Best article, 2013.


This year's winner of the Best Article award is Dr. William Head, Chief of the History Office at Robins AFB, Georgia, for his article "The Battles of Al-Fallujah: Urban Warfare and the Growth of Air Power." Dr. Head is a prolific author with numerous books to his credit, with particular expertise in the history of aerial gunship development and employment; this article appeared in the Winter 2013 edition of Air Power History. In addition to his many books, Dr. Head has had articles published in the Journal of Military History, Virginia Review of Asian Studies, and the Journal of Third World Studies in addition to The Air Force Historical Foundation's Air Power History.

From before the 2003 invasion of Iraq until the United States' forces left the country in 2011, Al-Fallujah was a constant source of trouble for Coalition military assigned to control central Iraq; the city became the center of anti-Coalition violence. Some of the highest American losses came during the fighting for this city. Dr. Head points out that some analysts believe that the fighting in AlFallujah was the most bitter and vicious since the effort to re-take Hue City, Vietnam during the Tet Offensive of 1968. Heretofore, air power had played only a limited role in urban war, mostly to level particularly troublesome areas so that infantry could move through cities clearing out remaining enemy forces. At AlFallujah, with the use of high tech weapons and the ability to locate and destroy specific...

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