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This page is an effort by 40th ID Urban Warfare Center to offer one-stop shopping for urban warfare history, scholarship, resources, and points of contact for the Urban Operations Community of Interest (COI), including military, academic, and allied/international organizations. This is a living webpage, updated often to keep it relevant, and the 40th Urban Team welcomes your feedback to improve it!

Please email your suggestions, critiques, and commentaries to 40ID-urban-warfare@army.mil or @UrbanWarfareCtr on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

The 40th ID Urban Warfare Team recommends that you read these articles and chapters understand the larger strategic context of why urban fight is unavoidable and why armies need to train specifically for the difficult Dense Urban Environment (DUE).

For journeyman students of Urban Warfare, here is some expanded scholarship, included for reference

Historical Battles:

Stalingrad 1942-43 – ‘The fighting that took place inside the city was among the most intense of all the urban battles that took place during the Second World War. It was the first time that mass industrial armies, fully equipped with modern weaponry of machine guns, tanks, artillery and airpower, had been involved in a sustained battle against each other inside a city. Not only was it one of the most savage engagements of the war, but it is plausibly held as the turning point of the conflict in Europe.’ -Anthony King

Ortona in 1943 – The battle was known as the “Italian Stalingrad,” for the brutality of its close-quarters combat, which was only worsened by the chaotic rubble of the town and the many booby traps used by both sides.

Aachen in 1944 – Aachen was one of the largest urban battles fought by U.S. forces in World War II, and the first city on German soil to be captured by the Allies. Although most of Aachen’s civilian population was evacuated before the battle began, much of the city was destroyed and both sides suffered heavy losses.

Manila in 1945 – A major, month-long battle was the worst urban fighting in the Pacific theater in World War II. Multiple American divisions fought to capture the capital city of the Philippines from Japanese forces occupying it. The battle resulted in the death of over 100,000 civilians and the complete devastation of the city. It’s notable for American forces securing civilian infrastructure (e.g. the city’s water supply), which paid dividends after the battle.

Hue in 1968 – Part of the Tet Offensive, Hue was an epic, nearly monthlong battle took place between large units of US Forces (Army & Marines) and multiple regiments of Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army soldiers. It was a battle that brought about major shifts in the war and in the American public’s attitude toward it.

Recent Battles:

Second Battle for Fallujah – 2004 – Fallujah is an example of combined arms units successfully penetrating deep into the city to dislocate the enemy.

Mosul in 2016-17 – This was a corps-sized formation conducting multi-domain operations as a coalition force in dense urban environment (DUE), a city the size of Pittsburg (50 sq mi) with a pre-conflict population equal to Philadelphia (1.5 million). “Mosul … hosted the most violent urban combat the world has seen since World War II” – COL Pat Work

Shusha in 2020 – The Battle of Shusha was the dramatic culmination of the 2020 2nd Karabakh War between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Shusha sits on top of key terrain and was a strategic objective for the campaign; its capture signaled the end of the conflict.

40th ID Urban Warfare Center Contacts

Urban Warfare Community Points of Contact Roster

Please continue the conversation by using hashtags #urbanwarfare or #urbanoperations in your social media posts.

Contact us at 40ID-urban-warfare@army.mil if you would like to add your contact info to the community roster