I watched a documentary last night on the Battle of the Bulge, Hitler's ill-fated attempt to seize the initiative on the western front, just before the Allies invaded Germany. It was a horrible battle, all too typical of warfare through the ages. Veterans and footage showed massive devastation through the Ardennes, villages and towns reduced to ruins, fields pockmarked with artillery shells. One villager remembered that when they melted snow to get water, it was black from gunpowder.
This was primarily an infantry battle, with horrendous casualties on both sides. Troops typically fortified themselves in villages, and attacks and counterattacks focused first on destroying cover - which is to say, houses, churches, and other civilian structures. There was none of the door-to-door combat we expect to see in urban warfare nowadays. If approaching troops got under fire from a village, they'd destroy the village and then move in.
The tactics were based on one consideration: finishing the war as soon as possible. And victory was defined by attaining one objective: unconditional surrender by the Axis powers.