Combat in Built up Areas Subcourse IN0531.pdf

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Subcourse Number IN0531
United State Army Infantry School
Fort Benning, GA 31905-5593
8 credit hours
Effective Date: December 1992
In this subcourse you will learn the principles governing military operations in urbanized
terrain, specifically how to wage combat in built-up areas.
There are no prerequisites for this subcourse.
Unless otherwise stated, the masculine gender of singular pronouns is used to refer to
both men and women.
ACTION: You will identify the principles of combat in built-up areas.
CONDITION: You will be given information from FM 90-10-1.
STANDARD: To demonstrate competency of this task, you must achieve a
minimum of 70 percent on the subcourse examination.
The material contained in this subcourse was derived from
the following publication:
FM 90-10-1
Table of Contents
Subcourse Overview
Lesson 1: Principles of Combat in Built-up Areas
Part A: Introduction to Combat in Built-up Areas
Part B: Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield
Part C: Offensive Operations
Part D: Defensive Operations
Practice Exercise
Lesson 2: Combat Techniques in Built-up Areas
Part A: Fundamental Combat Skills in a Built-Up Area
Part B: Employment and Effects of Weapons in Built-up Areas
Part C: MOUT Techniques
Practice Exercise
IN0531 Edition D Examination
In this lesson you will learn the principles guiding combat in built-up areas and military
operations on urbanized terrain (MOUT). You will learn about the offensive and
defensive operations of potential adversaries, our own concept of the offense and defense
in an urban environment with examples of battalion task force, company, and platoon
attacks on defended built-up areas. You will also learn the characteristics of built-up
areas, and defensive operations at the battalion, company, and platoon levels.
ACTION: Identify the principles of combat in built-up areas.
CONDITION: You will be given information from FM 90-10-1.
STANDARD: The principles of combat in built-up areas will be identified
in accordance with FM 90-10-1.
REFERENCES The material contained in this lesson was derived from the
following publication:
FM 90-10-1
The increased population and accelerated growth of cities have made the problems of
combat in built-up areas an urgency for the U.S. Army. This type of combat cannot be
avoided. The distribution of smaller, built-up areas within the urban complex make
isolation by encirclement increasingly difficult. Military operations on urbanized terrain
(MOUT) can now be defined as the future battlefield in Europe and Asia with brigade
and higher-level commanders focusing on these operations. At the tactical level, the
battalion commander and his subordinates must focus on the actual combat in built-up
areas. This subcourse provides the infantry battalion commander and his subordinates a
source for tactics, techniques, and procedures for fighting in built-up areas.
1. Background.
Friendly and enemy doctrine reflect the fact that more attention must be given to urban
combat. Expanding urban development affects military operations as the terrain is
altered. Although the current doctrine still applies, the increasing focus on low intensity
conflict (LIC), urban terrorism, and civil disorder emphasizes combat in built-up areas is
a. AirLand Battle. AirLand Battle doctrine describes the Army's approach to
generating and applying combat power at the operational and tactical levels. It is
based on securing or retaining the initiative and exercising it aggressively to
accomplish the mission. The four basic AirLand Battle tenets of initiative, agility,
depth, and synchronization are constant. During combat in built-up areas, the
principles of AirLand Battle doctrine still apply -- only the terrain over which
combat operations will be conducted has changed.
b. Cities. Cities are the centers of finance, politics, transportation, communication,
industry, and culture. Therefore, they have often been scenes of important battles
(Figure 1-1).
(1) Operations in built-up areas are conducted to capitalize on the strategic
and tactical advantages of cities and to deny those advantages to the
enemy. Often, the side which controls a city has a psychological advantage
which is usually enough to determine the outcome of larger conflicts.
(2) Even in insurgencies, combat occurs in cities. In developing nations,
control of only a few cities is often the key to control of national resources.
Thus, urban guerrilla war is quickly replacing rural guerrilla war as the
most common form of insurgency. The city riots of the 1960s and the
guerrilla and terrorist operations in Santo Domingo, Caracas, Belfast,
Managua, and Beirut indicate the many situations which can result in
combat operations in built-up areas.
(3) Built-up areas also affect military operations because of the way they
alter the terrain. In the past 40 years, cities have expanded, losing their
well-defined boundaries as they extend into the countryside. New road
systems have opened areas to make them passable. Highways, canals, and
railroads have been built to connect population centers. Industries have
grown along those connectors creating "strip areas." Rural areas, although
retaining much of their farm-like character, are connected to the towns by
a network of secondary roads (Figure 1-2).
Figure 1-1. Cities contested during 20th century conflicts.
(4) These trends have occurred in most parts of the world, but they are the
most dramatic in Western Europe. European cities tend to grow together to
form one vast built-up area. Entire regions assume an unbroken built-up
character, as is the case in the Ruhr and Rhein Main complex. Such growth
patterns block and dominate the historic armor avenues of approach, and
decrease the amount of open maneuver area available to an attacker. It is
estimated a typical brigade sector, will include 25 small towns, most of
which would lie in the more open avenues of approach (Figure 1-3).
(5) Extensive urbanization provides conditions the defending force can
exploit. Used with mobile forces on the adjacent terrain, antitank forces
defending from built-up areas can dominate avenues of approach, greatly
improving the overall strength of the defense (Figure 1-4).
(6) Forces operating in such areas may have elements in open terrain,
villages, towns, or small and large cities. Each of these areas calls for
different tactics, task organization, fire support, and combat service
support (CSS).
Figure 1-2. Urban terrain sprawl
c. The Threat in Built-up Areas. The Commonwealth of Independent States and
other nations using former Soviet doctrine, devote much of their training to urban
combat exercises. Indications are, they too believe such combat would be
unavoidable in future conflicts. During the late 1980s, they published hundreds of
articles on combat in built-up areas.
(1) The stated preferred form of attacking a city is from the march to
quickly neutralize the city. Should that attack fail, the units would be
organized for an attack by storm, attaching armor, artillery, and engineers
to their motorized rifle battalions. They would probably have assaulted
built-up areas with strong forces, because the loss of men and equipment
was considered less important than the loss of time.
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