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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All of these theorists devoted some of their works to tactics but they were wise to limit it and wisely chose to concentrate on strategy which has always been more lasting. I suspect that cocrete is designed primarily for military study but it deserves wider distribution because it presents arguments that we and our governments need to consider now and in the future. Additionally, it is significant that the Israelis and Americans won both of these contests hell excessive use of firepower, especially artillery or airpower.

First is that to decisively capture a city the enemy combatants inside need to be cut off from outside support.

Concrete Hell: Urban Warfare From Stalingrad to Iraq: Louis A. DiMarco: Osprey Publishing

Having them constantly screened and protected by infantry. This book could really do with a good editor. Yet airpower and artillery are often restricted for military commanders, especially in democracies, by political masters at home. Louis DiMarco has produced a very excellent and concise book on urban warfare.

There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Then there are basic principles for the actual fighting inside of cities.

Stalingraf the Israelis, who generally do not even pretend to try winning gell the Palestinians, are experts at Humint and use a system of informants recruited by a combination of coercion and greed and interrogation teams near the front lines to quickly interrogate, though usually not via brutal means, civilians in the war-zone to get information about their enemies.

However, such factors aside there are some generally accepted principles regarding urban warfare.

An In-Depth Review of “Concrete Hell: Urban Warfare from Stalingrad to Iraq”

The objective was to limit exposure on streets and to conxrete via buildings. Sep 12, Dmitry rated it liked it. No suggestions on how each side could do it differently with exception to the Stalingrad chapter. According to the author the attacker often does not need a prodigious amount of infantry.


American forces secured the city of Ramadi, with a population overwith soldiers and two understrength Iraqi brigades. In the case of Nablus the Israelis used a mechanized infantry force backed by bulldozers in one prong of their attack and their elite paratroopers in the other. The chapter on Stalingrad is disappointingly limited but given the considerable amount of literature already devoted to it there is no big loss in this. The well prepared army will still need the capability to fight a variety of enemies over widely differing types of terrain.

We live in an increasingly urbanizing world, a military unprepared for urban operations is unprepared for tomorrow.

By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy. Russell rated it liked it May 03, In such situations the conventional forces are still likely to win but they are once again constrained by numerous political factors.

His lessons are solid, his objectivity is impeccable and he still manages to both enlighten and entertain.

These two concerns, limiting military as well as civilian casualties are often contradictory as it is generally true in warfare that keeping military casualties down requires firepower to be used more liberally and for the rules of engagement to be loosened.

The former force used infantry, armor, engineers and snipers as a team. Equally it can be argued that wars will continue to be fought in the Middle East and Africa, possibly over water rights, where manoeuvre warfare is highly effective, as demonstrated in the first Gulf War and the early part of the second.

While there are differences between fighting conventional forces or at least decently equipped guerrilla forces vs. For starters cities are centers of government, economics, culture and industry.

Regarding demographics the author notes the population explosion of the last few decades, which is not slowing down. Eventually their outposts dominated the city, and as other coalition forces controlled all traffic coming in and out of the city, the insurgents became strangled and ultimately neutralized.

Concrete Hell – Urban warfare from Stalingrad to Iraq

This is based on simple demographics, the reality of military power in the 21st century, and on the record of conflict during the last decade. Indeed the Israelis, who are arguably more accepting of harsher methods towards civilians than Americans, were ultimately forced to let in convoys of food and aid to Hamas occupied Gaza Strip to prevent such a crisis due to being pressured by international opinion.


Switching from their usual policy of heavy handed attacks which although inflicted significant casualties on the insurgent groups also caused prohibitive civilian casualties, the Americans focused on securing the population by establishing combat posts in the middle of densely populated areas.

We live in an increasingly urbanizing world, a military unprepared for urban operations is unprepared for tomorrow. Sun Tzu admonished his readers of The Art of War that the lowest realization of warfare was to attack a fortified city.

Mauricio Santoro rated it really liked it Nov 06, His chapters on Algeria, Northern Ireland, Jenin and Nablus, and Ramadi are especially good and offer solid strategy and tactics for dealing with insurgents and terrorists.

The result was predictable as one Russian regiment was ambushed by Chechen forces using RPGs Rocket Propelled Grenades machine guns and snipers who initially attacked the leading and trailing vehicles of the convoy first, knocking them out and trapping those in the centre.

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

xtalingrad Edward rated it liked it Oct 15, Jan 07, Jack rated it it was ok. The same goes for the great naval theorists; Alfred Mahan would look very foolish if he had concentrated on tactics for steam ships once submarines and aircraft carriers were developed, and Julian Corbett, despite being correct about the primacy of securing sea communications was dead wrong when he predicted that submarines would be of little use to navies.

Tanks were even vital in Stalingrad, for both sides, despite the popular myth that the rubble in the streets severely limited their mobility. It is also used by relatively inexperienced, or incompetent forces, such as the Russians in Grozny in lateheol lack the skill and training to take urban areas without incurring prohibitive casualties. Warfare is generally a costly exercise, and once you run out of bullets, food, and equipment you can no longer effectively engage in it.

Whereas all out conventional fighting in maneuver warfare tends to reward speed and concentration urban warfare requires smaller groups attacking more systematically.