Tim Gosling looks at the specialist vehicles that were used by US Army Engineers to transport and assemble bridges during the liberation of Europe

GMC CCKW 353 Bolster truck transporting three M4 bridging pontoon sections
Wikimedia Commons

Long before the Normandy landings had even taken place, the engineers of the US Army were considering the type and number of pontoon bridges needed to move tanks and other vehicles across the many rivers during the liberation of Europe.

Although the US Army had been suitably impressed with the design of the modular British Bailey bridge, it was felt it could not be assembled quickly enough when attempting to consolidate a captured riverbank. It would be ideal for use in rear areas, but the army would instead resort to equipment of its own design.

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