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Abstract

The potential for cross-country mobility (CCM) by vehicles has increasingly become an integral part of tactical planning for military operations and depends on a multitude of parameters. A comprehensive trafficability forecast requires the analysis of terrain, including slope, land cover and soil properties, and weather, as well as specific vehicle parameters. Terrain and weather interactions were recognized as important for the first time during World War I, when all types of vehicle would frequently bog down in muddy ground. The lessons learned influenced the orientation of future German military geology. During World War II, German military geologists and engineers prepared their first CCM maps. However, these often lacked a consistent format and standardized analysis. During the Cold War, the US Army carried out extensive research to create empirical mobility models based on physical properties and trafficability tests. These results were incorporated into the production of CCM maps. Present day computer-based data processing and analysis have opened up the possibility of enhancements to trafficability forecasting and thus make a vital contribution to providing the armed forces with advice on exercises and operations.

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