French Bridge Train Cos, Hvy Bridge Cos, and Pontoon Bridge Bttn

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gregorianchant
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French Bridge Train Cos, Hvy Bridge Cos, and Pontoon Bridge Bttn

Post by gregorianchant » 21 Dec 2020 23:30

I am trying to understand how French bridge engineering units were used/equipped, and had the following questions I was hoping someone may be able to provide some guidance on:

I believe there were 22 Bridge Train Companies raised for the general reserve separate from the Bridge Train Companies that were organic to the Army Corp Engineer Battalions and the Cavalry and Light Mechanized Divisional Engineer Battalions, but not clear to me and was hoping someone could confirm either way.

I know each Bridge Train Company carried either a M 1930, M 1935, or M 1901-35 Bridge.

I think the Heavy Bridge Companies did not carry any M 1930, M 1935 or M 1901-35 Bridge. Instead I believe they constructed bridges from construction materials. I know they built Pont Pireaud and Eiffel Bridges. Did they carry pre-manufactured sections of those bridges?

Did the Pontoon Bridge Battalions carry any pre-manufactured bridges/pontoons? Or was it used to manufacture/assemble either from construction materials or from a bridge that was transported by a Bridge Train Company?

I have been reading Lee Sharp's The French Army (Volume VI, Part 1) and Handbook of the French Army 1940 (Imperial War Museum). I have also consulted online Les unités du génie en 1939 - 1940 by Colonel Francois Eglemme (using Google Translate to read in English). Thank you in advance for any insights!

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Loïc
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Re: French Bridge Train Cos, Hvy Bridge Cos, and Pontoon Bridge Bttn

Post by Loïc » 27 Dec 2020 02:26

There were 48 Compagnies d'Equipage de Pont
-22 compagnies of the Engineers General Reserve
-23 companies in 23 Army Corps, missing one it seems at the XXXIIIrd Army Corps
-3 divisional companies of the DLM (not counting the 3 disbanded of the Cavalry Divisions until february 1940)

these companies only transport they don't build
http://www.atf40.fr/ATF40/divers/Cie%20 ... 20pont.pdf
contrary to the 7 Pontoneers Battalions and 17 Heavy Bridge Companies

can't precise the details about their materials

the 7 Pontoneers Battalions built only light bridges as the Sappers-Miners, being normally used as

- crossing major and fast current rivers, with or without the help of other elements (sappers-miners, heavy bridges companies, auxiliaries companies)
- the simplest work to strengthen the works of art, to reinforce the bridges established by sappers-miners and the construction of bridges on fixed or floating supports
- destruction of all kinds and more particularly of road structures; looking and the neutralization of enemy devices in engineering structures in conquered terrain.

pontoneers may be also possibly responsible for work similar to that of sappers-miners (light bridges of various types, roads, country fortifications, installation of troops) that they execute alone or in reinforcement of the sappers-miners. They do not participate, in principle, in the war of mines.

while the construction of metal bridges and booms great length, reinforcement of important structures are carried out by Heavy Bridge Companies or by civil enterprise.

Règlement sur la manoeuvre et l'emploi du génie. Deuxième partie. Rôle et emploi du génie en campagne 1939

gregorianchant
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Joined: 26 Jul 2020 20:20
Location: Boston

Re: French Bridge Train Cos, Hvy Bridge Cos, and Pontoon Bridge Bttn

Post by gregorianchant » 04 Jan 2021 06:35

Thank you Loic, that is helpful!

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