Leaving the Staelduinse Forest and Hook of Holland after a long day of bunker hunting, we spotted this small Bailey Bridge in between two plots of farmland. The bridge apparently is in use by the farmer to cross from one plot to the other. The bridge is in a good shape and seems to have been fitted with a new deck.
The strip of farmland it connects lies along the Nieuw Oranjekanaal (New Orange Canal), that used to form the outer anti-tank trench of Festung Hook of Holland during the war. This so called “Festung” or “Fortress” formed an important strategic position along the Atlantic Wall as a German Kriegsmarine Harbour and the estuary of the Port of Rotterdam and was therefor fitted with a high concentration of bunker defenses.
The present Bailey bridge lies in between the former positions of Widerstandsnest 31H and Widerstandsnest 32H, whom both have been demolished. The bridge is not visible on the RAF aerial photographs dating from 28 August 1945, so it seems that the bridge was placed after the war.
A Modular Bridge
While working for the British War Office as a Civil Servant, Robert Bailey presented an idea for a strong and versatile, yet light weight and easy to construct modular bridge system. His design, that became known as the “Bailey Bridge” was successfully developed and adopted as the standard Military bridge from 1941. More then 2000 Bailey Bridges were constructed during the European campaign and after the war to restore Europe’s infrastructure.
This Bailey Bridge is in the farmlands along the Hoeksebaan road. Use our map to pin-point the location. Please be considerate when visiting this bridge as you are entering private farmland.