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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Concrete Hell: Urban Warfare From Stalingrad to Iraq

Scratch that, a good ghost writer. As urban areas gives these groups some measure satlingrad an even playing field, a chance for significant media coverage as well as the chance to take advantage of collateral damage and as the population of the developing world is becoming more concentrated in these areas, it is natural that cities will became the major battlefields of the 21st century.

Once again this illustrates the importance of coordinating military and political efforts in counter-insurgency. Not much depth in the tactics the men used, no quotes from the boots on the ground.

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

Despite the naive view that torture is ineffective to get information it worked for the French, and combined with an efficient intelligence system that quickly collected, corroborated and then passed information to ready strikes teams it allowed them to quash the FLN terrorist cells in Algiers and win the battle. These nations, which generally have less prosperity, democracy, and opportunities than Western nations have not stalinfrad able to accommodate urban populations as effectively as the latter have.

Jul 09, Odhran rated it liked it Shelves: The opponents in these instances were guerrilla forces fighting against foreign intruders and had considerable benefits in local intelligence, motivation and unit cohesion.

Yet besides political machinations for the home front there are also political factors regarding the urban battlefield. Alex rated it really liked it Nov 24, 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 fgom supplies or reinforcements from outside, which requires a limited war manoeuvre capability.


Jul 27, Maria rated it liked it Shelves: Another vital asset for urban fighting, at least regarding counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism, is a comprehensive intelligence system that understands and analyses the human component of the environment.

I am less comfortable with the inclusion of these studies, particularly Northern Ireland over such a wide time scale.

Colonel in the American Army, challenges this theory and offers some surprising conclusions. Likewise the Russian conquest of Grozny in the mids probably killed 30, civilians and woundedmore. Even though it is a well documented practice for terrorists and insurgents to put civilians at risk so that any deaths will result in subsequently higher recruitment and political capital for their cause the majority of people in liberal democracies somehow end up sympathizing for these irregular groups, few of whom ever support freedom, tolerance of all religions, or gender and racial equality.

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 block.

Suppressing enemy positions with fire whenever tanks had to move from one firing point to another. Essentially the army needs to know the people, where they live, their neighbors, who they associate with, their occupations, etc.

This requires sufficient forces to surround and cut off an entire city for a considerable length of time. But considering the author is an ex colonel in the United States Army it is hardly surprising that he would go more into detail regarding these case studies versus others. It is also used by relatively inexperienced, or incompetent forces, such as the Russians in Grozny in latewho lack the skill and training to take urban areas without incurring prohibitive casualties.

Perhaps a more valid criticism regarding this book would be what it does not cover. The difference is that unlike its principle uses in maneuver warfare, a combination of shock action and mass, in urban warfare tanks are divided up into small groups to help infantry suppress enemy forces as well as taking out strong points.

Jon Rupinski rated it liked it Jun 13, Munsonmunson rated it it was amazing Apr 20, Finally there is the point that urban warfare offers significant defensive advantages for weaker conventional forces, insurgents and terrorists that none of them would enjoy fighting a strong conventional force in open terrain.


The object is usually to force the enemy to surrender via starvation, or running out of important supplies. Moved tanks down side streets as much as possible.

Secondly, sieges, given that they rely on starvation as a strategy, inevitable lead to humanitarian crises and this is also politically unacceptable to the American public.

An extension of this principle is that the fighting to surround a city, or to cut it off, is often more time consuming, and costly, than the fighting inside the city itself. Sacha rated it really liked it Dec 15, Usually the defender uses urban landscape, with its countless places to both conceal themselves and ambush enemy forces, as well as the presence of civilians, to compensate for inferior numbers, lack of equipment, or simply to being less competent than their enemies.

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Chris Buckham rated it really liked it Jul 17, However, the author does mention that there are times when it is possible to take a city relatively quickly. The book it self doesnt really cover much, just really plain. They are also where the masses reside and nothing is more ruinous for morale than being occupied. In such situations the conventional forces are still likely to win but they are once again constrained by numerous political factors.

The well prepared army will still need the capability to fight a variety of enemies over widely differing types of terrain.

In other words the city needs to be surrounded, or at least all the lines of communications going in and out, need to be secured. 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 concreet do it well.