Bridges over Maas River

Discussion in 'Royal Engineers' started by marketc47, Apr 29, 2018.

  1. marketc47

    marketc47 Junior Member


    I am looking for information about bridges over the Maas River at the time of the Rine Crossing, March 1945.
    Bridge at unknown location.jpg
    I have this photo, and a similar one, showing some buildings. The photo was taken by a glider pilot who returned towards Holland after the landings during Operation Varsity.
    With the route in mind (from Xanten to Helmond), I would think that it must be between Venlo and Grave.
    That is, if it does not show the bank of the Rhine, although I don't think the bridges were used for the evacuation of the glider pilots.
    ope someone has information, know the spot, or can tell where the Royal Engineers ad placed bridges so that te locations can be checked.

  2. Old Git

    Old Git Harmless Curmudgeon

    I may be wrong, but I think this may be the Class 40 Bailey Pontoon across the Meuse at Well (map reference 859290) which was built by 7 Army Troops Engineers over 3rd, 4th and 5th March. It was built on the site of an old Civilian Ferry and was approximately 751 feet in length.

    PS Can we see the other photos?
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
  3. smdarby

    smdarby Well-Known Member

    There was a large bailey bridge built across the Maas near Gennep. More info here:
    6. The Bridge Builders
  4. Old Git

    Old Git Harmless Curmudgeon

    Yes indeed but this is not the Gennep bridge. It is, however, the Well Bridge! The buildings, on the East Bank, give it away, there was also a destroyed, church-like building to the right which is not shown in this photograph.
    stolpi likes this.
  5. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Hans - must has been a bumpy drive across that bridge, since the picture is rather blurry.

    Looks like a minor waterway, not one of the big rivers like Rhine or Meuse.

    Do you have any other pictures that could make a good comparison?
  6. marketc47

    marketc47 Junior Member


    Tank you very much. Well aan de Maas is te location. Thank you very much.
    I had it in my mind, but could not compare the situation. Visited the website of the local istorical society, and things are clear now. Here is the other war time photo

    potoon bridge over Rhine river.jpg

    And to compare it with photo from the website of the local histocial society:
    Well aan de Maas blik vanaf Wanssum.jpg
    Well aan de Maas Grotestraat.jpg

    Thank you very much for the clues.
    stolpi likes this.
  7. Old Git

    Old Git Harmless Curmudgeon

    No problem Hans, glad to be able to help. Well, and the area around it, hasn't changed much since 1945 and, unless I'm mistaken, this Bailey Pontoon Bridge, crossed the river to the left of the main bridge which crosses the river today. In the screen grab below you will see a little road, labelled De Kooy, right in the middle, bottom. This road curves before heading down to the River. I believe this is the near-side site of the BPB and it crossed to the ferry point on the other side (indicated by point where the blue dotted lines arrive at the far shore) .

    Good luck with your research and thanks for the other photographs, I always love to see new photos of Bailey Bridges! Your second picture shows the church spire, which I referred to earlier, in happier days, by the time the BPB was put across this spire was blown apart by shell fire. I think they rebuilt the church after the war but not so sure if they rebuilt the spire?

    stolpi likes this.
  8. marketc47

    marketc47 Junior Member

    Old Git
    You are correct. Te Bailey Bridge was left of todays bridge.
    The prominent house in the photos is today's Grotestraat 40.
    The churc was rebuilt at anoter location. and the cemetery wall now bordered the river (well, it did back in 1944-45 as well, but now without church).
    Think that ferry crossing sites were best to use for bridging, as the road to and from the river were already there.
  9. Old Git

    Old Git Harmless Curmudgeon

    I thought I could see the graveyard in the Google Maps view but couldn't quite make out what had happened to the church which had been destroyed in a bombing raid in November 1944, at least according to this site...

    Well en de oorlog Archief Well Limburg

    So sad to see the war come to these quiet little places.

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