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Bailey Bridge

The revolutionary British invention of the Bailey Bridge takes centre stage in this Royal Engineer training film from the Second World War.

Amateur film 1944 11 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


Teamwork and camaraderie is not in short supply in this 1944 Royal Engineer training film. First, there’s time for the men to have a laugh and joke before hard work ensues as they construct a number of temporary bridges. They lift and position seemingly impossibly heavy bridges with great ease which the camera marvels over and exploits to great effect.

A Bailey Bridge is a portable form of bridge that was developed by the British during the Second World War. Bailey Bridges were extremely useful for the allies when enemy forces destroyed bridges during retreat. Despite being lightweight and easily transportable, the bridges were able to carry the weight of heavy vehicles and tanks. Experienced Royal Engineers were able to erect heavy-duty Bailey Bridges in less than 90 minutes. Bailey Bridges are still commonly used today as temporary bridges around the world.