[[quoteright:350:[[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/urban_warfare_1777.jpg]] ]]
[[caption-width-right:350:They took one week for fifty metres.]]

->''It's not like a battlefield. The best place for urban fighting is right out in the countryside, sir, where there's nothing else in the way.''
-->--'''Captain Wrangle''', ''Discworld/NightWatch''

Known in the [[UsefulNotes/YanksWithTanks US Army]] as MOUT (military operations in urban terrain) and in the [[UsefulNotes/BritsWithBattleships British Army]] as [[FunWithAcronyms FISH (fighting in someone's home)]].

Urban warfare is very different from conventional combat in the open. Clearing a city full of determined defenders is a very difficult task, as the urban environment negates the effectiveness of many of the most powerful weapons of modern militaries (such as tanks and aircraft), leveling the playing field somewhat for not-so-well-equipped forces that might oppose them. Any building can be turned into a stronghold and pose a major obstacle. Armored vehicles have difficulty maneuvering in tight streets and are vulnerable to attack from above, and artillery and air support won't do you any good if the enemy keeps changing positions, not to mention the high potential for collateral damage. Forget the rules of "gentlemanly warfare." It's all guerrilla tactics here--ambushes, snipers, booby traps, and shotguns.

As an unfortunate side effect of the [[DirtyBusiness dirty]], [[WeHaveReserves casualty-ridden]], and momentum-killing nature of the fighting, armies are often forced to simply leave the job half done by avoiding it all together (usually due to political implications of such a prolonged, bloody conflict). At other times, [[ShootTheDog they simply flatten as much of the city as possible before/while/instead of fighting over it]], thereby neutralizing the "urban" aspect, and usually rendering the place strategically worthless in the process, as well as being, shall we say, ''problematic'' to any remaining citizenry. Yet another option is to besiege the city. After all, it's very difficult to grow adequate food supplies in an urban area, and breaking the defending force's spirit is preferable to a drawn out conflict.

Seen at least as early as UsefulNotes/WorldWarII (especially the Battle of Stalingrad), though there are several Napoleonic war battles (most notably the Sieges of Zaragoza) that foreshadowed the urban warfare of the 20th century and such battles likely occurred even earlier than that. Unfortunately this kind of warfare still takes place in various conflicts around the world.

Urban warfare is a nightmare in modern times. Even untrained militia can stand against highly trained troops in the confusing twists and turns of a high population center. It is war at its dirtiest, with collateral damage difficult to avoid and a high potential for confusion. Units often find themselves in a confused tangle of friend and foe.

This kind of setting is likely for an action-heavy video game as the aspects of urban warfare's terrain goes from nerve-wracking and difficult to fully control for an attack in real life, to adrenaline-filled and unlikely to stall due to multiple approaches to advance (helped by windows or high floors [[InsurmountableWaistHighFence being much less readily available than would be realistic]]) from being difficult to lock down fully with a video game's usually more limited participant count. The close proximity of walls and buildings in a video game can also cover up how their weaponry is modeled as [[ShortRangeLongRangeWeapon being only capable at a much shorter range]] than they would be in real life.

Keep in mind that a battle ''for'' a city doesn't necessarily count as urban warfare. In urban warfare, the city streets and buildings themselves are the primary battlefield.
[[IThoughtItMeant Not to be confused with]] the online game.

Compare and contrast with JungleWarfare, where fighting takes place in remote tropical rainforests instead, and WinterWarfare, where fighting takes place in conditions below freezing, though in the case of the latter it can easily overlap with this one (Stalingrad being one such example).


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/{{Gasaraki}}'': There are a couple of scenes in the city complete with urban tactics in full use.
* ''Manga/BattleRoyale'': During the first [[UnusualEuphemism Program]] of Shogo Kawada, his class were forced to fight in an abandoned urban ghetto.
* ''Anime/DominionTankPolice'' is kind of an object lesson in the problems with armored vehicles in urban combat. In particular the collateral damage.
* Used, [[DownplayedTrope sort of]], in ''Anime/GirlsUndPanzer'' where the tight city streets of an evacuated urban area are used by Oarai to even the odds for their outnumbered and outgunned team in their first and last matches.
* Though yet to appear directly, flashbacks in ''Anime/YuGiOhArcV'' show this happening in [[spoiler:Heartland]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Many comic books based on WWII have urban combat scenes.

* The battles in former-Reykjavik during Operation CATO in ''FanFic/AeonNatumEngel''.
* About 90% of the first act of ''Fanfic/TiberiumWars'' is brutal urban combat in the area around Washington D.C. The second act also features combat in Rio and Alexandria.
* [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/90939/shell-shock Shell Shock]] takes place in a ruined urban area.
* The [[FanFic/EnemyOfMyEnemy Siege of Crassus]] begins with a four day battle outside the city. When the Covenant Loyalists breach the city on the fifth day, one of the characters realizes that none of that prepared him for "the horrors of urban warfare".

* ''Film/CityOfLifeAndDeath'' has a chaotic urban battle between Chinese Nationalists and Japanese soldiers.
* Unsurprisingly, the German war movie ''Film/{{Stalingrad 1993}}'', named for one of the most brutal urban battles in history. And the [[Film/{{Stalingrad2013}} Russian film with the same title]], which naturally focuses more on the Russian experience defending Stalingrad.
* ''Film/ABridgeTooFar'': Features the British attempting to hold on to the town of Arnhem during Operation: Market Garden.
* The film ''Film/EnemyAtTheGates'' shows you some of what it was like in Stalingrad.
* One or more of the battles we see at the beginning of ''Film/{{Soldier}}'' is in an urban area.
* A few scenes from ''Film/ToHellAndBack''.
* The 1948 film ''Film/BorderStreet''.
* ''Film/{{Kanal}}'' by Andrzej Wajda, set in the final days of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising.
* Roman Polanski's ''Film/ThePianist'' shows the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the later Warsaw Uprising by the Polish Home Army.
* ''Film/FullMetalJacket'' has some urban scenes where a sniper takes out one of the Marines, leading to others being shot trying to save him.
* Scenes of bloody fighting on the streets of Pyongyang in ''[[Film/{{Taegukgi}} Taegukgi: The Brotherhood of War]]''.
* Similarly done in ''Film/SavingPrivateRyan'' where Vin Diesel's character is shot by a sniper. The final scenes in the movie are combat scenes in an urban environment.
* Every single combat scene in ''Film/BlackHawkDown'' is urban warfare.
%%* ''Film/TheKingdom2007'' certainly has its share.
* The German 1960s film ''Die Brücke'' (''The Bridge'') has a group of Hitler Youth defending a strategically unimportant bridge against American tanks. They manage to hold off multiple ''Shermans'' for 24 hours with little more than a day of professional training. Sure, [[spoiler:[[DwindlingParty all but one tragically die]]]], but it does prove how much urban warfare can differ from conventional combat.
* The Serbian movie ''Vukovar: jedna prica'' (''Vukovar: A Story'', alternate title: ''Vukovar poste restante'') is set in the war-torn city of Vukovar, where Serbian and Croatian forces have engaged in fierce urban combat. However, the story is centered around a young couple, a Serb guy and a Croat girl, whose romance is threatened by the war. [[RealPlaceBackground The movie was shot on actual location]] [[SceneryGorn while the war was still ravaging.]]
* All of ''Film/BattleLosAngeles'' takes place in the streets and buildings of Los Angeles during an AlienInvasion. Many of the traditional problems of urban warfare are omnipresent; multiple times the human soldiers are taking fire from unknown directions, the buildings herd them into lines of fire and killboxes, they have to take rooftops to get clear lines of sight, and combat damage destroys roadways and limits mobility. The urban terrain is eventually used to the humans' advantage later on, with them using the sewage systems to sneak up on an alien installation and the broken landscape as cover while holding a position against an attack.
* ''Manila, Open City'' follows the 1945 [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqTxvh4PX9E Battle of Manila]].
* ''{{Film/Downfall}}'' features the Battle of Berlin. While much of the film takes place in Hitler's underground bunker, there are brief scenes showing the Third Reich's last defenders, mostly old men and young children, fighting a losing battle against the Red Army.

* ''The Zone'' novel series by James Rouch was set in a fictional WorldWarIII Europe, so naturally included a lot of this. Most noticeably in ''Blind Fire'' and ''Overkill''.
* ''House to House'', a memoir by an American infantryman set in the Second Battle of Fallujah, depicts the horror and chaos of urban warfare.
* The ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novel ''Discworld/NightWatch'' notes some of the things which men on horseback are and aren't suited for...such as how they fare in Urban Warfare against an enemy without a uniform.
* ''Literature/WorldWarZ'' necessarily has a lot of this happen.
* In the ''Literature/{{Worldwar}}'' series by Creator/HarryTurtledove Sam Yeager remarks that during WWI, he thought trenches were the worst and most nightmarish place to fight possible, but after a taste of city fighting, he's not so sure anymore.
** Harry Turtledove provides another example of this in the Literature/Timeline191 series, with the Battle of Pittsburgh. It's modeled after the RealLife Battle of Stalingrad.
* ''Literature/RedStormRising'' sees the Battle of Alfeld turn into this. To make things worse, the civilians weren't done evacuating when the 20th Guards Tank Division rolls into town complete with trademark Soviet artillery spam, making the battle an absolutely confused and very bloody mess. Relatively unusual example of the trope in that it involved large-scale tank-on-tank combat within the confines of the city.
* ''Literature/{{Beachwalker}}'' takes place in the middle of a war between an unnamed army and similarly unnamed rebellion. The protagonist is forced to dodge firefights in the streets of her hometown several times.
* The final book of ''Literature/TheHungerGames'' (''Mockingjay'') features this heavily as rebel forces from the former districts attack the Capitol. The Capitol defenses include pods which can spawn any type of horror such as mutated creatures to automatic weapons fire.
* There are several instances of this in the Literature/BelisariusSeries including the suppression of the revolts in Constantinople and Alexandria, Belisarius' stand in Charax, and Damadora's final conquest of Kausumbi. In the last case there was little resistance, though the stand of Damadora's and Rana Sanga's families against the Malwa is a miniature version.
* In the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse novel ''[[Literature/NewJediOrder Star by Star]]'', the newly-minted [[EliteMook Elite]] MechaMooks, the YVH or [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Yuuzhan Vong Hunter]] droids, are demonstrated excelling at a variety of combat situations in a mocked-up city. This is given a darker CallBack later in the novel, when a Jedi strike team discovers that the Yuuzhan Vong's own secret weapons, the HeroKiller ''voxyn'', were trained under similar circumstances. In the cramped quarters of the city proving grounds, the Vong ambush the Jedi party, leading to their first (living) casualties and devastating the invaders' morale.
** Also, any ground battle that takes place on the capital planet of Coruscant is going to be this, because the ''whole planet is one big city''!
* ''Literature/HonorHarrington'': The last quarter of ''Cauldron of Ghosts'' is a battle between the Mesan armed forces and the seccies [[note]]second-class citizens[[/note]] of the Neue Rostock slum.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/StargateSG1'' series has several instances of this.
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' had a flashback to an urban battle, the main setpiece appearing to be the ruins of a Buddhist temple.
* ''Series/BandOfBrothers'' has several battles that take place in towns and cities across Europe, most notably Carentan.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' has a supplement rule book just for urban combat. ''Cities of Death.'' Also, all of the urban terrain sold by Games Workshop for Warhammer 40K is imperial buildings, of which about 1/4 of the parts are used to show where the building took a direct artillery round.
** The ''TabletopGame/{{Mordheim}}'' and ''TabletopGame/{{Necromunda}}'' supplements, for Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40k respectively, are all about small squads of troops fighting in cramped, run-down cityscapes.
* Urban environments are available in ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' (the current core rulebook devotes an entire chapter to buildings for good reason). Fighting there can get messy quickly. Buildings block lines of sight even for HumongousMecha. Vehicles and 'Mechs can in turn try to move ''through'' buildings, but risk taking damage and possibly crashing through into the basement and getting stuck there, and the process isn't exactly easy on the buildings either. Heavy units trying to use their maximum ground speed can skid on pavement, adding to the advantage already obviously enjoyed by those with jump jets. And basically the only way to get at ''infantry'' hiding in a building from outside is by demolishing the whole thing until cumulative collateral damage takes them out as well, probably while they keep taking potshots at their attacker unimpeded in turn...
* ''TabletopGame/{{Monsterpocalypse}}'' takes this to {{Kaiju}} levels, opposing monsters fight each other in urban areas with lots of buildings, and they can demolish buildings by tossing each other at them.
* Several classic tabletop wargames, notably Simulations Publications Inc, ''Sniper''. As well as any of the few Tactical level siege simulations(siege games are rare because there is little maneuvering and the gadgeteering which can actually be quite interesting is hard to simulate)once the wall is breeched; Avalon Hill's ''Siege of Jerusalem''(about the UsefulNotes/JewishRevolts) for instance has a city map which allows quite a bit of space for Urban Warfare.
* Several standard enemies in the ''TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness'', including most mortal factions that the player is likely to run afoul of (Police, SWAT, Paramilitary groups, and Hunters) are specifically designed around this, with standard gear and skills based around coordination, exploitation of urban terrain, and covering each other with firearms at all times. This is a big part of why the New WoD has a "soft" masquerade rather than a "hard" masquerade: in the old WoD you kept the secret basically because your fellow vampires/mages/werewolves told you to, and would kick you around for breaking it. In the new version, you don't reveal your supernatural nature because the humans can and will get a posse together to hunt you house to house, use tactics to prevent your escape, and then shoot you until you stop twitching the moment you become a verifiable threat.
** And in the TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness, bullets can kill anything, if applied in sufficient quantity.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' largely consist of this trope.
* This is the assumed default for ''TabletopGame/{{Infinity}}''. Troops in ''Infinity'' can react to enemy movement with a withering hail of fire, meaning that you need an urban environment or some other region with tons of obstructions and cover, lest the first turn see half your squad converted into a fine red mist by enemy snipers.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield}}'' series has a number of maps being set in a town or city, including the spinoffs of ''Bad Company'' 1 & 2 and ''VideoGame/BattlefieldHeroes''.
* ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty'' does this, especially its ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare'' incarnations. The Rio De Janeiro levels, especially the first one, are infuriatingly difficult and often referred to as "urban-warfare hell".
** Most of the Russian missions in ''2'' and ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyWorldAtWar'' are fought in cities.
* ''VideoGame/{{Crysis}} 2''. The whole game is set in [[BigApplesauce New York City.]]
* ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar'', being based of the ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'' tabletop game, of course has them. In the ''Dark Crusade'' single-player campaign, for example, the Imperial Guard and Tau HQ locations are the ruins around Victory Bay and the city of Asharis/Or'es Tash'n respectively, while one of the most powerful bonus powers is gained by hunting Servitors in a run-down spaceport.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' series has many major examples.
** The very first ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' featured the post-apocalyptic ruins of Los Angeles, now called the Boneyard, filled with post-nuclear gangs and [[DemonicSpiders Deathclaws]]. Naturally, you get to shoot them, fitting this trope to a T.
** Urban combat is very frequent in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' when you're roaming the streets of Washington DC. Super Mutants, Raiders, Talon Company mercenaries, and eventually the Enclave love to engage you from overhead cover in the bombed-out buildings. The outskirts of DC also have their share of urban combat, and the few decent-sized ruined towns in the Wasteland itself feature this as well. ''The Pitt'' DLC also has this in the ruins of Pittsburgh.
** ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' has far less urbanized warfare going on, as the only heavily built-up areas are around New Vegas itself, and that area is well-secured by Mr. House's Securitrons and the New California Republic. Nonetheless, the ruined urban area west of Camp [=McCarren=] is overrun by the drugged-out Fiend raiders, and provides some fairly vicious urban combat if you go after their leaders and the Vault housing them.
** ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 4}}'' features even more urban warfare in the ruins of Boston, complete with fights inside skyscrapers. Outside of Diamond City and Goodneighbor, downtown Boston is infested with Raiders, Super Mutants, Institute Synths, and Gunner mercenaries, all of whom will shoot on sight. This also applies to the ruins of the surrounding towns. In fact, you get your first taste of combat early on in Concord, where you don PoweredArmor and wield a [[GatlingGood minigun]] to take out Raiders [[spoiler:and a Deathclaw]].
* A good portion of ''VideoGame/HalfLife2''.
** Including one of it's multiplayer mods, ''VideoGame/IronGrip : The Oppression'', where it's the entire focus of the game.
* The ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' series has several instances of this:
** ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}'' has two levels which takes place in the African city of New Mombasa (the future version of Mombasa, Kenya), which the Covenant has occupied.
** ''VideoGame/Halo3ODST'' is set entirely within New Mombasa as a LowerDeckEpisode, in which the ODST team navigates through the thoroughly wrecked metropolis.
** ''VideoGame/HaloReach'' also has a few levels set in the [[DoomedHometown doomed city]] of New Alexandria, where the player has to help evacuate civilians, among other things.
** ''VideoGame/Halo5Guardians'' has one level set in an ''alien'' city on the Elite homeworld; specifically, the holy city of Sunaion, which is located right over a sea.
* Represented in the ''VideoGame/HeartsOfIron'' series by incredible negative combat modifiers and high attrition from attacking an "Urban" province. Most brigade types suffer heavy combat penalties, with armor and artillery taking the worst, while infantry take the least. Adding combat engineers to a division greatly reduces the penalties. As an added bit of unpleasantness associated with urban environments, most such provinces also count towards victory points, meaning that in order to force a country to surrender, you ''have'' to take them. The only real way to take urban environments without a costly battle is to surround them, cut them off from supply, and let the defenders break down, but that takes quite a while, as a division can hold out up to thirty days if fully supplied before they are cut off, and still take time to break while being attacked.
* The end of ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' takes place in [[spoiler:mostly-destroyed London,]] with brutal fighting from building to building trying to clear the streets for vehicles to get through. Prior engagements include a running fight through the Citadel Presidium, a battle with Cerberus troops in a city on Benning, and an attempt to extract important intel from a key location in the heart of one of the oldest metropoli on Thessia.
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' has most of the missions on Illium and Omega.
* The ''VideoGame/MechWarrior'' series often provides urban levels. In ''Living Legends'', urban levels are brutal meat-grinders; [[PoweredArmor battlearmor]] turn from minor nuisances to DemonicSpiders because of their ability to quickly traverse industrialized areas, climb onto rooftops, and in some cases, hide inside buildings, making them ''very'' difficult to flush out.
* Urban combat in ''[[VideoGame/{{Mercenaries}} Mercenaries 2]]'' varies from the odd skirmish in Maracaibo to a guerrilla incursion into Merida--both of which are later topped by an all-out [[spoiler:[=AN-PLA=]]] battle in Caracas. Enemy troops tend to spawn from public buildings, and the only way to stop them is to risk collateral damage by demolishing these structures with C4, tanks, rockets or good old-fashioned [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill air/artillery strikes]].
* Seen in the first chapter of ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4''. Depending on your perspective, a few examples in chapters 2 and 3 as well.
* In ''VideoGame/MountAndBlade'', city battles are similar to castle attacks, but on steroids. When assaulting castles, once you gain a foothold on the walls, the battle is halfway won. If it's a city, it's only the beginning: when you secure the city walls, you have to win at least a skirmish in the streets (with a small band of troops, not the whole of your army) and often a final assault on the city's keep. Of course, cavalry is completely useless (while in the fields it can be a veritable sledgehammer), so all horsemen in your army are automatically dismounted and fight on foot.
* ''VideoGame/NintendoWars'': Cities (and bases) are tied with mountains for cover rating, meaning that any unit placed on one has takes far less damage. Add onto this that units on friendly cities are substantially healed every turn, mix in some artillery, and battles to capture cities can become ''very'' bloody.
* ''VideoGame/StarWarsBattlefront2015'' features Cloud City (of Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack fame) as a multiplayer map as DLC. It's quite the sight seeing Cloud Cars suicide bomb AT-[=ATs=] being defended by legion of Stormtroopers, all while the city remains [[EverythingIsAnIpodInTheFuture invariably white]].
** The original ''VideoGame/StarWarsBattlefront'' had Cloud City, but also Theed, Kamino, and Mos Eisley.
* Assaulting a city in the ''VideoGame/TotalWar'' games leads to the medieval version of this, and is suitably bloody even after taking the walls. The narrow streets and limited routes available render the classic field tactics of flanking and cavalry charges nearly useless, and the buildings frequently force archers to use indirect barrage fire that inflicts a fraction of the casualties of direct fire. Frequently, your troops are stuck slugging it out with enemy soldiers face-to-face until one side breaks due to attrition, which is why heavy infantry is a ''must'' for urban combat. Other good troops for urban combat are javelin-throwers who can stand behind the fighting infantry, and light/missile cavalry who can take unguarded streets quickly and flank defenders or fire over your troops' heads. Another good option, when used properly, are pikemen or other long polearm units, as the city streets force enemy units to take on the pikes head-on.
** In the games that allow for the garrisoning of buildings, dislodging an enemy unit from the building can extremely hard and even elite units will suffer loses when assaulting the building. It is usually preferable to bring in canons and bombard the building till the defenders have to abandon it.
** ''VideoGame/TotalWarAttila'' has this as part of its game mechanics. Armies can take part in attacking cities and actively fight its defenders and slaughtering the populace. The fire effects also take a more destructive role, as they can burn down cities to rubble, and will spread if they are not put out.
* Everything but the last level of ''VideoGame/TurningPointFallOfLiberty'', set in an alternate WWII where the Nazis won in Europe and [[InvadedStatesOfAmerica invaded the US]], is urban warfare.
* ''RedOrchestra'', set mostly in one of the textbook examples of this trope - the barely standing ruins of Stalingrad.
** The popular ''VideoGame/ProjectReality'' mod takes this a step further by [[RealPlaceBackground using real-world cities]] such as Beirut, Muttrah, Basrah, Fallujah, and Karbala.
* ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'' has a few battles taking place inside cities.
* ''VideoGame/{{Vietcong}} 2'''s US campaign takes place in Hue City. The VC campaign on the other hand, is [[AvertedTrope much closer to the original]].
* In the newer ''Videogame/XCOMEnemyUnknown'', almost all abduction maps take place in urban locations. With ''Enemy Within'' expansion, UFO can now crash in the cities themselves.
* ''VideoGame/{{Xenonauts}}'' feature terror missions in cities around the world. Some other maps, like fan-made desert villages, also require similar tactics. The same can be said about its more famous predecessor, the ''VideoGame/{{XCOM}}'' series.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Drowtales}}'', the Nidraa'chal War sixteen years before the start of the main story took place entirely in the city of Chel'el'sussoloth, and resulted in heavy civilian casualties. This was especially devastating because the rules of clan warfare had been, until that point, designed to minimize civilian casualties as much as possible, but the Nidraa'chal threw this out the window not only through their choice of battlefield, but by also using the civilians as weapons by [[DemonicPossession forcibly tainting them]] and turning them into demons that they sicced on the warriors sent to fight them.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In Chapter Eight of ''Literature/{{Eclipse}}'', Eighinn Stossuhl launches an assault in a country that leads into UrbanWarfare, where his marines pushed back the soldiers and successfully took out one of the enemy barracks.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/GIJoe'' has the Joes fighting with Cobra in such conditions.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Large portions of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII were fought in cities, mostly in Europe.
** It's interesting to note that in the German/Soviet situations in city fighting earlier in the war, such as at Stalingrad, the Germans had superior firepower and air support while the Soviets were underequipped and fighting desperately for their lives, were totally reversed in its late stages, such as in Berlin in 1945. Stalingrad is probably the most infamous example. Nicknamed "''Rattenkrieg''" ("Rat War") by the Germans, some would bitterly joke about capturing the kitchen but still fighting for the living room and the bedroom. Buildings were literally cleared out room by room, floor by floor.
** The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was the Jewish resistance that arose within the Warsaw Ghetto in German-occupied Poland. The resistance was so successful, even with almost no supplies and after being starved for years, that the Nazis resorted to systematically burning houses block by block using flamethrowers and blowing up basements and sewers.
*** To further prove the point, the Ghetto resistance in one district lasted nearly as long as the entire Polish military did against the Wehrmacht across the entire country!
** The Warsaw Uprising the following year lasted more than twice as long. The Germans responded by flattening almost the entire city.
** The UsefulNotes/SecondSinoJapaneseWar had its share of battles in cities such as Shanghai, Nanking, Changsha, Changde, Wuhan and Taierzhuang. The defense of Nanking was a CurbStompBattle for the Chinese army, but while Shanghai ended in defeat, [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defense_of_Sihang_Warehouse 423 Chinese troops]] defended a warehouse for 4 days against the Japanese 3rd division, killing 200 Japanese and destroying several armored cars with stick grenades. Wuhan was defended furiously by the Chinese, with an entire quarter ''of their total ammunition'' being used up, but ultimately fell to Japan. That all said, Taierzhuang saw the first Chinese victory of the war, with fanatical warlord soldiers (often armed with [[SwordAndGun just swords and Mauser pistols]] along with stick grenades) literally turning the streets red with blood in hand-to-hand combat with the Japanese. Meanwhile, better-equipped Central Army troops successfully encircled the Japanese, then engaged in truly fierce house-to-house fighting, to the point where platoons would fight for hours to capture ''one room.'' Changsha is remarkable for being successfully defended three times, from 1939-41, until it fell in 1944. The bloody battle of Changde saw the city fall to Japan in January 1944, but the Japanese were quickly forced to withdraw following a successful Chinese counterattack with air support.
** Knowing the difficulty of this style of warfare, in the later stages of WWII, American forces would often attempt to [[AvertedTrope avert it]]. They would approach (relatively strategically unimportant) German towns and villages, and before entering, demand the surrender of any defenders. If the offer was accepted, the defenders would be disarmed, a small garrison left behind, and they would move on to the next objective, leaving the village unharmed. If the defenders refused and fought back, US forces would [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill level the place from long range using artillery and aircraft]], and move on to the next objective. For instance, in the [[http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/2002/MOUTGabel.htm attack on Aachen]], US forces did creditably well, although their opponents fought with nowhere near the fanaticism of the Berlin defenders. Special note goes to the use of the [[{{BFG}} 155mm self-propelled howitzer]], in ''[[http://i364.photobucket.com/albums/oo81/Shirocco2/Tanks/1555tyu.jpg direct-fire]]'', to reduce German strongpoints. The Red Army used ''[[RuleOfCool tracked]]'' [[{{BFG}} 203-mm howitzers]] in a similar role in the Battle of Berlin in 1945. See [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDxCMuQhegs this video]] at about 2:44 minutes.
** The Battle of Monte Cassino, part of the Italian campaign, took four months and 55,000 Allied casualties to secure, and the city was devastated by the aerial bombardment. Ironically, [[NiceJobBreakingItHero the main effect of this bombing was to give German troops more cover against Allied infantry.]]
** Manila rivals Stalingrad for the worst urban fighting of the war. Intense resistance from the dug-in Japanese was countered by heavy firepower despite limitations on artillery and aerial bombing meant to protect the city and its inhabitants. The civilian deaths alone are comparable to those in the Tokyo firebombing and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and the city's rich cultural heritage--Spanish, Asian and American art, literature and architecture--was almost completely annihilated. The liberation of Manila, one of the few urban battles between American and Japanese troops in the [[WorldWarII/WarInAsiaAndThePacific Pacific War]], is considered a Philippine national tragedy.
** Also from the Pacific Theater is Garapan on Saipan. While on a much smaller scale compared to Manila, the fighting was so intense that by the end of the fighting, the village had been virtually destroyed to the point that the people who lived there had to be repatriated back to Japan, and the village itself be built again from the ground up.
* This kind of warfare was used by the Israelis during the War of Independence to hold off the (then better-equipped) Jordanian Arab Legion in Jerusalem. Because of this, before 1967 the IDF had a reputation in some quarters for only winning wars by sheer willingness to take casualties.
* In ''What Every Person Should Know About War'', war correspondent Chris Hedges points out that as the populations move towards the cities, so do the battles. He predicts that in the future, there will be more Regulars vs. Guerrillas battles in cities than Regulars vs. Regulars battles on open terrain.
* During the [[UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar Tet Offensive]], the city of Hue saw furious combat. Though the [[SemperFi Marines]] and ARVN inflicted serious losses on the North Vietnamese and Vietcong, Hue was virtually reduced to rubble, and over 5,000 civilians died, most of them massacred by the PAVN and VC. The Tet Offensive--and the Battle of Hue in particular--proved to be a turning point for American involvement in Vietnam.
* The Easter Rising in 1916 took place almost entirely in Dublin, pitting the British Army against a ragtag band of Irish rebels. While the body count was surprisingly low, well...low compared to some of the others on this list (466 people), it still damaged/destroyed most of the city, and over half of those who were killed were civilians.
* The Battle of Mogadishu, popularized in the movie and book ''Film/BlackHawkDown'', was the modern American military's first real experience with urban warfare.
** Not to mention the ongoing battle for Mogadishu between militias and African Union peacekeepers, which have turned parts of the city into what can best be described as piles of concrete dust.
* Grozny, the capital of Chechnya was once called the most devastated city on earth. And for good reason...through two wars it experienced not one, not two, but ''three'' major battles that took place on it's streets.
** The first battle during the First Chechen War saw the Russian military capture the city after a long fight and heavy losses.
** Then in August 1996, the rebels launched a surprise attack and reclaimed the city, and kept control of it for the rest of the war.
** When the Second Chechen War broke out in 1999, the city still hadn't recovered much from the first conflict. This time the Russians laid siege and eventually pushed into the city for a decisive victory.
* In the face of serious setbacks in rural South American insurgencies, Carlos Marighela wrote the ''Minimanual of the Urban Guerrilla''. However, to date urban guerrillas don't seem to have much success.
* During the conquest of Constantinople, several neighborhoods were spared the [[RapePillageAndBurn rigors of a sack]] by barricading themselves in and making a separate peace when the Turks showed up. This was less urban warfare than survival by the ''threat'' of urban warfare.
* One of the earliest examples of United States troops fighting gun battles in urban terrain came during the Mexican-American War during the Battle of Monterrey. Mexican defenders used firing holes and rooftops to great effect and used the narrow streets to channel US troops into cannon fire. Since the buildings were built out of sturdy adobe, shooting through the walls with cannon and small arms was difficult. US troops eventually improvised house-clearing tactics by chipping down the adobe walls with pickaxes and then barging in with revolvers.
* There was a tradition in UsefulNotes/TheLawsAndCustomsOfWar as understood pre-nineteenth century that if there was no surrender after the wall was breached, then the invaders had three days to sack it without it being considered a war crime, because Urban Warfare was feared so much that preventing it by intimidation was considered justified.
** To some degree, this was simply taking advantage of circumstances. Generals [[GenreSavvy knew that]] by the time they got into the city, some soldiers would be too crazy to act in a rational manner (and military police systems were extremely crude) so they might as well make sure to remind the city of the fact.
* The Siege of Zaragoza in UsefulNotes/TheNapoleonicWars was an example of what would happen on such occasions when surrender was not forthcoming. The French got in and found the populace willing to continue resisting. The result was a long and costly mess which cost the French dearly. In this case it was an [[ItsPersonal ideological war]] whereas in the eighteenth century at least it was often [[NothingPersonal just a job]] for soldiers, and just something to avoid for civilians.
* In the Siege of Lucknow during the Sepoy Rebellion a number of English residents barricaded themselves in a school and held it against rebel soldiers until relief arrived.
* The Boxer Rebellion had a group of foreigners in Bejing defending the diplomatic quarter against a siege, while the relief force fought their way into the city and rescued them.
* The 1915 Siege of Van in Ottoman Turkey took on this kind of character, after local Armenians refused to allow their able-bodied men to be drafted and most likely massacred, as had already happened in surrounding villages. Though minorities in the empire were banned from owning guns, the Armenians resorted to defending Van, a city already surrounded by walls, from the Ottoman army with antiquated rifles and pistols that had been stashed away, and other {{Improvised Weapon}}s until invading Russian forces liberated them.
* During the Texas Revolution, Texian forces opposed to President Santa Anna (at this point of the war, they were fighting for a restoration of the 1824 Mexican Constitution, rather than independence of Texas), besieged the city of San Antonio de Béxar[[note]]Now simply known as San Antonio[[/note]] in what would be known as the Siege of Bexar. The Texan forces managed to seize the city after several days of house-to-house fighting, with the Mexican forces either withdrawing from the city or retreating to [[HarsherInHindsight The Alamo]] before agreeing to surrender. A few short months later, the Mexican army would retake the city after defeating the Texians in the much more infamous Battle of the Alamo, where nearly all of the Texian defenders were killed.
* The concept of an "open city" is meant to avert the kind of destruction and suffering this trope can bring onto a city and its many inhabitants. In short, if the defenders declare it, they will no longer fight within the city--in exchange, the attackers are expected to simply march in and refrain from attacking any part of it. This idea has pretty much been only used in World War Two--Brussels, Oslo, Paris, Belgrade, Singapore, Manila, Rome, and Athens were all declared open cities when their defense became untenable. The idea hasn't been employed since (for several possible reasons--[[UsefulNotes/TheLawsAndCustomsOfWar the Geneva Conventions]] being expanded, more wars being fought by groups in the same country, wars in general taking on a more personal character and therefore refraining less on collateral damage, 24-hour media coverage of any large-scale conflict imposing major PR penalties for any side caught committing atrocities, etc.), though several cities in Japan are considering legislation that would mandate such a move if they were ever invaded.
* In the days of [[LandOfOneCity city-states]], vendettas would often take place within cities between various factions. This was taken to the point that Italian families would often build what amounted to castles within the city for themselves and their clients.
* The Medieval Battle of Chioggia between Genoa and Venice was like a Stalingrad on the water. After Genoa got a foothold in [[CityOfCanals Venice]], the two sides fought desperately trying to supply themselves or interdict each other with boats rowed amid small islands.
* TheWarOnTerror and various other government-insurgency conflicts have seen a large amount of this in recent years. US troops have fought to control cities in Iraq and Afghanistan. Somalia had the Battle of Mogadishu, during which the federal government at times controlled a minority of its capital. The Arab Spring and its aftermath have involved drawn-out fights for control of major cities in Libya, Syria, and Yemen, with fragmented control of cities persisting for years in cases such as Aleppo's. While ISIS overran many of its cities in Iraq and Syria fairly quickly, retaking them has usually required urban warfare. At the lower end of the scale, large terrorist attacks on cities can verge on urban warfare if a sufficient number of fighters is present.
** This is present in Marawi when the Maute Group teamed up with other Islamist forces and foreign fighters who slipped into Mindanao. The reason why it's taking months to weed them out is because most of the local forces grew up/lived in Marawi and know the place. The Philippine military, while having a reputation in the Asia-Pacific due to their jungle warfare experience, have little experience in fighting inside towns/cities aside from the 2013 attack on Zamboanga city with the risk of killing civilians being taken hostage with special forces being the only units to have been trained to fight in urban places.
* Some countries have specifically trained their armies to engage their enemies in urban warfare ops such as Israel, Japan and Singapore due to the country being urbanized.
* The suppression of the Paris Commune. While the June Days in 1848 [[note]] not to be confused with the much smaller June Rebellion of 1832, shown in LesMiserables][[/note]] had been bad enough, with over 10,000 total casualties, its reprise in 1871 was a horror show, with the ''entire commune'' being reduced to rubble from artillery bombardment and a fire. Estimates start at 10,000 ''killed'' and go up from there. Arbitrary summary executions were only halted because the cemeteries were full and the city was at risk of an epidemic from all the corpses. Put another way, it was this slaughter that convinced KarlMarx and other socialists that there could be no peaceful path to revolution. As VladimirLenin put it: "20,000 killed in the streets...Lesson: bourgeoisie will stop at ''nothing''."