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Posted on Mar 28, 2008 in Tactics101, War College

Tactics 101: 025. Urban Operations: Truisms and Nuggets

“The Thebans immediately closed up ranks to repel all attacks on them. Twice or thrice they beat back their assailants. But the Plataen men shouted and charged them, the women and slaves screamed and yelled from the houses and pelted them with stones and tiles; besides, it had been raining hard all night, and so at last their courage gave way and they turned and fled through the city. Most of the Theban fugitives were quite ignorant of the right way out, and this, with the mud and the darkness, and the fact that their pursuers knew their way about and could easily stop their escape, proved fatal to many.” – Thucydides’ description of Theban troops in the city of Plataea The urban warfare experience has been consistent through the years. The cities are famous: Stalingrad, Berlin, Aachen, Hue, Al Fallujah. Each consumed companies and battalions, some swallowed up divisions and corps, while the worst devoured while armies. The city is not the army’s friend. It’s best to avoid...

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