When thinking about the machines and equipment that helped to win the Second World War the contribution made by iconic aircraft and huge battleships are well documented, but the impact made by some slightly less glamorous pieces of military engineering was equally as significant, particularly to the army on the ground. A prime example of such a piece of engineering which made an enormous difference to the ability of the allied troops to move swiftly on the ground is the Bailey Bridge.
It was the invention of a civil servant named Donald Bailey, whom the bridge design was, of course, named after. The genius of the design of a modular bridge which could be transported in sections in small sized military trucks and which could be put together manually and yet could also bear the weight of vehicles as heavy as the 40 tonne Churchill tank was the thing that made the Bailey Bridge invaluable to the Army. Indeed, the versatility of the Bailey Bridge design was such that it can still be found in use around the World today with companies such as Mabey Bridge who use it as the basis for their modern Bailey Bridge temporary bridging systems.