Bailey Bridge

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by ww2ni, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. ww2ni

    ww2ni Senior Member

    I have been sent these photographs of what appears to be a Bailey Bridge.
    Can someone tell me is this WW2 Vintage?


    Attached Files:

  2. chrisgrove

    chrisgrove Senior Member

    My take is that this is too wide for a standard wartime Bailey and that it is then probably postwar when several wider versions were made.
  3. ww2ni

    ww2ni Senior Member

  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Trying to see something to scale against

    Bailey bridge - Wikipedia
    The basic bridge consists of three main parts. The bridge's strength is provided by the panels on the sides. The panels are 10-foot-long (3.0 m), 5-foot-high (1.5 m), cross-braced rectangles that each weigh 570 pounds (260 kg), and can be lifted by six men. The panel was constructed of welded steel. The top and bottom chord of each panel had interlocking male and female lugs into which engineers could inset panel connecting pins.[6]
    The floor of the bridge consists of a number of 19-foot-wide (5.8 m) transoms that run across the bridge, with 10-foot-long (3.0 m) stringers running between them on the bottom, forming a square.[7] Transoms rest on the lower chord of the panels, and clamps hold them together. Stringers are placed on top of the completed structural frame, and wood planking is placed on top of the stringers to provide a roadbed. Ribands bolt the planking to the stringers. Later in the war, the wooden planking was covered by steel plates, which were more resistant to the damage caused by tank tracks.
    Each unit constructed in this fashion creates a single 10-foot-long (3.0 m) section of bridge, with a 12-foot-wide (3.7 m) roadbed. After one section is complete it is typically pushed forward over rollers on the bridgehead, and another section built behind it. The two are then connected together with pins pounded into holes in the corners of the panels.

  5. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    An EWBB or Extra Wide Bailey Bridge. This used the standard wartime components but with wider roadway to take larger post war tanks.

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  6. ploughman

    ploughman Junior Member

    It looks to me very much an EWBB in Double - Single form. (2 panels wide and 1 panel high.)

    Is it in the UK?
    Does it still exist?

    Pounding pins should never be done as that deformed the pin heads and resulted in pins jamming in the holes.
    Light taps with a hide faced hammer were permitted.
  7. ww2ni

    ww2ni Senior Member

    Hi Folks,

    Yes, It is in the U.K. - Glenarm in County Antrim.

    There were both Army and R.A.F. Personnel based at Glenarm Castle with the R.A.F. operating a nearby Chain Home Radar Station (Which you can see by scrolling down here Second World War in Northern Ireland )

    This bridge is in the grounds of the Castle where the camp was located.

    I intend to locate this and will take lots more photographs.

  8. Bin There

    Bin There Member


    Not my field of expertise, but perhaps I can add a point or two.

    This is actually a thornier question than it first appears. You really need to take some measurements to determine which version of the Bailey it might be. In addition to the original British Bailey Bridge (M1 in US service), late in the war there were the British Improvised Widened Bailey Bridge, and the US M2 Bailey Bridge (Standard Widened Bailey Bridge in UK service). The IWBB and SWBB were developed and fielded in anticipation of the M26 and Centurion tanks. And - as noted above - after WWII the UK produced the Extra Widened Bailey Bridge in anticipation of the FV200 (the EWBB was adopted as M3 for US service, but never purchased).

    There is a lot of confusion between the IWBB, SWBB and EWBB, which has resulted in a good deal of confusion on dimensions. Following info is the best that I have gathered.

    For the original Bailey Bridge (aka M1):
    - Distance between inner panels: 12' 4"
    - Cleared roadway (between ribands): 10' 9"
    - Transom length: 18'
    - Chess length: 12'.

    For the Standard Widened Baily Bridge (M2):
    - Distance between inner panels: 13' 10"
    - Cleared roadway (between ribands): 12' 6"
    -,Transom length of 19' 11"
    - Chess length: 13' 10".

    The data I've seen for the Improvised Widened Baily Bridge varies greatly and I won't bother to try to post it here. Generally, though, it appears it used the same length transom as those for the M1, but they were modified to move the inner panels outward, thus widening the roadway. So . . . if the transoms are the same length as those for the M1 (18') but the distance between inner panels and the width of the cleared roadway are greater than those of the M1, you most likely have an IWBB.

    If the dimensions for the bridge in your photo are greater than those for the M2, then you have a post-war EWBB. Since the US type classified the EWBB as the M3, but never stocked it, I have no reliable dimensions, other than the fact that they obviously had to have been wider than the M2. The only data I do have for the EWBB was a cleared roadway of 13' 9" and the clearance between inner panels was 15' 8" - but would not swear to it.

    With the large quantities of Bailey components manufactured during the war, there was plenty of surplus material for use after the war. So even if your bridge is made from M1, SWBB/M2 or IWBB components, it might have been built after the war. Given its location, of course, it certainly seems logical it would be one of those three wartime versions of the Bailey.

    But if it is an EWBB, then it has to be post WWII.

    Hope this helps. Good luck.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
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  9. ww2ni

    ww2ni Senior Member


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