Article The Building Of Neinberg Bridge/club Bridge


Mi Staff Sergeant
MI.Net Member
Sep 7, 2010
A great story must begin with the end. So here is the start photo.
Bear with me because the pictures will follow on in some sort of order.
In the beginning was a wreck. There is no using Neinberg Bridge. This photo post dates the Armistice amd is what my father had to deal with.
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You can't grasp the speed and scale of the military operation without the air reconnaissance photos. These are dated 23 Oct 1945. (I almost think that while the plane approached the job was done and dusted as it went overhead ;) )
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I am unsure where this fits the air photo set but it is dated 23 October 1945 and was included. Also it has, on the back,my fathers writing in pencil and an added location from another in ink. I think it is from the other side of the previous photos, and Anniversary Bridge carried the railway. See Google maps for more information
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I have to try to make sense of the sequence of events in the building of this bridge 70 years later. The document above is dated but I cant figure out when it arrives in the times of the archive. Some pictures are annotateded by my father on the reverse but I will try to make some order of it and as I add scans I will put my comments at the top and his notes underneath the photos. I assume you can't do the job at all unless you have the piling in place so that comes first in the series. He mentions a piling rig "HMS Topheavy" so although the first pic is a little out of sequence he names the rig and you can see the canvas cover it has and also identify the rig in later pictures. This one is a 17 x 23 cm print. It must have been taken from the centre of the bridge before the middle section was added to complete the span.
Packing on to which spans were launched,
Some pier details
on left, "HMS Topheavy", piling rig
Two postcard size pictures. The one with the pile driver on it has no notes . The line of planted trees is a good reference point in the pictures
Neinberg piers from East Bank
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The second one is a contact print and even more interesting as you can see "Anniversary Bridge" down stream and I was wrong before, it is a single track road bridge.
Neinberg East Timber approach

Ghost pier on barge
East side
I am thinking these are seen from Anniversary Bridge. HMS Topheavy is seen in the centre
Neinberg from South, on East Bank
The bridge is nearly done. I think the second photo shows how wonderful the construction work is. Dad was very proud of his bridge and talked about it and the icebreakers very often.
Ice protection is being built. We will see why shortly. The lower picture is a contact print
Neinberg looking East
Ice protection in hand
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Finished Bridge. Dad called it a "Tank Bridge ". I guess it could carry heavy armour. You can see the icebreakers very well

Completed bridge from upstream
The final pictures at present are the bridge in use.
A. 1/3 of Camp Bridge
Neinberg looking East
West end
In winter 1946 something happened and the bridge was tested
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View from Neinberg-Rahden railway bridge. (km 217.8, Sheet 3321 MR 979534)
Top- looking South West
Lower- looking upstream
Dad isn't in this photo but they were engineers who helped do the job
To Lt Col. RR. Gillespie. MC. RE
With the compliments of 629 Fd Sqn RE
Germany June 1945
That does the photo files and scanning the engineering designs and workings will take some time.
The following two scans are a useful closing.
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An absolutely brilliant pictorial account of what should only be described as a hugely important part of the war effort. I was fascinated by your photos and documents you have posted, thank you very much for sharing them with us.