The Bailey Bridge in Canadian Service
by John Sliz.
Canada’s Weapons of War Series, WOW037
A5 size softback, 24 pages
Review by Peter Brown
“During WW2 Canadian units used a range of different bridging equipment – see also wow029 – but from mid-1942 onwards the British-designed Bailey Bridge was the main type used for vehicle traffic. This system was based around a set of standard components which could be carried by a few men and assembled in various combinations to carry wheeled vehicles over dry gaps or on pontoons over rivers to replace existing damaged bridges or to create new ones.
It was used in action by Canadian forces in Sicily, Italy and the NW Europe campaign and was still in service in the 1990s. Its design and introduction into series as well as Canadian manufacture is covered here. Several accounts of bridges being built under fire and the various methods used are included, as well as mention of the very important but usually overlooked matter of supplying the parts to the front line.
Text is illustrated with several period black and white photos of bridges being built and used, some show the signboards used to identify individual bridges. A basic bridge is also shown in the centre-spread plan.
While the “fighting arms” of armies get the attention they rightly deserve, other arms and services can be overlooked. If nothing else, this book shows the importance of at least one of them.”