Modern period of warfare, cities continued to be of vital strategic importance. The vertical walled city gave way to the elaborate fortress city designed to withstand attack by armies armed with cannon. Duffy’s two classic works on the subject, Duffy 1979 and Duffy 1996, document the evolution of fortress design and the assault tactics designed to overcome fortresses. More specialized works, such as Griffith 2006 and Janis 2004, focus on the French engineer Vauben, the premier practitioner of fortress building and siege warfare in the period. Deliberate siege warfare was a mainstay of military operations through the age of Napoleon, with techniques that built upon those established in the ancient and medieval period but updated and modified to account for the fortress city and the impact of cannon on warfare.

                                                  • Duffy, Christopher. Siege Warfare: The Fortress in the Early Modern World, 1494–1660. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979.

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                                                    The first of Duffy’s definitive works on the subject of early modern fortifications and siege operations. Covers the period of the transition from assault tactics to gunpowder fortresses.

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                                                    • Duffy, Christopher. Fire and Stone: The Science of Fortress Warfare, 1660–1860. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole, 1996.

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                                                      The second in Duffy’s classic examination of early modern fortress warfare. Focuses largely on the golden age of star fortress building in the late 17th and 18th centuries and the eventual demise of the fortress in the 19th century.

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                                                      • Griffith, Paddy. The Vauban Fortifications of France. Oxford: Osprey, 2006.

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                                                        This is a detailed examination of the French fortresses constructed by the premier French military engineer Vauban. Short, clear, and lavishly illustrated—this is another good Osprey reference.

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                                                        • Janis, Langins. Conserving the Enlightenment: French Military Engineering from Vauban to the Revolution. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2004.

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                                                          A detailed study of the French Royal Corps of Engineers and the fortifications they built. The thesis of this book is that the French military engineers, their works, and their culture of science contributed to the culture that led to the French Revolution.

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                                                          • Pollak, Martha. Cities at War in Early Modern Europe. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

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                                                            Cities at War is a unique, well-illustrated, and well-researched book. This detailed academic work is distinguished by the author being an architect. The analysis of the early modern fortress city takes the point of view of the influence of military considerations on city design and architecture throughout the Early Modern period. This work is essential to connecting the intricacies of fortress design to the design of important urban centers.

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                                                            • Rothenberg, Gunther E. The Art of War in the Age of Napoleon. London: B. T. Batsford, 1977.

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                                                              In his section on the role of fortifications, the author describes how Napoleonic warfare turned away from the siege of strategically important cities and to decisive combat in the open field.

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                                                              Modern Warfare

                                                              Large-scale and decisive urban warfare did not generally occur after the Napoleonic period until World War II. Notable exceptions were the decisive battles for Vicksburg during the American Civil War, and the climatic siege of Paris that ended the Franco-Prussian War. Military historians have extensively covered the battle and campaign for Vicksburg, but the best treatment for the purposes of understanding the state of urban warfare at the beginning of the modern era is Solonick 2015. The siege of Paris did not involve extensive urban combat but demonstrated that, in modern war, complex tactical, strategic, and political issues often found their nexus in the necessity to control large critical urban areas. These complex issues are apply describe in Horne 1966.

                                                              • Horne, Alister. The Fall of Paris: The Siege and the Commune 1870–71. New York: St. Martin’s, 1966.

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                                                                Horne’s classic work on the Siege of Paris is the necessary starting point for any research relating to this battle. The fall of Paris is a comprehensive, well-researched description of all aspects of the siege of Paris in Part 1 of the book. The second half of the book describing the subsequent control of the city by the Paris Commune is less relevant.

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                                                                • Solonick, Justin S. Engineering Victory: The Union Siege of Vicksburg. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 2015.

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                                                                  Engineering Victory is a detailed look at the battle for Vicksburg from the perspective of the engineering and tactics necessary to breech the city’s defenses. It is an excellent examination of the state of the military engineering art and science in the beginning years of modern urban warfare.

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                                                                  World War II

                                                                  Large-scale decisive urban combat becomes commonplace during World War II. All the belligerents developed special tactics and training for functioning in the urban environment. The only source that attempts a comprehensive look at urban warfare in World War II is Bull 2008. World War II demonstrated a dramatic shift back to the decisive importance of urban warfare. This occurred in all theaters and was demonstrated from the earliest days of the war.

                                                                  • Bull, Stephen. World War II Street-Fighting Tactics. New York: Osprey, 2008.

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                                                                    The only comprehensive treatment of issues of urban warfare across most of the World War II experience. An excellent description of the doctrinal thoughts on urban warfare with short illustrative descriptions from some of the more well-known urban battles.

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                                                                    World War II Eastern Front

                                                                    World War II on the Eastern Front represented some of the most decisive and certainly the most famous of the war’s urban battles. Stalingrad, easily one of the most famous battles in history and one of the handful of very decisive battles of World War II, was completely about the capture of a single city and is well documented in Beevor 1998, Craig 1974, and Glantz and House 2009–2014. Salisbury 1977 describes how the stubborn defense of Leningrad had strategic consequences for the attacker. As the Eastern Front collapsed in 1944, the battles for Warsaw in 1944 and Budapest in 1945 were also strategically consequential as described in Davies 2004 and Ungvary 2006. The battle for the German capital city, Berlin, was one of the largest urban-focused battles in history and ensured the final allied victory in Europe. That battle is well documented in works by some of the best World War II historians, such as Beevor 2002, Ryan 1966, and Zemke 1968.

                                                                    • Beevor, Antony. Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege; 1942–1943. New York: Viking, 1998.

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                                                                      Well-written and comprehensive general study of the battle. Intended for general audiences. This work is a worthy update to William Craig’s classic (Craig 1974).

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                                                                      • Beevor, Antony. The Fall of Berlin 1945. New York: Viking, 2002.

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                                                                        This book is characterized by the same excellent research and writing as the author’s Stalingrad (Beevor 1998). Like the author’s Stalingrad, it is intended for a general audience and updates Ryan’s classic work on the same subject.

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                                                                        • Craig, William. Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad. New York: Ballantine, 1974.

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                                                                          Craig’s work is a comprehensive study of the battle that covers all aspects of the battle from strategic to tactical. Though somewhat dated, it is exceptionally well written and a military history classic.

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                                                                          • Davies, Norman. Rising ’44: The Battle for Warsaw. New York: Viking, 2004.

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                                                                            This book is the definitive study of the battle between the Polish Home Army and the German occupation forces. Though somewhat biased to the Polish point of view, it does an excellent job of articulating the impact of the strategic alliance considerations on the course of the tactical battle.

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                                                                            • Glantz, Davi M., and Jonathan House. The Stalingrad Trilogy. 3 vols. Lawrence, KS: Undivert Press of Kansas, 2009–2014.

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                                                                              This massive three volume series is the definitive study of the most famous urban battle in history –arguably the most important battle of World War II. Intensely researched and very detailed, this trilogy is written by experts for experts.

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                                                                              • Ryan, Cornelius. The Last Battle. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1966.

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                                                                                The classic story of the battle for Berlin. Based on extensive interviews and told primarily through the experiences of the participants. This is a classic work written before all the Russian sources were available.

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                                                                                • Salisbury, Harrison E. The 900 Days: The Siege of Leningrad. Cambridge, MA: Decapo, 1977.

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                                                                                  This work is a thorough and complete study of the epic battle that defined urban resistance to attack. The definitive work on this iconic battle of the Eastern Front.

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                                                                                  • Ungvary, Krisztian. The Siege of Budapest: One Hundred Days in World War II. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006.

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                                                                                    This book was originally published in Hungarian and is the definitive work on the battle for Budapest, one of only three European capitals fought for and destroyed during World War II. This book is particularly good for describing the impact of the battle on the civilian population, including the large Jewish population living and hiding in the city.

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                                                                                    • Zemke, Earl F. The Battle for Berlin: End of the Third Reich. New York: Ballantine, 1968.

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                                                                                      A solid study of the battle. Clear and concise descriptions focused on the operational level of war. Like many of the works of the 1960s, dated by an overly German point of view and lack of access to Russian sources.

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                                                                                      World War II Western Front

                                                                                      Urban warfare on the Western Front was, in general, on a smaller scale and not as operationally or as strategically decisive. Possibly the most noteworthy city-focused operations of the war focused on the capture of the two capital cities of Paris and Rome. These were not particularly hard-fought battles and were more decisive for their political significance than for their military value, as described in Collins and Lapierre 1965 and Katz 2003. However, many city-focused battles did occur. Of these, possibly the most important were the battles for the French cities that were important for the logistic and transport facilities that they contained. The battles for operationally important urban centers are well represented in Kemp 1981 and Balkoski 2006. Possibly one of the most important urban battles on the march to Germany was the US Army fight to capture the first German city, Aachen, described in Whiting 1976. Many of the important urban battles fought by the US and British armies on the Western Front remain unexplored except in official histories.

                                                                                      • Balkoski, Joseph. From Beachhead to Brittany: The 29th Infantry Division at Brest. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole, 2006.

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                                                                                        A detailed examination of the costly house to house fighting necessary to capture the important port-city of Brest in August 1944. This urban battle was significant because the difficultly of the urban battle at Brest caused a major change in Allied strategy for the campaign in Northwest Europe.

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                                                                                        • Collins, Larry, and Dominque Lapierre. Is Paris Burning? New York: Simon and Schuster, 1965.

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                                                                                          A fast-paced account of the spontaneous uprising of the French Resistance in Paris against the occupying German military and the disregard of the Free French Forces, the Resistance, and the urban population of Paris for the war plans of Eisenhower’s headquarters.

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                                                                                          • Katz, Robert. The Battle for Rome: The Germans, the Allies, the Partisans, and the Pope, September 1943–June 1944. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003.

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                                                                                            The author uses the German occupation of Rome to demonstrate that despite the fact that there was not a large-scale battle to capture the Italian capital, complex, strategic, and political decisions had to be made before the allies could plan the tactical operations necessary to capture and occupy the city.

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                                                                                            • Kemp, Anthony. The Unknown Battle: Metz, 1944. New York: Stein and Day, 1981.

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                                                                                              A well-researched standard battle history that is representative of the way the US Army conducted urban operations in World War II.

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                                                                                              • Whiting, Chares. Bloody Aachen. New York: Stein and Day, 1976.

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                                                                                                This book, written for a general audience, is dated but is the only book-length treatment of the battle to capture the first German city during World War II, which was another example of the well-executed standard US Army doctrinal approach to urban warfare: attack to isolate the city and, only then, attack into the city from an unexpected direction.

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                                                                                                World War II in Asia and the Pacific

                                                                                                There were several large urban battles in Asia and the Pacific, and they are largely undocumented in histories. Historians have largely ignored the titanic struggle between the Chinese and Japanese armies in mainland China. Japanese atrocities in Nanking drew the attention of scholars though the battle itself was not decisive, as described in Chang 1997. More recent scholarship, Harmsen 2013 documents the battle for Shanghai, which was not only an immense urban confrontation but also arguably the battle that started World War II. In the last year of the war, the battle for Manila was hard fought and politically important and is the focus in Anderson, et al. 1995.

                                                                                                • Anderson, Duncan, Richard Connaughton, and John Pimlott. The Battle for Manila: The Most Devastating Untold Story of World War II. Novato, CA: Presidio, 1995.

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                                                                                                  This work is a general history of the battle. The military analysis is average, but it does a good job of highlighting the plight of the civilian casualties, which the authors estimate at over one hundred thousand killed, approaching one million total.

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                                                                                                  • Chang, Iris. The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II. New York: Basic Books, 1997.

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                                                                                                    Chang’s work is a well-documented but somewhat controversial account of the mass rape and slaughter of civilians after the fall of the city of Nanking in 1937. Though not as strategically significant as the battle of Shanghai that preceded it, Nanking represents the extent to which a civilian population is at the mercy of an undisciplined military force in an urban environment.

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                                                                                                    • Harmsen, Peter. Shanghai, 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze. Havertwon, PA: Casemate, 2013.

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                                                                                                      Harmsen writes a well-researched and detailed accounted of the several-months-long battle for control of China’s most important city. At the time of the battle, the population of Shanghai was three and a half million; the fifth largest city in the world; and the second largest, next to Tokyo, in Asia. The battle for Shanghai was arguably the first major battle of World War II and an indicator of the reemergence of urban warfare as an important characteristic of warfare.

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                                                                                                      Cold War Conventional Urban Warfare

                                                                                                      The end of World War II did not end large-scale urban warfare. Paradoxically, as the Cold War limited war to conventional regional conflicts, the frequency and decisiveness of urban warfare increased. This was partly a result of population demographics as postwar urban populations grew dramatically all around the world and rural populations became too large for the countryside to support. Thus, urban population increase coincided with a massive population migration to urban areas, particularly in developing nations.

                                                                                                      The Korean War

                                                                                                      The first major decisive urban battle following the end of World War II was the battle to recapture the cities of Inchon of Seoul, Republic of Korea, in September 1950. There are several general histories of the campaign, but the only one that is comprehensive and authoritative is Heinl 1979. The US Army and Marine Corps official histories, Appleman 1992 and Montross and Canzona 1955, also cover this campaign very thoroughly. Though they contain much of the same information as Montross and Canzona 1955, easier references on the Inchon-Seoul campaign are 3 fifty-year commemoration monographs produced by Alexander, Mersky, and Simmons for the Marine Corps History in 2000 (see Alexander 2000, Mersky 2000, and Simmons 2000).

                                                                                                      • Alexander, Joseph H. Battle of the Barricades: US Marines in the Recapture of Seoul. Washington, DC: USMC, 2000.

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                                                                                                        This short, detailed narrative provides a clear and concise look at the main effort to recapture Seoul in September 1950. Very well illustrated with good maps.

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                                                                                                        • Appleman, Roy E. South to the Naktong, North to the Yalu. Washington, DC: Center for Military History, 1992.

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                                                                                                          The US Army official history of the first year of the Korean War. Not as comprehensive regarding the Seoul campaign as the US Marine official history. The Inchon-Seoul campaign is approximately ten percent of the book and covers mostly planning and preparation and the participation of one US Army regiment that was part of the attack on Seoul.

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                                                                                                          • Heinl, Robert B. Victory at High Tide: The Inchon-Seoul Campaign. Annapolis, MD: Nautical & Aviation, 1979.

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                                                                                                            A detailed and well-researched account of the operation based on the best primary sources. This is the most authoritative nonofficial history of the campaign.

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                                                                                                            • Mersky, Peter B. Corsairs to Panthers: US Marine Aviation in Korea. Washington, DC: USMC, 2000.

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                                                                                                              This is a clear concise history of US Marine Aviation in the Korean War. It includes a very detailed description of the unique organization and operations of the extremely effective Marine aviation support of the Inchon-Seoul campaign.

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                                                                                                              • Montross, Lynn, and Nicholas A. Canzona. U.S. Marine Operations in Korea, 1950–1953. Vol. 2, The Inchon-Seoul Operation. Washington, DC: USMC, 1955.

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                                                                                                                A lengthy detailed account of the planning, organization, and execution of marine operations in the Inchon-Seoul campaign. This heavily researched volume is the definitive history from the Marine Corps point of view and much more comprehensive than the US Army official history.

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                                                                                                                • Sheldon, Walt. Hell or High Water: MacArthur’s Landing at Inchon. New York: Macmillian, 1968.

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                                                                                                                  This is a good general battle history of the Inchon landings and the advance to Seoul. The best aspect of this volume is the emphasis on MacArthur’s brilliance in conceiving and achieving approval for the high-risk operation.

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                                                                                                                  • Simmons, Edwin H. Over the Seawall: US Marines at Inchon. Korean War Commemorative Series. Washington, DC: USMC, 2000.

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                                                                                                                    Over the Seawall is a very good clear detailed of the US Marine landings at Inchon and their advance into the suburbs of Seoul. It does carry the battle through the capture of Seoul.

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                                                                                                                    The Vietnam War

                                                                                                                    Though much of the Vietnam War was fought in the hinterlands of South Vietnam, the decisive battles, in particular the important decisive battles of the 1968 Tet Offensive, were fought in and for control of the important South Vietnamese urban centers. Probably the most important battle of the war was the 1968 battle to control the city of Hue, most ably described in Hammel 1991. Warr 1997 focuses in detail on the US Marine actions north of the river. Other important battles of the Tet Offensive were fought in Saigon. The only dedicated source to these actions is Nolan 1996.

                                                                                                                    • Hammel, Eric. Fire in the Streets: The Battle for Hue, Tet 1968. Chicago: Contemporary Books, 1991.

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                                                                                                                      This is the best account of the battle for Hue. It is a very detailed chronological account of US operations in one of the pivotal battles of the Vietnam War, arguably the most important battle as relating to the US involvement in the war. This work includes a good account of North Vietnamese actions and some information on the efforts of the South Vietnamese Army.

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                                                                                                                      • Nolan, Keith. Battle for Hue, Tet 1968. Novato, CA: Presidio, 1983.

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                                                                                                                        Nolan intends his account of the battle for a general audience and is an accurate description of the US actions in the battle. It does not detail either the South or North Vietnamese actions.

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                                                                                                                        • Nolan, Keith. The Battle for Saigon: Tet, 1968. New York: Pocket, 1996.

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                                                                                                                          This work by Nolan is similar to his account of Hue. He focuses mostly on the threats to the major US facilities in Saigon—the air bases and the embassy. He does not detail other North or South Vietnamese actions, in particular in intense fighting at the city radio station and in some of the city’s neighborhoods because they did not involve US troops.

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                                                                                                                          • Warr, Nicholas. Phase Line Green: The Battle for Hue, 1968. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute, 1997.

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                                                                                                                            This history of the battle focuses on the marine actions north of the Perfume River and is primarily written from that point of view. It is biased to the tactical view of the battle and does not indicate a more nuanced understanding of the larger strategic issues of the battle.

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                                                                                                                            The Arab-Israeli Wars

                                                                                                                            Most of the fighting during the Arab-Israeli wars was in the open fields or in small urban areas. However, some decisive fighting occurred in large urban areas. The first major urban battle that had a large strategic impact was the 1967 battle for complete control of the strategically important city of Jerusalem. This battle is covered adequately in Herzog 2005, but thorough accounts of the battle are in Rabinovich 1972 and Oren 2002. All of the major urban battles of the Arab-Israeli wars through the end of the 20th century are covered in Herzog 2005. The other important urban warfare experience in the 20th century was the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, which involved extensive urban combat as described in Gabriel 1984.

                                                                                                                            • Gabriel, Richard A. Operation Peace for Galilee. New York: Hill and Wang, 1984.

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                                                                                                                              This is a straightforward battle history of the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon. It is most valuable in its description of the efforts to eliminate the Palestinian Liberation Organization. A good chronological description, though it lacks some tactical detail and context because it was written very soon after the battle and relies largely on unclassified reports of operations.

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                                                                                                                              • Herzog, Chaim. The Arab-Israeli Wars. New York: Vintage, 2005.

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                                                                                                                                The best account of the more than fifty-year confrontation between Israel and its Arab neighbors. This work is in several editions, and each edition is updated to include the latest historiography and declassified materials. Despite the fact that the author was also a high-ranking Israel official and participant in many of the events, it is mostly an unbiased military view of the wars and includes particularly good, clear accounts of urban warfare in 1967 and 1982.

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                                                                                                                                • Oren, Michael B. Six Days of War. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

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                                                                                                                                  Though a general account of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, this work contains the best description of the intensive battle between the Israeli army and the Jordanian army for control of East Jerusalem.

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                                                                                                                                  • Rabinovich, Araham. The Battle of Jerusalem: An Unintended Conquest. New York: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1972.

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                                                                                                                                    A thorough, well-illustrated account of the battle. The author was present during the battle and conducted extensive interviews with Israeli army veterans.

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                                                                                                                                    Cold War Unconventional Urban Warfare

                                                                                                                                    The advent of nuclear weapons made global conventional war unlikely if not impossible. It also created conditions for a great increase in a type of warfare that had been around for probably as long as war itself—unconventional warfare. The Chinese Revolution, which culminated in the Chinese Civil War and led to the Chinese communists’ assent to power, was based on Mao’s revolutionary war strategy and leveraged the strength of the rural population of China to achieve success. Mao’s revolution established the power of revolutionary war to change the government, but as the 20th century wore on, the focus of revolutionaries increasingly became the urban population. Understanding Maoist strategy, as described in Mao 2000, is necessary to understanding urban revolutionary war. The French Algerian War and the war in Northern Ireland demonstrated the power of an urban-based revolutionary movement. A good general overview of this phenomenon is Joes 2007. Good specific descriptions of the tactics and techniques of effective urban guerrillas are Brum 2014 and Begin 1977.

                                                                                                                                    • Begin, Menachem. The Revolt. New York: Steimatzky Agency, 1977.

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                                                                                                                                      A detailed account of how Begin led the Jewish underground, the Irgun, guerrilla war against British rule in Palestine prior to Israeli independence.

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                                                                                                                                      • Brum, Pablo. The Robin Hood Guerrillas: The Epic Journey of Uruguay’s Tupamaros. Charleston, NC: CreateSpace, 2014.

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                                                                                                                                        A detailed history of one of the best-organized and most active urban guerrilla organizations of the 1970s.

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                                                                                                                                        • Joes, Anthony James. Urban Guerrilla Warfare. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2007.

                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813124377.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                          This very well-researched book documents urban insurgency case studies beginning in World War II through operations in Northern Ireland and Grozny in the late 1990s. It also includes, among more generally know studies like Algiers and Saigon, the rarely referenced Budapest uprising of 1956 as well as insurgency in Sao Paulo in 1965 and Montevideo in 1963. It is also notable because it identifies consistent trends and characteristics.

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                                                                                                                                          • Mao, Zedong. On Guerrilla Warfare. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2000.

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                                                                                                                                            This is the classic revolutionary warfare text translated by US Marine Brigadier General Samuel Griffith. It outlines very simply Mao’s revolutionary strategy and many of his particular tactical and operational tenets. Understanding this strategy, though it is not specifically designed for the urban guerrilla, is critical to understanding urban insurgency and counterinsurgency.

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                                                                                                                                            The French Algerian War

                                                                                                                                            The best works on the urban insurgency based in Algiers, Algeria, in 1956 to 1957 is Horne 1977. Both Aussaresses 2002 and the classic work Trinquier 1985 add detail and the first-person perspective to Horne’s excellent history.

                                                                                                                                            • Aussaresses, Paul. The Battle of the Casbah: Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism in Algeria, 1955–1957. New York: Enigma, 2002.

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                                                                                                                                              This work is by one of the senior officers of French intelligence during the French Algerian War. It is a significant book because it confirms, from an indisputable source, the extent of the French army’s brutal interrogation methods. The author also represents well the argument for their effectiveness.

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                                                                                                                                              • Horne, Alistair. A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954–1962. New York: Penguin, 1977.

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                                                                                                                                                The authoritative account of the French Algerian War. The description and analysis of the battle of Algiers, which is quite lengthy, is the authoritative source regarding both French and insurgency operations, organization, and strategy. A value of this book is a detailed analysis of which effective French tactics in the short term contribute to strategic defeat in the long term.

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                                                                                                                                                • Trinquier, Roger. Modern Warfare: A French View of Counterinsurgency. Fort Leavenworth, KS: Combat Studies Institute, 1985.

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                                                                                                                                                  This short book was originally written in 1964 by another of the top French intelligence officers in Algeria. Trinquier makes the point that urban insurgency is the war of the future and that armies must adapt themselves to that environment. He describes many useful techniques for fighting the urban insurgent, and most of his descriptions are tactics used by the French in the Battle of Algiers.

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                                                                                                                                                  The British in Northern Ireland

                                                                                                                                                  The literature available on the British experience in Northern Ireland is extensive, but much of it was generated during the war and lacks an overall perspective and appreciation for strategy that only can come after the issue is largely resolved. The two best overall works on the war against the Irish Republican Army (IRA) are van der Bijl 2009 and the analysis in Ministry of Defence 2006. The intelligence war against the IRA was possibly the most critical aspect of the British effort, and Geraghty 1998 and Rennie 1996 both document the critical efforts in this part of the war.

                                                                                                                                                  • Geraghty, Tony. The Irish War: The Hidden Conflict between the IRA and British Intelligence. London: HarperCollins, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                                    A key to British success in Northern Ireland was the development and auctioning of good intelligence on the IRA. This book describes the organization and techniques developed over many years and utilized by the British military and police forces to gain intelligence on the IRA and then used to target the IRA effectively.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Ministry of Defence. Operation Banner: An Analysis of Military Operations in Northern Ireland. London: DGS Publications Coordinator, 2006.

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                                                                                                                                                      This work is the product of a detailed British army analysis of tactics and strategy in Northern Ireland. Very insightful and critical where appropriate.

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                                                                                                                                                      • Newsinger, John. British Counter-Insurgency from Palestine to Northern Ireland. New York: Palgrave, 2002.

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                                                                                                                                                        This is a very well-researched and particularly insightful survey of the British counterinsurgency experience from Palestine after World War II to the end of operations in Northern Ireland. Newsinger’s description of the effectiveness of changing British strategy in Northern Ireland is particularly illuminating.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Rennie, James. The Operators: On the Streets with 14 Company. London: Century, 1996.

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                                                                                                                                                          This book is a detailed first-person narrative by a member of the British covert intelligence company specifically organized to provide intelligence in Northern Ireland. It is a dramatic reading but strongly makes the point of how difficult and important it was for the British counterinsurgency efforts to gain accurate and timely intelligence on the IRA in Northern Irelands urban areas.

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                                                                                                                                                          • van der Bijl, Nick. Operation Banner: The British Army in Northern Ireland, 1969–2007. Barnsley, UK: Pen and Sword, 2009.

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                                                                                                                                                            This work is the best one-volume history of the British military in Northern Ireland. It is a well-researched chronological description of army operations. The work is very authoritative and accurate but relatively short and therefore lacks detailed explanations, background, and in-depth analysis. Though written by a British army officer, it is generally unbiased in its description of events and analysis.

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                                                                                                                                                            Late-Twentieth-Century Urban Warfare

                                                                                                                                                            The end of the Cold War did not affect the trend toward increasing urban combat. One characteristic of the post–Cold War military environment was the drastic reduction in many of the military forces around the world. Additionally, increased media presence in urban areas required that the civilian population be protected during the conduct of urban warfare. This created two new characteristics of urban warfare—more restrictive rules of engagement and increased use of special operations forces to achieve success in urban warfare. US military operations in Panama City and in Mogadishu were major demonstrations of both the capabilities and limitations of special operations forces in urban warfare. Baker, et al. 1991 provides a clear, easy-to-understand nonacademic account of operations in Panama, while Yates 2014 is an extensively researched and detailed official history. Operations in Mogadishu highlighting the role of special operations forces are covered in the popular work Bowden 1999 and in the more academic and contextual work Baumann 2004. Book-length treatments of contemporaneous urban operations by Russia in Chechnya are limited to Oliker 2001.

                                                                                                                                                            • Baker, Caleb, Thomas Donnelly, and Margaret Roth. Operation Just Cause: The Storming of Panama. New York: Lexington Books, 1991.

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                                                                                                                                                              A good general history of the military operations in and around Panama City. Clearly and accurately depicts the events but contains very little analysis.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Baumann, Robert F. My Clan against the World. Fort Leavenworth, KS: Combat Studies Institute, 2004.

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                                                                                                                                                                The definitive account of the US intervention in Somalia. It includes a detailed account of the battle of Mogadishu and most importantly, put the battle within the context of US policy and other operations in Somalia.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Bowden, Mark. Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War. New York: Atlantic Monthly, 1999.

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                                                                                                                                                                  A good general history based on interviews with participants of the US operation in Mogadishu to capture Somali clan leaders disrupting UN relief operations in the country. This battle, though small, represents many of the characteristics that some analysts believe will be typical of urban warfare though the 21st century. It had a dramatic impact on armies around the world and the assessment of the importance of urban operations.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Oliker, Olga. Russia’s Chechen Wars 1994–2001. Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2001.

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                                                                                                                                                                    This work is a short and very general book, but it is one of the few academic works that addresses the military operations in the capital city of Chechnya, Grozny.

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                                                                                                                                                                    • Yates, Lawrence. The U.S. Military Intervention in Panama: Operation Just Cause, December 1989–January 1990. Washington, DC: Center of Military History, United States Army, 2014.

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                                                                                                                                                                      The definitive official history of Operation Just Cause. Extensively researched in primary sources, this history is detailed and completely thorough and, as an official history, is generally uncritical of the operation.

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                                                                                                                                                                      Urban Warfare in the US-Iraq War

                                                                                                                                                                      A comprehensive history of the US-Iraq war has yet to be written. Most of the war was fought in the urban centers of Iraq, and thus many good narratives of urban tactical operations throughout the eight years of the war exist. Lacey 2007 describes with great accuracy the initial entry into urban fighting during the first phase of the war in 2003. The first decisive battle of the insurgency phase, the battle for Fallujah, is the subject of several detailed histories—Camp 2009, Lowry 2010, and West 2005. Of these, Lowry 2010 is the best-balanced perspective of the battle and is the most analytical. Possibly the most important urban battle of the war, and a contrast to the battle of Fallujah, was the battle of the Ramadi. Unfortunately, it is the subject of only one general history, Michaels 2010.

                                                                                                                                                                      • Camp, Dick. Operation Phantom Fury: The Assault and Capture of Fallujah, Iraq. Minneapolis, MN: Zenith, 2009.

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                                                                                                                                                                        Very detailed look at the battle of Fallujah. Based on extensive interviews, this account of the battle is lavishly illustrated with photos and detailed maps.

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Fair, C. Christine, and Sumit Ganguly, eds. Treading on Hallowed Ground: Counterinsurgency Operations in Sacred Spaces. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.

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                                                                                                                                                                          This is a very specialized work that looks at the use of important religious locations by urban insurgencies to achieve decisive strategic results. The authors use case studies to make the point that religious targets are disproportionally strategically valuable in some scenarios. The case studies include the battle for Islamabad’s Red Mosque, the 1979 Mecca insurgency, and the targeting and use of mosques in Iraq during the US-Iraq war.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Lacey, Jim. Takedown: The 3rd Infantry Division’s Twenty-One Day Assault on Baghdad. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                                                            A very clear, detailed account of the main US effort to capture Baghdad in 2003 led by the 3rd Infantry Division. The value of this work is its clear description and analysis of a multibrigade battle carried out toward, in, and around a city of more than five million people.

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Lowry, Richard S. New Dawn: The Battles for Fallujah. New York: Savas Beatie, 2010.

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                                                                                                                                                                              A very detailed and comprehensive view of the battles for Fallujah. Excellent at relating in a clear and concise manner what happened. Weak in analysis of what is relevant to the future of urban warfare.

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Ludwig, Konrad R. K. Stryker: The Siege of Sadr City. Flintridge, CA: Roland-Kjos, 2011.

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                                                                                                                                                                                A tactical narrative of the experiences of a soldier in a Stryker infantry battalion operating in the Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad. Though weak in the area of operational and strategic insights, this tactical view of war illustrates well the daily operations of US infantry units in the urban centers of Iraq.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Michaels, Jim. A Chance in Hell: The Men Who Triumphed Over Iraq’s Deadliest City and Turned the Tide of War. New York: St. Martin’s, 2010.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  This is the only full treatment of the operation to pacify the Iraqi city of Ramadi, which prompted the Sunni awakening and ultimately inspired the surge strategy that later pacified most of the country. It adequately explains the important aspects of the operation from the strategic level to the tactical. It is a good start to telling the story of one of the most important battles of the US-Iraq war, but it is not as detailed as it could have been.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  • West, Bing. No True Glory: A Frontline Account of the Battle of Fallujah. New York: Bantam, 2005.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    This book is the best-written account of the battle for Fallujah. Its strongest feature is the details regarding the tactical level of the battle. There are, however, some important aspects of the battle that the book only touches on or does not make clear.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Zucchino, David. Thunder Run: The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad. New York: Grove, 2004.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      This work is a detailed account of the armored brigade that led US forces into Baghdad. It is a good tactical view of the battle for Baghdad from the point of view of the American soldier, but lacks detailed coverage of the higher operational and strategic perspective to give it more balance.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      Cities and Warfare into the 21st Century

                                                                                                                                                                                      A variety of analysts have come to the conclusion that the dominant environment for military operations in the 21st century is the urban environment. One of the first works to address this in book-length form was Hills 2004. About the same time, Graham 2004 made the case that urban areas would be the nexus where war and terrorism meet. Later, Graham 2010 makes the argument that large urban environments across the globe are already dominated by armed factions, military, and police, and that security is the single most influential factor in urban life. The clearest and strongest argument proposing that war in the future will be dominated by urban warfare is articulated in Kilcullen 2013.

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Graham, Stephen. Cities, War, and Terrorism: Towards an Urban Geopolitics. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2004.

                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1002/9780470753033Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                        This is an academic anthology that takes a multidisciplined look at the nexus between the urban environment, warfare, and terrorism. The theme is that in the post–Cold War world, warfare is increasingly about prosecuting terrorism or combating it, and is waged in and among the dense urban population, affecting all aspects of urban life.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • Graham, Stephen. Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism. New York: Verso, 2010.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          A critical view of the increasing militarization of urban space. The author believes that increased security concerns are exaggerated but used to justify unwarranted government control of urban life globally. Mostly speculation but valuable for its insights into the increasing use of sophisticated weapons, intelligence, and robotic war-fighting capabilities in the urban battlespace.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Hills, Alice. Future War in Cities: Rethinking a Liberal Dilemma. London: Frank Cass, 2004.

                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.4324/9780203323120Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                            This work is a systematic analysis of the requirements of urban warfare in the 21st century. It examines all aspects of urban warfare from doctrine to technology and includes a discussion of the role of airpower and logistics. A very solid effort, this work’s greatest weakness is that it was written without the benefit of the extensive experience in urban warfare gained since 2004.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            • Kilcullen, David. Out of the Mountains: The Coming Age of the Urban Guerrilla. Oxford and New York, 2013.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              In this work, the author, with vast experience in Afghanistan and Iraq, describes his vision of the most likely environment in which decisive military force will be applied in the 21st century: the large littoral urban center. He describes the environment and challenges in great detail and offers some insights to the manner in which military force might be used, in conjunction with other instruments of national power, to ensure or regain control of a large urban center from a variety of possible nonstate actors.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              Specialized Studies and Selected Journal Articles

                                                                                                                                                                                              The intensity of urban combat in the last decade of the 20th century and in Iraq in the first decade of the 21st century brought renewed interest in the subject. Literally thousands of articles and studies have been done on the subject, far too many to list individually in this article. The articles and studies in this section represent the generally high quality of effort represented in these sources. The RAND Corporation in particular recognized this trend early and did extensive research on the conduct of urban operations and various urban warfare issues; of these, some of the most important studies of operations are Glenn 1996, Glenn 1998, Johnson 2011, and Johnson, et al. 2013. An additional important study is that published by the Army War College (Desch 2001). A short but key article is Krulak 1997, where the author introduces the concept of the three-block war.

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Desch, Michael C. Soldiers in Cities: Military Operation on Urban Terrain. Carlisle, PA: US Army War College, 2001.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                Though dated in some of its predictions about future urban warfare, the book primarily consists of case studies written by knowledgeable experts and is one of the first comprehensive studies of modern urban warfare.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                • Glenn, Russell. Combat in Hell: A Consideration of Constrained Urban War. Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 1996.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  A detailed study of the capabilities of the US military to fight in an urban environment. The study concludes that many improvements are necessary for US forces to operate most effectively in the urban environment. This important work is one of the first of many detailed RAND studies on urban warfare and related topics.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Glenn, Russell. Marching under Darkening Skies: The American Military and the Impending Urban Operations Threat. Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    This early RAND work continues the analysis of Combat in Hell (Glenn 1996) with an emphasis on evaluating doctrine, training, and technology. The author evaluates the state of each of these issues and then suggests a blueprint for preparing for urban operations that guided developments, changes, and improvements in US and NATO urban operations capabilities into the 21st century.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Johnson, David. Hard Fighting: Israel in Lebanon and Gaz. Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2011.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      A detailed study of the operations of Israeli army forces against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon in 2006, and later against Hamas forces in Gaza in 2008. This report addresses the changes made by the Israeli military between the two operations and the implications of the results and lessons learned for US forces.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Johnson, David, Wade Markel, and Brian Shannon. The 2008 Battle of Sadr City: Reimagining Urban Combat. Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2013.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        Detailed combat analysis of US operations in 2008 as part of the “surge” of forces to end the urban insurgency in Iraq.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Krulak, Charles. “The Three Block War: Fighting in Urban Areas.” Vital Speeches of the Day 64.5 (15 December 1997): 139–141.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          A very important short article wherein General Krulak describes his concept of the three-block war, a central concept of modern urban warfare doctrine.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          Specialized Urban Tactics and Weapons

                                                                                                                                                                                                          A great deal of literature focuses on the role of specialized weapons in ancient warfare; however, only recently has there been an emphasis on the type of weapon systems and equipment that make a unique impact on urban warfare. Gott 2006 effectively captures the role of tanks in urban warfare. Both Pegler 2011 and Bruning and Coughlin 2014 make a similarly effective case for the critical importance of expert snipers in urban warfare.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Bruning, John R., and Jack Coughlin. Shock Factor: American Snipers in the War on Terror. New York: St Martin’s, 2014.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            Intended for a general audience and based on interviews and secondary sources, this work nonetheless describes vividly the disproportionate influence snipers had on urban warfare in the US-Iraq war.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Gott, Kendall D. Breaking the Mold: Tanks in the Cities. Fort Leavenworth, KS: Combat Studies Institute, 2006.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              This case study of the use of tanks in five major urban battles—Aachen, Hue, Beirut, Grozny, and Fallujah—convincingly makes the case that armor, and in particular battle tanks, are a key component to success in urban combat.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Pegler, Martin. Out of Nowhere: A History of the Military Sniper, from Sharpshooter to Afghanistan. Oxford: Osprey, 2011.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                This work is the best history of the use of specialized marksman, snipers, in battle. They are a key special weapon in urban combat, and the author addresses their rise to prominence during the urban battles of World War II and their continued effectiveness in the urban areas of Iraq.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Military in Urban Riots and Civil Disturbances

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Military forces have often been called into large urban areas when civil unrest overwhelms the ability of police forces to control the population. The American experience in the 1960s is detailed in Higham 1969 and Peterson 1973. The subsequent experience of the 1992 Los Angeles riots is described from the vantage point of the military commander in Delk 1995.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Delk, James D. Fires & Furies: The L. A. Riots. Palm Springs, CA: ETC, 1995.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The author was the military commander of active and National Guard forces deployed to support civil authorities during riots in 1992. A detailed day-by-day account of the activities and operations of the military forces.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Higham, Robin. Bayonets in the Streets. Manhattan, KS: Sunflower University Press, 1969.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This anthology examines the employment of troops against domestic civil disturbances. It includes an article that provides a historical overview, but most of the writing is focused on issues and accounts arising from civil disturbances in the United States during the 1960s.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Peterson, John J. Into the Cauldron. Clinton, MD: Clavier House, 1973.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This work provides an overview of the civil violence that stuck American cities following the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King. It provides a detailed examination of the National Guard experience in Baltimore as representative of the overall use of military force in support of police in an urban disturbance.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Selected Doctrinal Works

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Doctrinal works provide the reader with insights into the contemporaneous views of a military organization regarding a specific subject. This is no less the case for urban operations. An important doctrinal source is FM 90-10, Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain (MOUT). This work represents generally the Cold War NATO view of urban operations. More nuanced and useful in comparison to the early manual are FM 3-06, Urban Operations and Army Tactics Techniques and Procedures (ATTP) 3-06.11, Combined Arms Operations in Urban Terrain. Also an important US military manual to note is JP 3-06, Joint Urban Operations and the US Marine Corps manual MCWP3-35.3, Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain (MOUT). Though the publications listed here are all from the US military, most Western military forces either use US doctrine or their own doctrine that closely resembles US doctrine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. JP 3-06, Joint Urban Operations. Washington, DC: Joint Staff, 2013.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Describes a joint operational approach to urban warfare and the conduct of urban warfare within the context of joint (multiservice) military operations.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • US Army. FM 90-10, Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain (MOUT). Washington, DC: Department of the Army, 1979.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A superb resource to the standard US and NATO military doctrine regarding defense of cities during the Cold War confrontation between the Soviet Union and NATO. This manual is primarily designed to advise regarding the defense of cities in Central Europe in the 1970s and 1980s.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • US Army. FM 3-06, Urban Operations. Washington, DC: Department of the Army, 2006.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Broadly describes the US Army operational approach to urban operations. Includes planning considerations for senior staff and commanders. Illustrated with numerous historical case studies but was written without addressing counterinsurgency in the urban environment.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • US Army. Army Tactics Techniques and Procedures (ATTP) 3-06.11, Combined Arms Operations in Urban Terrain. Washington, DC: Department of the Army, 2011.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This manual is designed to complement FM 3-06 by providing detailed offensive and defensive tactics and techniques for lower-level units and individual soldiers.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • US Marine Corps. MCWP3-35.3, Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain (MOUT). Washington, DC: US Marine Corps, 2015.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The most recent US military manual addressing urban warfare. Includes the major lessons learned from the war in Iraq.

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