What is the most defendable American city?

You’re on charge of defending an American city against a force of infantry with your own troops. No air support, only light vehicles. What city is most tactically well situated?

My vote is Bismarck. Sure, you’ve got places like San Francisco which is on a hill and surrounded by water on three sides which seems like a great place to have a last stand. But look at what really stopped Napoleon and Hitler-- vast tracts of barren tundra and brutal winters. Just like North Dakota!

I forgot about the frigid north–I was going to say Salt Lake City, because it was surrounded by a desert wasteland.

Oh, that’ll work, all right–until the Saskatchewanians invade. North Dakota is where they go to get warm!


Two Dot MT, When the invading army comes by, just duck. When they leave, get back on your bar stool.

How about New Orleans? The only two ways in or out are both bridges. If the bad guys have a hurricane making machine, you’d be in trouble though.


Key West could blow up the various bridges leading to it, and infantry would be pretty well stymied.

Until the invading army cut the aqueduct and everyone in the city died of dehydration, anyways.

There are certain sections of New York, Love Rhombus, that I wouldn’t advise you to try to invade.

Duly noted, Rick.

Purely defensive? One of the islands of Hawaii. Attacking somebody would be a real bitch though. The attacking force would have nearly zero chance to resupply too.

Charlottesville, Va. is mostly situated on a big hill, with good visibility over the rest of the surrounding lowlands, IIRC. I might pick that. How many troops do I get?

For certain values of “city”, Acoma, New Mexico. (Come for the gambling, stay for the pottery.)

Are we talking modern warfare? Unlikely we’d be attacked by just infantry in that case.
But to answer the question as written: Galveston TX. Destroy the causeway. Most of the infantry will drown trying to swim out to the island and the few that make it can be dispatched by the defenders with ease.

Yeah, and they have a great track record, too.

It fell easily the last time.

My vote is Baltimore, Maryland. Sure, you might lose; it’s exposed to land and sea. But you’d get a pretty decent song out of it.

Ummm, I think that “song” link is wrong.

Perhaps you’re thinking of this song, if so, prepare to have ignorance fought.

That actually wasn’t written as a song, it was written as a poem. It wasn’t until it was published that the author’s brother in law noticed that it could be sung to the tune of an English drinking song. The author of the poem never meant for it to become a song, much less a national anthem.

(And (keeping in mind I am Canadian) the “song” is best sung drunk (remember, it was a drinking song before the poem was set to it?), some parts are difficult for mere mortals to sing, so I wouldn’t call it “pretty decent”, but this is just my Canadian humble opinion.)

Didn’t seem to slow down the Union or the Confederates during the Civil War (Union took it, Confederates retook it).

Yes, but I bet they used boats and stuff. Just like today, infantry would probably be operating with amphibious vehicles, helicopters, armor and all sorts of stuff. But once we start down that road, there isn’t an American city that is really defensible. Cities pretty routinely get flattened in modern warfare.