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Army may build Bailey Bridges in flood-hit Cumbria

troops crossing a Bailey Bridge

troops crossing a Bailey Bridge

The Army may be called in to build second world war style Bailey Bridges to replace Bridges washed away by flooding, the Daily Telegraph reports.

Personally, I feel that the civil authorities will probably not let the military show their skills. By calling in the Army Government and the local councils would be admitting that they cannot handle the situation. Which is a shame, because the Royal Engineers have always had first class bridging skills, and I doubt very much whether that has changed.

The only problem would be getting hold of enough Bailey bridge sections. Times gone by there were probably plenty stored around the country, however I would not be surprised if they have all been sold off to third world countries or for scrap metal.

Sir Donald Bailey’s invention was one of the technical marvels of the Second World War. Easy to produce, transport and erect, it was built out of a minimum of components but with maximum strength and flexibility. Hundreds were built during the war, many surviving for years afterwards. They were immortalised in Bridge too far as ‘that british precision built bridge, which is the envy of the civilized world?’

If they are good enough for the Army when under fire, in a hurry, with few tools or specialist equipment, and can carry tanks, I’m sure they would help out in Cumbria right now.


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Filed under Army, News, World War Two