The bridge design that helped win World War II

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2 महीने पहले

It’s a simple innovation that helped win a war.
The Bailey bridge was Donald Bailey’s innovative solution to a number of wartime obstacles. The allies needed a way to cross bodies of water quickly, but bombed-out bridges - or an absence of crossings entirely - made that incredibly difficult. That was only compounded by new, heavy tanks that needed incredibly strong support.
Bailey’s innovation - a modular, moveable panel bridge - solved those problems and gave the allies a huge advantage. The 570-pound steel panel could be lifted by just six men, and the supplies could fit inside small service trucks. Using those manageable materials, soldiers could build crossings sufficient for heavy tanks and other vehicles.
As impressive, the Bailey bridge could be rolled across a gap from one side to the other, making it possible to build covertly or with little access to the other side. Together, all the Bailey bridge’s advantages changed bridge construction and may have helped win the war.
Further reading:
John A. Thierry’s contemporaneous history of the Bailey Bridge provides a great overview:
This Army Manual is a great look at how the Bailey Bridge worked:
A number of good papers about the Bailey Bridge are also available, though they sit behind a paywall. You can read Bailey’s account of his bridge:
Denys Begbie and Gwilym Roberts’ paper is a great summary of the Bailey Bridge’s achievements.
The same goes for CJH Joiner’s history:
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Vox 2 महीने पहले
The Bailey Bridge is one of many creative designs used in war - check out our earlier video about the dazzle ships of World War I. -Phil
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Curtis Carpenter
Curtis Carpenter महीने पहले
Do a video on churchill's toy shop.
Historically Accurate Quotes?
Historically Accurate Quotes? 12 घंटे पहले
“ Give two good bridge builders and I will conquer an entire nation” -Ghenghis Khan
Kristo Radion
Kristo Radion दिन पहले
Imagine after all those hard works, the enemy shots a single cannon that destroys the bridge 😄
Liberty Patriot
Liberty Patriot 2 दिन पहले
AD 1969 we build Bailey Bridges during the day and @ night in Ft. Leonard Wood , Missouri during US Army Combat Engineer School.... Great fun a giant erector set...never forget it, Klaus P. , Emigree from Schweinfurt, Germany.
Filip Řezníček
Filip Řezníček 3 दिन पहले
"The snoop didnt droop" what a call back! :D
TheSpoonKing 4 दिन पहले
The Churchill tank was virtually useless even with these bridges.
sarcasmo57 4 दिन पहले
I'm going to make all of my emergency bridges like this from now on.
Robert Brawley
Robert Brawley 4 दिन पहले
Incredible that I have never heard or read or viewed any thing about the Bailey Bridge till viewing this video which appeared because I just viewed a model diesel engine on another channel
tang liang lum
tang liang lum 5 दिन पहले
was in the singapore army combat enginers 20years ago had to build one of these bridges for training it was not fun
Scott Adler
Scott Adler 5 दिन पहले
Your video at 5:10 shows a perhaps more important innovation: the Higgins Boat, the American drop-front landing craft that made the Normandy invasion possible.
Hendricus Maximus
Hendricus Maximus 7 दिन पहले
0:49 I mean, that is the Hohenzollern bridge, but I feel like Köln/Cologne would be a better choice of naming
LenYourFren - Mm2 Content
LenYourFren - Mm2 Content 7 दिन पहले
I swear I can watch vox for like 2 hours
kp Mac
kp Mac 9 दिन पहले
So why isn’t the Bailey bridge in use in new construction today in North America?
Jieon Choi
Jieon Choi 10 दिन पहले
As part of 2nd ID multi role bridge company, I will say that this video was awesome 👏
Dario Hildisheim
Dario Hildisheim 10 दिन पहले
There is a still functioning bridge in zutphen, netherlands. Nearby wherry they filmed ‘a bridge to far’
John Johnson
John Johnson 11 दिन पहले
Now this is the kind of Vox stuff we like!
Magic Steve
Magic Steve 11 दिन पहले
The home guard built a few of these in Britain and a lot of them are still there, there’s one over the River Annan in south Scotland where I go salmon fishing.
Mark Fryer
Mark Fryer 13 दिन पहले
As a Australian Army Reservist Sapper I did an exercise at Puckapunyal in the mid 90’s on the larger more modern version of the Bailey Bridge called a Transfield Bridge. It required two mobile cranes and two crews to assemble or disassemble the bridge. We did several cycles including at least one under portable generator lights because we had to get clear of the range due to live firing exercises during the day. Essentially the same technology as the Bailey only larger and rated for Highway Loads.
Bart 13 दिन पहले
Fun fact, the city in the Netherlands where I live used bailey bridge parts to construct a roof over the railway station after the war. They are still there today....
Chi Zhang
Chi Zhang 14 दिन पहले
5:09 cryptoanalysis of Enigma machine were still classified at that time?
Rayyan Ghayas
Rayyan Ghayas 17 दिन पहले
Warwick Tregurtha
Warwick Tregurtha 18 दिन पहले
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Loosely speaking WWII was won by three things. British ingenuity. American manufacturing might. Russian cannon fodder. Each of those three things could not have won on their own.
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Elsa Ranny 23 दिन पहले
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blusnuby2 24 दिन पहले
Give THAT man a MEDAL & a BIG SALUTE !
Dylan 25 दिन पहले
4:21 you just said the military’s save word.
Craig St George
Craig St George 26 दिन पहले
I have seen these in use now in New Zealand if a bridge gets washed out they are used as a temporary replacement
Cecília Lopes
Cecília Lopes 27 दिन पहले
So... no comments about the dangerous fish
Perogi Palooka
Perogi Palooka 27 दिन पहले
"The snoop didn't droop" The snoop droops.
Justin J
Justin J 28 दिन पहले
I’m a senior bridge engineer and I think this story is not egregious. That is high praise because almost all journalism about structural engineering is.
Ronex Kevogo
Ronex Kevogo 25 दिन पहले
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radudeATL 29 दिन पहले
Do any of these bridges still exist?
Biang Lang
Biang Lang 29 दिन पहले
Do it need piers or vertical support
devon महीने पहले
my grandfather helped build many of these in Italy during WW2... still see the design used as temporary bridges on highways while road crews replace older ones.
e महीने पहले
German war on Eastern front is often overlooked as one of the major factors in allied winning the war.
marc amant
marc amant महीने पहले
to remember whe drinking Baileys Irish Cream
hydroxide87 महीने पहले
Engineer at the Experimental Bridging Establishment is a wild job title lol
Marty Moose
Marty Moose महीने पहले
Wow, My Grandfather built these Bailey Bridges in Europe during WW2. First in Africa, then Italy to France and Belgium and finally Germany! He was building a bridge for General Patton over the Rhine River and was taking strafing Fire from the Luftwaffe while they built it.
Marcus Gault
Marcus Gault महीने पहले
Erm, surely the Imperial ton was/is heavier than a metric tonne!
zkemo 04
zkemo 04 महीने पहले
Those women weren't working on it, they were only posing with it.
Creative 8D
Creative 8D महीने पहले
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Creative 8D
Creative 8D महीने पहले
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graham lait
graham lait महीने पहले
Eisenhower must have been havering when he said 'along with radar and the heavy bomber, the Bailey bridge was one of the most important technical advances of WW2' .What about German rocketry and the nuclear bomb? Or maybe he was just being nice to the Brits, because both of the others were, at least initially, British developments as well.... and Eisenhower was the supreme military diplomat.
Simon Humby
Simon Humby महीने पहले
Actually Bailey designed the bridge before Ingliss's failed - because he knew it would fail. He did that without official sanction. We lived next door to MEXI where Bailey worked and the bridges were developed.
inyobill महीने पहले
I believe that the bridge had some assistance in winning the war.
Katie Stott
Katie Stott महीने पहले
I love your videos! I've learned so much. Do you think you could make a video about why multi-storey apartment heating is poorly designed and results in swelteringly hot apartments all winter?
Robert Langford
Robert Langford महीने पहले
My Dad was in the Royal Engineers during WW2. His unit built many of these bridges including a Bailey pontoon bridge over the Rhine.
joemc111 महीने पहले
At Fort Leonard Wood Missouri in 1970 I helped build a Bailey bridge along with 250 other men across an 80 foot gap and they drove a 5 ton truck a crossed it 28 minutes later
Lawrence Lewis
Lawrence Lewis महीने पहले
There's a Bailey in daily use less than a mile from where I live- they're all over Ontario, some that are three layers high on road projects.
Olga Arellano
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as400techman महीने पहले
We used to drive across one of these temporary bridges over the River Mole near Dorking, Surrey, England in the 1960s. I wonder if it is still there?
kelsey palaniuk
kelsey palaniuk महीने पहले
4 man lift parts, Not 6.
Bob Jackson
Bob Jackson महीने पहले
In the 1970's I lived in a small town in UK. At that time a war time Bailey bridge was still the main access route to the town.
Michael Wallbrown
Michael Wallbrown महीने पहले
NY Times must have not known about the Soviet T-34
Stephen Rose
Stephen Rose महीने पहले
Nice video but 29seconds n you show 40 tons as 36 metric tonnes, not correct! British or Imperial ton is 2,240 pounds, Metric Tonne is 1000Kg or 2,200 pounds so 40 tons is about 40.6 metric tonnes. With the U.S. or 'Short Ton' being exactly 2000 pounds.
Michele Carroll
Michele Carroll महीने पहले
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GooGoosDad महीने पहले
It is still extensively used in NE India and manufactured at Kolkota, India.
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Peter Williamson
Peter Williamson महीने पहले
Or it could have been the fact that the allies had broken the axis code in the wars early stages
Dark Stormy
Dark Stormy महीने पहले
These are still used today for temporary replacement in disasters, and for temp use while new construction is being done.
vulgivagu महीने पहले
MEXE was in Christchurch, Dorset. Opened in 1919 all that is left now is the guardhouse, there is a small section of the Bailey Bridge on the roundabout outside. It should not be forgotten that this establishment also designed many of the most extraordinary pieces of equipment for the army and also systems for the armed forces to follow to give them a tactical advantage.
My favorite Martian
My favorite Martian महीने पहले
Excuse me! The American Army put up with the under gunned, under armored Sherman for two reasons: It was fast and it would cross over the existing bridges which allowed them to chase the German retreating forces. Patton specified that the only acceptable tank would be fast, light enough to use existing roads, fit through the town streets , cross the present bridges and could be built by the hundreds. Otherwise we would have used our Heavy tanks and saved lives........simple.
john howitt
john howitt महीने पहले
i actually used to go over a Bailey bridge. In 1947 the Shardlow bridge in Derbyshire was washed away and replaced by a Bailey bridge. we had relatives in Derby and used to cross the bridge on the way to visit them. the traffic flow was limited and so was the speed . i used to both love traveling over the bridge and was scared it would collapse. it was replaced in 1957 when i was 10 and i was most disgruntled.
Paul Bork
Paul Bork महीने पहले
Did anyone else notice that the diagram about 2:24 has eight lifting the section? Excellent bridge, video and content.
Rinus de Boer
Rinus de Boer महीने पहले
In Deventer, Holland, over the river the ijssel stands a Bayley 1945-1982 , 33 years, one track railway , for the most havy trains , thanks Donald! Since ,82 a new bridge was build and placed! I
Brightstarlivesteam महीने पहले
You conversion rate is faulty. A ton is 2240 lbs, whereas a metric tonne is 1000 x 2,2 = 2200 lbs.
jwboatdesigns महीने पहले
They're still in use today, not just in the military but where a bridge gets washed out they allow a short term replacement to be built in a few days.
Cor Graveland
Cor Graveland महीने पहले
Impressive functional design!
Mark Davis
Mark Davis महीने पहले
The 1986 edition of FM 5-277 Bailey Bridge, still gives the history of the bridge and Donald Bailey
John King
John King महीने पहले
When I was a child there was a Bailey bridge across a river near my home. I think it was a replacement for a bridge that had been destroyed by the Germans and it made a loud noise as vehicles drove across its wooden planl decking. It was a local landmark but the thing that just surprised me was discovering that its name was the name of the its inventor.70 years ago I just thought it was a place name like Waterloo Bridge or London Bridge.
Hugh Tran
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russell egan
russell egan महीने पहले
Succinct, well presented and informative, thank you.
Van Der Lay Industries
Van Der Lay Industries महीने पहले
When the bridge (The Tasman Bridge) linking the eastern and western parts of the city I live in (Hobart, Tasmania, Australia) was partially demolished by a ship collision in the 1970s, a Bailey Bridge was constructed up river. It spanned a significant distance. I remember as a child driving over the bridge, and how it used to rattle. It served the city well for a number of years, until the bridge could be repaired, and was eventually replaced by a permanent bridge.
Stephen Birks
Stephen Birks महीने पहले
My fathers unit assembled those Bailey bridges during WW2 - ROYAL ENGINEERS 20th FIELD SQUADRON great informative video thank you ! Would build pontoon bridges too !
burb burb VETAvso1214
burb burb VETAvso1214 महीने पहले
Aluminium not Alumium lol
Kiwi Maker
Kiwi Maker महीने पहले
We use some of these as permanent road bridges in New Zealand’s west coast 😄
skunkhome महीने पहले
Spent several weeks learning to deploy the Bailey Bridge at Fort Belvoir, VA. Took quite a bit of engineering to launch successfully.
Martin Pook
Martin Pook महीने पहले
Six men, three round pieces of wood, the wood sits on the inside of your elbow, lift and trot. Line up the bottom pin then lift and insert the top one. Done it, if you are in the middle over rough ground you can end up with 200 pounds each. Thank heavens for the heavy version that needed a crane. Still a brilliant design even if the British army declared it obsolete 50 years ago.
M J महीने पहले
During hurricane Hazel, Toronto lost a number of bridges. And the Bailey bridge was used in a number of locations. In fact I drove over one last week. 60 years and still strong.
Bad Kitty No Milk Tonight
Bad Kitty No Milk Tonight महीने पहले
Watch "A Bridge Too Far" to see a Bailey Bridge constructed. Many Bailey Bridges later found their way to other third world countries, many are still in use today.
Iyoow Abukar
Iyoow Abukar महीने पहले
"Is the baliey's bridge one of the most important things in WW2? Its hard to say". Me: *clicks out of the video*
Hoa Tattis
Hoa Tattis महीने पहले
A great British design
John McMickle
John McMickle महीने पहले
The fact is people were still being trained no how to use a Bailey Bridge in the US military in the 1980's
Julie Enslow
Julie Enslow महीने पहले
I think - just from reading the comments - that this bridge still has a place serving as an emergency bridge all over the world. And there is no doubt it is in every country's military playbook as a tool when needed. A design that has proven useful for the ages - like the arch.
Ernie Lara
Ernie Lara महीने पहले
There's a Bailey bridgestill in use along Kenon road at Bued canyon on your away to Baguio city.
Stuart Farrell
Stuart Farrell महीने पहले
i built a few of them in my day in the army
Gasper Englemann
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mdesm2005 महीने पहले
6 people or 6 men could lift it?
John Augsburger
John Augsburger महीने पहले
Thanks so much
Eric Hurst
Eric Hurst महीने पहले
You never know who the hero will be.
Brian Ho
Brian Ho महीने पहले
Bailey Bridges are genius design. I have carried out a condition assessment on a Bailey bridge built by British Garrison in Hong Kong using War Time surplus material few years ago. The Bridge was approx 30m span with 30 ton vehicle loading capacity (actually tank load according to the design manual). The local authority worries the bridge was too old and unable to cope with local development (too many heavy traffic now). The bridge was in good condition with proper maintenence works at the time of inspection, which looks exactly the same type shown in this video. According to the design manual, the rectangular steel frame can be configured in various version. 1. LHS/RHS - single side frame. 2. LHS/RHS - double side frame 3. LHS/RHS - double side x double deck frame The more the frames, the longer the span of the bridge or the higher load capacity of the bridge. Very handy structural engineering application during war-time.
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Gilbert Santos
Gilbert Santos महीने पहले
Those bridges are a mainstay in the provinces here in the Philippines!
Jesse K
Jesse K महीने पहले
I'm sure someone is offended by the term "man-power." This video will be canceled soon! 🙄
TheMaskedMagic महीने पहले
big bob 169
big bob 169 महीने पहले
Please tell me that he got a medal or a knighthood .
Curtis Carpenter
Curtis Carpenter महीने पहले
Churchill toy shop was full of ideas about bombs, gadgets etc. The baily bridge, churchill tank, I salute you.🧠🤯
Gribbo9999 महीने पहले
Do you know a "metric ton" has a name? It's a "tonne" . Simple.
Andy C
Andy C महीने पहले
Good old British engineering...the factory is in Christchurch, Dorset
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