I'll explain it supposing you know what a "not-global-forward" is in Struts. When you're in an Action, the execute method returns an ActionForward, which are normally declared within an action-mapping scope. The Action then, using the mapping object, returns one of its defined forwards... But you can also create global-forwards, that are accessible from every Action. For example, you can define a global forward to the login page, so you can "send" the user to the login page from everywhere in the app without having to define the same forward in every action mapping. Hope you understood it.