When considering the machines and equipment that helped the allies to win World War II the contribution made by famous aircraft, tanks 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 foot soldiers on the ground. One of the most important of these and a piece of engineering which made an enormous difference to the mobility of allied troops is the Bailey Bridge.
It was the invention of a civil servant named Donald Bailey, whom the bridge design was named after. The genius of the design of a modular bridge which could be transported in sections in 3 tonne military trucks and assembled manually and yet could also bear the weight of military 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 design was such that variations on the Bailey Bridge can still be seen today with companies like Mabey who use it as the basis for their modern Bailey Bridge type systems.