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"Fallujah to be retaken. Need a good book suggestion." Topic

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Tacitus24 May 2016 2:37 p.m. PST

Today is the start of the Iraqi government's attempt to retake the city of Fallujah (held by ISIL since 2014). That led me to thinking about how does an army go about taking a city? Is there a book that discusses the topic (in general or maybe a specific city campaign)? I really want to know how an army strategizes the capture of a city. For example, Hitler says, "capture Stalingrad". Now what? Any ideas? Thanks.

Personal logo PrivateSnafu Supporting Member of TMP24 May 2016 3:09 p.m. PST

House to House, David Bellavia

hocklermp524 May 2016 3:27 p.m. PST

"Concrete Hell" by Ret. Lt.Col. Louis DiMarco who starts with Stalingrad, then Aachen, Inchon, Seoul 1950, Algiers 1956-57, Hue 1968, Northern Ireland 1969-2007, Grozny 1995, Jenin 2002, Ramadi 2006-07.

The "Ambush Alley" folks had an excellent book on "Fallujah" with many scenarios based on actual events and an excellent overview of the entire battle. Very heavy use of "Abrams" to take down buildings held by fanatics.

nazrat24 May 2016 4:13 p.m. PST

No True Glory by Bing West is a great book on the battle.

PHGamer Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member25 May 2016 6:32 a.m. PST

The German Infantry Handbook 1939-1945, by Alex Buchner. Strategically, you surround the city first. Preventing resupply. Then you start cutting off small sections. The objective is not necessarily kill the enemy, but to make him move. Once a soldier moves, he has only the ammo he is carrying. Once that is shot off, he is combat ineffective. And FYI, the Germans anticipated 10,000 casualties for each city taken.

Legion 425 May 2016 2:09 p.m. PST

PHGamer pretty much covered it well at a macro-level, so to speak. thumbs up But along with cutting the defender's retreat/supply lines.

Good recon of course.

And use of support assets like FA and/or CAS to prep the battlefield, etc., …

Also I'm a fan of dismounted silent night attacks.

In daylight Infantry generally like Tanks support and Tanks like Infantry to protect them from man pack Infantry AT weapons. Like RPGs, LAWs, Satchel Charges, AT Grenades, and even old school Molotov Cocktails, etc.

Something we learned in MOUT training at both Benning and Campbell. Urban Warfare absorbs troops like a sponge. And the attacker need lots of ammo, grenades, demo charges, LAW type weapons which are very useful against enemy defending from a structure, etc., …

Also, an M2 .50 cal with blast thru most cinder block bricks like in was thick cardboard. And the difference between Cover which could actually stop incoming fire. Or Concealment which will hide you but not stop incoming fire.

And at that time, if you could Cordon & By Pass significant urban terrain … you should. We all studied Stalingrad, Manila, Jerusalem, etc. … So no one was in a hurry to fight house to house, room to room, etc. For obvious reasons …

Something in the past that was not much of a consideration as it is today. Was Collateral Damage to non-combats, etc., … Something Daesh, AQ, the Taliban, etc., seem to not care much about. And use to their advantage against us. For various reasons, etc., …

In this case, many Fallujah civilians have fled. But Daesh is threatening to kill anyone who tries to do the same anytime soon. They are in fact … human shields/hostages.

Shardik Inactive Member25 May 2016 4:56 p.m. PST

Urban warfare in Aachen and Manila? What conflicts were these in?

LORDGHEE25 May 2016 7:55 p.m. PST

The Big WWII Shardik.

Aachen is a US study now as it was a well planned and supported operation. 50 + Battalions of Artillery where used.


Aachen showed that troop training is key and is study for that reason.

Manilia is being studyI think for what the kind of battle the new one will be.



Legion 426 May 2016 7:26 a.m. PST

Yes, Aachen and Manila in WWII and Jerusalem during the Arab-Israeli War of 1967. Sorry I should have been more specific. I didn't mention Aachen but Stalingrad. Hock5 did … However Aachen is another good example of MOUT.

Thanks for posting those links LORDG ! I was about to do the same … Now everyone will know. thumbs up

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