bailey bridge

auxiliary or emergency bridge

After the British engineer Sir Donald Coleman Bailey (Rotherham 1901, Bournemouth 1985).

Bailey worked at the Ministry of Supply from 1929 and was commissioned in 1940 to develop a quickly erect bridge. He devised a kind of meccano system of simple, standard steel parts that are interchangeable and connected by nut bolts and pins. The structure was of great military use: it could be transported and constructed by a few people and still support the weight of tanks and trains. It was first used in the North African campaign of 1942-1943 and played a major role in the Allied advance later in the war.

During the liberation of the European mainland, it came in handy to replace the bridges that the retreating Germans had destroyed behind them. The six hundred engineers of General Patton's Third Army alone constructed forty-one Bailey bridges.

Both American President Eisenhower and British Field Marshal Montgomery praised Bailey after the war. He was knighted in 1946. Afterwards, the bridge also turned out to be very suitable for civil purposes.

> (see also nishut)