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FM 5-277


This manual is intended for use by engineer bridge to the British War Office which paid
commanders, staff officers, combat engi- him the equivalent of $48,000 in 1985
neers, and bridge specialists who are required American currency.
to build the Bailey bridge.
The Bailey bridge used in World War II was
The purpose of this manual is to provide the designed to be moved, rebuilt, or replaced in
user instructions needed to build the standard several hours, even under enemy fire. It was
Bailey bridge and its several variants. It used widely and well by Allied armies in Italy
describes bridge components, loading and and northwest Europe, 1943-45. British Field
transport, methods of assembly, and main- Marshal Lord Bernard Law Montgomery
tenance. It also describes special applica- said: “Without the Bailey bridge, we should
tions, such as two-lane, extra-wide, deck, not have won the war. It was the best thing in
railway, pier- and barge-supported bridges, that line we ever had.” Donald Bailey was
and towers built from Bailey bridge compo- knighted in 1946 for this contribution to the
nents. Allied victory in World War II.

The Bailey bridge has several distinctive

features. It is built by manpower alone. It is
made entirely from prefabricated parts, the The proponent agency of this publication is
most notable of which are its light-steel the US Army Engineer School. Submit
panels linked by pinned joints. It is a changes for improving this publication on
‘through-type bridge. And it can be moved DA Form 2028 (Recommended Changes to
from one site to another. Publications and Blank Forms) and forward
to Commandant, US Army Engineer School,
The Bailey bridge was invented by Donald ATTN: ATZA-TD-P, Fort Belvoir, Virginia
Coleman Bailey, an English civil engineer. 22060-5291.
In 1941, Bailey gave his first sketch of the