Military Operations in Built-Up Areas

Essays on Some Past, Present, and Future Aspects

by Lilita I. Dzirkals, Konrad Kellen, Horst Mendershausen


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An effective defense of the cities of Western Europe could be critical in the defense of the NATO alliance. But present inclinations of European governments are in the direction of avoiding city fighting entirely. One of the essays in this report sketches six urban battles of the recent past. A second essay examines the Soviet style of urban fighting as revealed by Soviet memoirs and other literature. A third reveals a spectrum of European attitudes toward preparedness for urban defense, as gleaned by the author from personal conversations with civilian and military officials in several countries. A final essay, adopting the premise that urban defense could prove useful, suggests that organized, common-sense preparations would go further than technological innovation — both in buttressing the actual defense of cities and in preserving deterrence.

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