Mobility (military)
Mobility in military terms refers to the ability of a weapon system
Weapon system
Weapon System is a United States military term that designated, along with a weapon system number , military experimental systems prior to official naming Weapon System is a United States military term that designated, along with a weapon system number (e.g., WS-110), military experimental (MX)...

, combat unit or armed force to move toward a military objective. Combat forces with a higher mobility are able to move more quickly, and/or across more hostile terrain
Terrain, or land relief, is the vertical and horizontal dimension of land surface. When relief is described underwater, the term bathymetry is used...

, than forces with lower mobility.

Mobility is regarded as a vital component of the modern battlefield, as the ability to deliver weapon systems or combat units to their objective quickly can often mean the difference between victory and defeat. Armies around the world have massively increased their mobility over the last one hundred years. In World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, for example, most combat units could only move on the battlefield as fast as a soldier could walk, resulting in stalemate and an inability to outmaneouvre the enemy. By World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, battlefield mobility had greatly improved with the development of the tank
A tank is a tracked, armoured fighting vehicle designed for front-line combat which combines operational mobility, tactical offensive, and defensive capabilities...

, and with tracked and other mechanized vehicle
A vehicle is a device that is designed or used to transport people or cargo. Most often vehicles are manufactured, such as bicycles, cars, motorcycles, trains, ships, boats, and aircraft....

s to move forces to and from the battlefront.

Since the end of World War II, armies have continued to develop their mobility. By the 1980s, for example, intercontinental travel shifted from sea to air transport, enabling military forces to move from one part of the world to another within hours or days instead of weeks.
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