Viewing this YouTube video of a Russian float bridge destroyed by artillery, I find myself puzzled.
For background, mid 1960’s I was an enlisted man in the 814th Engineer Company (Float Bridge), Pioneer Kaserne, Hanau, Germany. We were assigned to V Corps. During that assignment I participated in many exercises building both float bridges and float ferries.
These are old scanned black and white pictures from that time.
The long bridge in one photo was across the Rhine River near the site Patton’s Army crossed in WWII. The shorter bridge was across the Donau (Danube) in the dead of winter. This was under a smoke screen.
All of the pictures show some of the complexity of a float bridge operation. In our one company we had some 112 vehicles.
The Russian were using what we called mobile ferries or a variant.
Just the short bridge across the Donau was a 16 hour exercise. A mobile ferry company should have been able to do it in an hour or less if they have their shit together.
Back to the day. Not under direct artillery fire. Armor and infantry standing by to immediately cross the bridge to seize and control the terrain on the enemy side was the order of the day.
The realities of military bridging cannot have changed much. The Romans built a floating bridge across the Rhine. All that has changed is speed.