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Urban Operations: An Historical Casebook

Combat Studies Institute
Command & General Staff College
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
2 Oct 2002

Urban Operations: An Historical Casebook


Introduction Donn Starry

Attacking the Hearts and Guts: Urban Operations through the Ages

Lou DiMarco

The Battle of Stalingrad

S.J. Lewis

"Knock'em All Down:" The Reduction of Aachen

Christopher R. Gabel

The Battle of Manila

Thomas M. Huber

The Battle for Hue, 1968

James H. Willbanks

The Take-Down of Kabul: An Effective Coup de Main

Lester W. Grau

Siege of Beirut

George W. Gawrych

Operation JUST CAUSE in Panama City, December 1989

Lawrence A. Yates

Humanitarian Operations in an Urban Environment: Hurricane Andrew, August-September 1992

Jerold Brown

The 31 December 1994 - 8 February 1995 Battle for Grozny

Timothy L. Thomas

The Siege of Sarajevo, 1992-1995

Curtis S. King

Todo o Nada: Argentina's Montañeros - Urban Terrorism in Latin America Alan Lowe
Conclusion Roger Spiller


            It is axiomatic in the military community that operations in an urban environment should be avoided if at all possible, given the costs they tend to exact in time, personnel, casualties, and supplies.  Yet, throughout history, cities have continuously been at the center of a variety of military undertakings: sieges, street fighting, coups de main, peacekeeping and peace enforcement, stability and support operations, and humanitarian relief.  Moreover, this trend continues into the recent past and up to the present, as headlines concerning Beirut, Sarajevo, Mogadishu, and Grozny would indicate. 

            Because of a resurgence of interest in urban operations within the U.S. military, the Commander, Training and Doctrine Command, last year tasked the Combat Studies Institute (CSI) to research and write several in-depth case studies aimed at providing historical perspective on the subject.  The result is an anthology containing the chapters listed below.  Arranged chronologically, the studies cover a wide range of urban operations conducted by various countries from World War II to the present.  Each chapter contains a narrative account of the designated operation together with an identification and analysis of the lessons that remain relevant today.  It is hoped that today's military professional, as well as interested parties within the general public, will find these studies stimulating and informative.

             A paperback edition of this anthology will be available later this year.  While that is in preparation, the authors of these studies welcome constructive feedback, which can be sent via email to CSI.


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