Concrete Hell has 37 ratings and 5 reviews. Maria said: DiMarco uses Stalingrad, Aachen, Hue City, Northern Ireland and Ramadi. Each chapter focuses on t. In Concrete Hell Louis DiMarco has provided a masterful study of the brutal realities of urban warfare, of what it means to seize and hold a city literally block by. An In-Depth Review of “Concrete Hell: Urban Warfare from Stalingrad to Iraq”. Sun Tzu, the great philosopher of war, was not a fan of urban.

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Besides these various lessons the author asserts that in warfre future urban warfare will be more, not less, prevalent. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.

These are usually important communications centers such as a city that lies along major converging rail lines such as Moscow, which dominates all communications in European Warfwre, or a vital port, such as Cherbourg or Antwerp which the Allies both wanted to ease their logistical constraints after landing in Normandy. Instead of being a refuge for guerrilla fighters and terrorists soldiers are more likely than not to triumph. Books by Iiraq DiMarco.

Alex Zotov rated it really liked it Oct 05, Firstly, the American public and policy makers are generally hesitant to back operations that last months on end, preferring quick solutions which hopefully lead to decisive results, which of course precludes long drawn out sieges.

Concrete Hell: Urban Warfare From Stalingrad to Iraq by Lou DiMarco

Unfortunately two were shot iraqq and this led to a significant firefight in the city, a political fiasco for the American government, and ultimately the withdrawal of American forces from the U.

This combined with protecting civilians from reprisals, and helping to build government infrastructure and economic opportunities for the people, slowly built trust between the army and the people and encouraged the latter to give intelligence to the former which helped them fight the insurgents. Then there are basic principles for the actual fighting inside of cities. This has lead to more micromanagement of military force by politicians, as well as to more cautious behavior by militaries themselves, to limit not only ufban own casualties, but civilian ones as well.

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This operation was neither a conventional approach, a counter-insurgency effort, nor designed to permanently neutralize the enemy, but simply to degrade the capabilities of terrorist groups attacking Israel.

Returning to the proper use of tanks in city fighting the point about dividing tanks up into smaller groups is a vital consideration. Libya and Syria have come too late for oraq analysis but he says, in the conclusion, that they lend support to his argument.

This kept them off the street and did not expose them to fire by going through obvious choke points.

Having read several reviews of this book online which criticize the author for not providing more details regarding the finer infantry tactics on the ground I would suggest that like the greater theorists of war DiMarco focuses more on strategy and the bigger picture, which generally does not change from war to war, vs. Munsonmunson rated it it was amazing Apr 20, Ryan rated it really liked it Dec 27, Whereas all out conventional fighting in maneuver warfare tends to reward speed and concentration urban warfare requires smaller groups attacking more systematically.

Concrete Hell: Urban Warfare From Stalingrad to Iraq

Certainly the chapters regarding Nablus and Ramadi demonstrate what well trained and equipped forces are capable of in urban settings. Sun Tzu admonished his readers of The Art of War that the lowest realization of warfare was to attack a fortified city.

He has been very selective in his examples and he states that one requirement for successful urban warfare is the ability to isolate the city or town so that the defenders cannot receive supplies or reinforcements from outside, which requires a limited war manoeuvre capability. The Bibliography is excellent.

However, it is obvious that the use of heavy firepower in cities usually results in significant civilian casualties. Used buildings as cover having tanks shoot around corners.

Concrete Hell – Urban warfare from Stalingrad to Iraq / Historical Association

However this is not win all, or lose all, situation and more professional forces using specialized equipment and proper tactics can still triumph with relatively few casualties, soldiers or civilians, as will be shown by the case studies of Nablus and Ramadi. Arguably though the book sometimes becomes overly descriptive of the actions of platoons, companies and battalions on the ground, especially in the Aachen yo Hue chapters, which does little more for the general reader than to illustrate how complex urban warfare can be.


Where tanks fail in urban warfare is when they are not properly screened by protective infantry, or when they are too exposed in open areas that have not been secured.

Alex rated it really liked it Nov 24, Yet Humint wagfare urban warfare is absolutely necessary and the French army were not wrong to stalingraad detailed censuses or even using high stress interrogations providing they followed international law but ti extensive use of torture on tens of thousands of Algerians, and the summary executions of thousands more afterwards unequivocally was.

Concrete Hell

Yet perhaps the biggest myth he quashes is that tanks, rather than being a liability in urban warfare, are actually a vital asset. Indeed, although strategists have advised against it across the millennia, armies and generals have been forced nonetheless to attack and defend cities, and victory has required that they do it well.

The Russian tank crews discovered that their turrets could neither elevate high enough to hit the Chechens on the roofs, or depress low enough to hit those in the basements. This requires sufficient forces to surround and cut off an entire city for a considerable length of time.

Given the countless buildings, alleyways and other urban terrain that offers multiple ways to kill soldiers it is generally advisable to proceed more cautiously and to conquer cities street by street. Charlotte Wolery rated it really liked it Feb 29, However the definitions are blurred between limited war and internal security operations; into the latter category I would put AlgiersNorthern Ireland, which he dates asand the Israeli response to the Intifada in