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Concrete Hell: Urban Warfare From Stalingrad to Iraq (General Military) Hardcover – November 20, 2012

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Product Details

  • Series: General Military
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing; First Edition edition (November 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184908792X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849087926
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #391,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Concrete Hell is a masterful study of the brutal realities of modern combat, tracing the development of military operations in an urban environment from the Soviet defense of Stalingrad in World War II to the recent operations of the US Army in Iraq. The author has synthesized 24 years experience in the US Army and in doing so has created a blueprint for urban warfare in the future. Such a study could not be more timely."
--Savannah Jones, (December 2012)

"I can recommend this book to the history buff and to the wargamer who is gaming in urban situations. I found this book extremely enjoyable and hard to put down once I started reading it, and I believe so will you."
- Richard Mataka,

"...recommended reading for anyone interested in learning about urban combat ... it will be of value to soldiers wanting to quickly learn the hisory and the myriad tactical, operational, strategic and political considerations associated with fighting in cities."
- ARMY magazine (August 2013)

"...DiMarco's study achieves success in all of the supplemental considerations for an undertaking of this nature. His analysis is well-supported by quality maps, the chapters are coherently organized, with synopses followed by analysis for each battle, and the conclusions are built on logical and sequential foundations."
- Army History (summer 2014)

About the Author

Louis DiMarco retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army in 2005 after more than 24 years of active service.  He was commissioned as an Armor officer in the US Army from the US Military Academy in 1981.  His military assignments include command and staff positions in armored cavalry squadrons and division, corps and joint forces headquarters.  He was a doctrine writer both at the U.S. Army Armor Center at Fort Knox, and the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth. His civilian education includes a Bachelor of Science Degree from the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY, a Masters in Military Art and Science from the US Army Command and Staff College, Fort Leavenworth Kansas, and a Masters of Arts Degree in International Relations from Salve Regina University, Rhode Island.  He is a Ph.D. candidate at Kansas State University and is writing a dissertation focused on the US Army occupation operations, 1865 to 1940.  Currently Col. DiMarco is assigned to the faculty of the Army Command and Staff College, Fort Leavenworth Kansas where he teaches military history and elective courses on the history of modern urban warfare and modern warfare in the Middle East. Col. DiMarco has written and lectured on a variety of military affairs topics including urban warfare and counterinsurgency.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Christopher M. Coglianese on December 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very worthwhile starting point for studying the challenges of modern urban operations from World War II to today and into the very near future (both high destruction, combined arms, large unit combat, e.g. Stalingrad and Hue, and less destructive, more precise smaller unit operations against guerrillas, insurgents, and terrorists, e.g. British operations in Northern Ireland's major towns and cities and French operations in Algiers). This is not a book about how to enter and clear a room or which weapon the number 2 man should carry. This is an examination of urban warfare at the high tactical and operational level and the strategic implications involved.

This book is especially useful as a good starting point to develop more in depth knowledge about specific operations---the bibliography is especially good. For American readers who are not familiar with some of the arcane and specialized literature available on certain non-US operations, the chapters on Algiers, Northern Ireland, Grozny, and Jenin will be particularly useful as these are often known about at the Power Point deep level.

A fast read (not dense or overly theoretical or academically wonky), but informationally fulfilling and not expensive, this book is worth the time and money of professional combatants and those who are interested in modern warfare. As more and more of the world's population move to the cities, urban combat will become more and more the norm.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By neil sclater on January 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this book to be both interesting and informative, but it is more likely to appeal to veterans, active military personnel, and historians (professional as well as students) with overall knowledge of these conflicts than the general reader. It requires some background in army and police organizations and the ability to read military maps for full comprehension. The book focuses on selected examples of urban warfare and civil uprisings from WW 2 to the present. However, It does not mention how the retreat from the Yalu River in the Korean War related to the capture of Seoul or how the capture of Aachen in WW2 related to the better known Battle of the Bulge. Nevertheless, it does make the point that every war or insurrection within cities calls for revisions in strategy and tactics, many quite specialized, to achieve a favorable outcome.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Scott Bailey on March 29, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After reading this I was impressed on the battle in chechnya in one of the chapters. The battle covered are not your typical battles you would see in other military books. Great coverage and the reader will like that the author tells what whent wrong and how to improve on it.
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