Battle of Mosul Ends

Looks the Battle for Mosul had ended as of Sunday. A timeline is here:

This thing took forever. The offensive started on 17 October. They entered the city on 1 November. It then took 251 days to take the city (over 8 months). This is one of the interesting challenges of urban warfare, it takes 15 days to get to the city and 251 days to take it. As we noted in our three urban warfare studies (and in two chapters in War by Numbers), operations outside of the urban area go so much faster than in the urban areas. The end result is that most urban warfare eventually turns into a giant mop-up operation.

I notice there has been a renewed interest in urban warfare, especially with discussions of fighting in mega-cities. I am not sure that everyone involved in these efforts grasp that these fights are not occurring at the point of the spearhead, but are indeed often a mop-up operation, regardless of the size of the city.

Mosul is in ruins. It is certainly one of the largest cities that ever had an extended urban fight in it. It is larger than Stalingrad.

So…does anyone have some good casualty figures for this fight?





Share this:
Christopher A. Lawrence
Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience.
Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation.
His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) , The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019), The Battle for Kyiv (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2023), Aces at Kursk (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024), Hunting Falcon: The Story of WWI German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024) and The Siege of Mariupol (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2024).
Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

Articles: 1516

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *