The Bailey Bridge that Triumphs over Demolitions

The War Illustrated, Volume 8, No. 186, Page 169, August 4, 1944.

From a rough sketch on the back on an envelope was evolved a piece of equipment which has revolutionized bridge-building for our armies in the field, speeding their advance in North Africa, Sicily, Italy and Normandy. This Bailey Bridge – praised by General Montgomery as “Quite the best thing in that line we have ever had. It does everything we want. It will be needed everywhere we operate in Europe.” – was invented by Mr. D. C. Bailey, of the Ministry of Supply.

Designed to cross gaps up to 240 ft. without the help of pontoons, in conjunction with these the span is lengthened considerably. In its lightest form the Bailey can carry 20 tons; construction can be doubled or trebled to take our heaviest tanks. Fitting together like a jig-saw puzzle, each section is ten ft. long and has seventeen parts. Nine other parts are used for the bridge foundation.