Bailey Bridges were made up of elements which could be easily and rapidly assembled by a team of engineers. Forty Sappers could construct this bridge within two to three hours.
Thirty Bailey Bridges were built across the Caen Canal, River Orne and River Dives during the Battle of Normandy. The 6th Airborne Division also used them during the breakout in August 1944.
These bridges replaced those destroyed and were used in conjunction with local bridges, most of these being unable to support the weight of heavy military vehicles.
On 7th/8th June 1944 the first Bailey Bridge, built in Normandy, was installed across the Caen Canal near the Chateau de Benouville. The bridge was identical to this one. It allowed vehicles up to 30 tons to cross, Pegasus Bridge not having been designed for such heavy traffic.
The British Engineer, Donald Bailey designed and perfected this revolutionary type of Bridge which contributed, in no small measure, to the Allied victory.