Military Review

Foldable boat equipment. Folding Boat Equipment (FBE)

53

The Morris Commercial C8 FAT artillery tractor with a 25-pounder howitzer cannon moves along a pontoon ferry.


Even the ancient armies faced the need to cross various water barriers. One of the oldest options for military bridge equipment appears to be the pontoon bridge. Pontoon crossings in the form of a "boat bridge" have been used since the days of Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece. So, during the First Dacian War in 200 BC, Roman military engineers coped with the task of building a large pontoon bridge over the Danube.

The pontoon bridge built by the Romans rested on boats. In their simplest form, pontoons in those years were a kind of set of boats that were shallow in the water, which were connected to each other, a deck or flooring was installed on top of the boats. Such a pontoon was erected on rivers and canals and used to transport troops and goods. The reality is that since then there have been no significant changes in the organization of pontoon crossings. The changes mainly affected the materials used and the overall load capacity of the structures.

Following a similar principle in the UK, in the period before World War II, a whole series of light pontoon bridges were created under the designation Folding Boat Equipment, or FBE for short. Literal translation - folding boat equipment or folding boat equipment.

Such lightweight pontoon bridges proved to be effective engineering equipment, widely used by the British army, as well as by the armies of the Dominions. For example, Canadians, during the Second World War in various theaters of military operations. Used these transportable and easily installed structures and the US military.

Foldable Boat Equipment (FBE)


Folding boat equipment is the name of a British transportable bridge system that could be used as a pontoon bridge, raft, ferry, or general purpose boats. The design, which received the British designation Folding Boat Equipment (FBE), was introduced in the late 1920s and fully satisfied the needs of British military engineers.


Folding Boat Equipment Mark II

This engineering equipment was mass-produced in Great Britain all the pre-war years and was modernized several times. By the beginning of the war, there were three modifications of folding boat equipment in service.

These lightweight pontoon bridges were widely used by the British military throughout the Second World War, both in the European theater of operations and in Asia. Along with the modular bridges and Bailey pontoons, the FBE lightweight pontoon bridges provided invaluable assistance to the Allied forces in the liberation of Western Europe from fascism.

Despite the fact that the design of the FBE was extremely successful and was widely used by military engineers of the British and Canadian armies, as well as by American troops, the general public knows little about these amphibious vehicles.

Folding Boat Equipment was adopted in 1928. The lightweight pontoon bridge was designed to provide the fastest possible transfer of light vehicles, artillery and infantry to the other side of water bodies in order to immediately support assault teams. Deploying such pontoon bridges on the ground took much less time than deploying heavy pontoons capable of supporting the weight tanks and other heavy tracked vehicles.


Folding boat from the Folding Boat Equipment set

In the mid-1930s, the design was slightly improved. The new version received the designation Folding Boat Equipment Mk. II.

The difference with the Mark I variant was minimal: the bridge girders were wider, and the wooden ramp conveyor belts were replaced with steel ones. At the same time, the carrying capacity of the raft being assembled has slightly increased.

The most common version was the Mark III, created in 1939 and actively used throughout the war years. The steel guides, supports and overpasses introduced into the structure made it possible to organize light ferry bridges capable of handling equipment weighing up to 9-10 tons.

Composition and application possibilities of Folding Boat Equipment


The basis of the entire set of landing equipment was made up of foldable boats, which gave the name to the entire set. A feature of the project was that when folded, the boats were almost flat, which ensured ease of transportation and storage. Each boat consisted of three half-inch (1,27 cm) thick plywood panels interconnected with waxed canvas. With the raised sides and fixed struts, the boat received the required structural rigidity.

The FBE boat was 21 feet 11 inches (approximately 668 cm) long and 6 feet 8 inches (approximately 203 cm) wide. When unfolded with struts in place, the boat was 2 feet 11 inches (approximately 89 cm) high. Each boat weighed 940 pounds or 426 kg.

When used as a regular boat, it could easily ferry 16 soldiers with a personal weapons and equipment. As a rule, the boat was propelled by oars, but the Coventry Victor outboard gasoline engine, which develops a power of 7,5 liters, could be used. with. In addition, the FBE kit included a rubber reconnaissance boat.

Foldable boat equipment. Folding Boat Equipment (FBE)
Folding Boat Equipment Raft with ramps

It was easy to create a cargo raft or ferry from two boats.

A cargo raft with ramps was assembled from two boats, which were interconnected by two wooden beams, laid and fixed across the boats along their entire width. The ramp conveyor belts were laid on these beams, and the belts were 14 feet (426,7 cm) long. The transoms were equipped with 9 feet (274,3 cm) lifting ramps.

Such a raft had a carrying capacity of three tons and could transport wheeled vehicles to the other side, which independently entered and exited the raft. This was convenient, since in some cases any engineering work to prepare the coastal strip was excluded. This means that the transfer of equipment could be carried out as soon as possible.

The raft was driven either by oars or by outboard motors. Also, using such a raft, it was possible to organize a ferry crossing. According to the regulations, the raft was assembled in five minutes. at night the standard doubled.


Deck raft FBE Mk. III, crossing a 25-pounder howitzer cannon and a jeep in Burma.

The second option for the construction of the raft provided for the arrangement of the deck.

The deck raft increased the carrying capacity to 4,5 tons (in the Mk. III version - up to 5,2 tons). The design also used two boats, but the deck was placed perpendicular to their length (in the version with ramps, transport belts went along the boats).

The deck decks were made of wood using Douglas fir. Despite the increase in carrying capacity, this option was less flexible and more difficult to operate. Since the loading and unloading of equipment required the presence of a pier or assembled ramps on both banks.

Several interconnected FBE rafts formed bridge spans, which, with the addition of overpasses, turned into a light ferry crossing. It was possible to increase the carrying capacity of the crossing by articulating the two boats.

The maximum lifting capacity of the pontoon bridges, assembled using the FBE Mark III kits, reached 9-10 tons. They had to withstand a fully loaded 3,5-ton truck and a 25-pound howitzer cannon with a tractor.


Diagram of a light pontoon crossing from the FBE Mk. III

Since the landing craft was collapsible and collapsible, their transportation was simplified. For the transportation of folding boat equipment, special modifications of the Albion BY5 truck were usually used, each of which could carry three boats in a folded state. Additionally, it was possible to use wheeled trailers, also designed to carry three boats folded.

Collapsible boat equipment, developed in the interwar period, performed well during the Second World War. The equipment was produced throughout the war years without significant changes and remained in service even after the end of hostilities.

Among other things, even in the pre-war years, FBE kits were used in the UK and for civilian purposes. For example, during the flood in Fenland in 1937.


Albion BY5 truck converted to transport folding boats.
Author:
Photos used:
https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/
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  1. Hunter 2
    Hunter 2 1 February 2021 18: 50
    +8
    Tyumen Higher Military Engineering Command School named after Marshal of Engineering Troops A.I. Proshlyakova - Located in My City! For a whole week, swimming and sunbathing with my Son, we watched the exercises of the Cadets on Lake Andreevskoye (there is a training ground). We saw - Everything, the building of bridges and crossings, including, were impressed ... from the number and variety of equipment - just dazzled in the eyes! Well done Military Engineers !!! good
    1. Catfish
      Catfish 1 February 2021 19: 05
      +3
      Alexey, hi. smile

      Here I look at a photo of British cars of those times, and the thought arises, why did they rivet such freaks, because you can't confuse it with anything - if it's clumsy, it means Brit. laughing
      1. Lipchanin
        Lipchanin 1 February 2021 19: 30
        +1
        Quote: Sea Cat
        if clumsy - then Brit.

        "I recognize the darling by walking" lol
      2. Hunter 2
        Hunter 2 1 February 2021 19: 42
        +4
        Quote: Sea Cat


        Here I look at a photo of British cars of those times, and the thought arises, why did they rivet such freaks, because you can't confuse it with anything - if it's clumsy, it means Brit. laughing

        Greetings Konstantin! yes Maybe they have a “surrealistic perception of the World! belay Why riveted? Continue in the same spirit! British Saxon look laughing which the APU - somersault! negative
        1. Catfish
          Catfish 1 February 2021 19: 47
          +3
          I saw this "handsome" laughing he does not need any weapons, you will come to horror from one sight, some kind of homemade product from the post-apocalypse times. negative
          1. Hunter 2
            Hunter 2 1 February 2021 19: 58
            +2
            Quote: Sea Cat
            I saw this "handsome" laughing he does not need any weapons, you will come to horror from one sight, some kind of homemade product from the post-apocalypse times. negative

            This is apparently also the calculation laughing ... if you don't die of laughter right away, with a twitching eye belay how to direct funds to him?
            But seriously, the British, in view of their island placement, do not seem to really need Armored Vehicles, they are financed by them on a leftover basis.
            1. Catfish
              Catfish 1 February 2021 20: 53
              +5
              And it seems that the "Chieftain" they were not bad, and about "Centurion" read only positive reviews, with the exception of its weight. And the old armored cars "Ferret" with "Saracen" were also on business.
      3. Potter
        Potter 1 February 2021 19: 51
        +9
        In the photo, by the way, a semi-armored artillery tractor Morris Commercial C8, 4x4. Typical view of a standard WWII British army vehicle. It may be scary, but I think our artillerymen in 1941-42 would not have given up on such a machine at all.
        1. Hunter 2
          Hunter 2 1 February 2021 20: 00
          +3
          The Red Army still preferred US equipment. Although you are right, 41 - 42g, there was an urgent need for army tractors and cars.
        2. Catfish
          Catfish 1 February 2021 20: 40
          +2
          At that time, I think, not only the artillerymen would not have given up much, and even then they did not refuse.
          1. mr.ZinGer
            mr.ZinGer 1 February 2021 21: 12
            +2
            You can be clumsy, but you can also brutal
      4. Professor
        Professor 1 February 2021 20: 31
        +7
        Quote: Sea Cat
        Alexey, hi. smile

        Here I look at a photo of British cars of those times, and the thought arises, why did they rivet such freaks, because you can't confuse it with anything - if it's clumsy, it means Brit. laughing

        1. Armor steel loses its properties when bent. Straight sheets provide the highest level of protection.
        2. The absence of the need to bend the sheets reduces the cost of production and repair.
        3. They are generally unique on the island. What is only worth their system of units. And driving on the other side of the road ... wassat
        1. Catfish
          Catfish 1 February 2021 20: 42
          +3
          They are generally unique on the island. What is it worth ...

          Their "Sten" is a masterpiece of arms art. wink
        2. Undecim
          Undecim 1 February 2021 21: 45
          +2
          Armor steel loses its properties when bent. Straight sheets provide the highest level of protection.
          Morris Commercial C8 FAT was not booked.
      5. Undecim
        Undecim 1 February 2021 20: 54
        +4
        Here I look at a photo of British cars of those times, and the thought arises, why did they rivet such freaks,
        First, it is the Morris Commercial C8 FAT artillery tractor, whose task is to effectively tow the artillery gun. Design is secondary for him, the main thing is functionality.
        And the British went to show off in other cars.

        Rolls-Royce Phantom I Jonckheere Coupe, 1934.

        Phantom Corsair - 1938


        1. Catfish
          Catfish 1 February 2021 21: 03
          0
          This is all clear, I just meant that British military equipment is very easy to recognize at first glance, joke. smile
          1. Sling cutter
            Sling cutter 1 February 2021 22: 20
            +15
            Quote: Sea Cat
            This is all clear, I just meant that British military equipment is very easy to recognize at first glance,

            There are also Guardian wonders, the one who saw will never forget wassat

            And on the other hand
            1. Catfish
              Catfish 1 February 2021 22: 23
              +2
              Well, if these wagons were from Delaye, then they made very good cars, and prestigious cars were valued at the level of Royce.
              1. Sling cutter
                Sling cutter 1 February 2021 22: 32
                +17
                Quote: Sea Cat
                Well, if these wagons were from Delaye, then they made very good cars, and prestigious cars were valued at the level of Royce.

                I am reminded of films with Louis de Funes and the chaises in which they moved laughing

                Although the post-war French must be given their due.
                1. Catfish
                  Catfish 1 February 2021 22: 41
                  +2
                  So it's all Renault with Citroens, and by the time these films were released, Delaye was already dead, unfortunately. Go to Shpakovsky, where Vic posted photos of the car of this company.
                  1. Sling cutter
                    Sling cutter 1 February 2021 22: 51
                    +12
                    Delahaye is the one that was ahead of its time, its cars were considered the most reliable in the world!
                    1. Catfish
                      Catfish 1 February 2021 22: 59
                      +2
                      "Cool cars" (c)
                      The girl is also very good. good
                      1. Sling cutter
                        Sling cutter 1 February 2021 23: 10
                        +12
                        Quote: Sea Cat
                        The girl is also very good

                        Good devil and again by night wassat
                      2. Catfish
                        Catfish 1 February 2021 23: 54
                        +2
                        "What to do, Faust ..." (c) smile
    2. The comment was deleted.
    3. for
      for 1 February 2021 21: 21
      +1
      Quote: Sea Cat
      if clumsy - then Brit.

      Maybe the reason is this.
      http://btvt.narod.ru/1/tankdesign.htm
      I read somewhere for a long time that one of the assessments was the appearance of a frightening enemy.
      Of course, on the outside, beautiful and formidable to sleep three, but the names are simply touches.
  2. Kote Pan Kokhanka
    Kote Pan Kokhanka 1 February 2021 19: 06
    +5
    Hi Alexey - I even swallowed a little with envy ...
    Now to the article.
    Pontoon crossings in the form of a "boat bridge" have been used since the days of Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece.

    If only the Persian king Darius was the first! Who fought with the Scythians. Then the Persians repeated this technique twice, but during the expansion against the policies of Hellas! However, the ancestors of the Iranians were funny guys, for example, in the lungs they could "whip the sea" nafig to destroy bridges and sink ships !!! laughing
    1. Hunter 2
      Hunter 2 1 February 2021 19: 50
      +3
      Quote: Kote Pan Kokhanka
      Hi Alexey - I even swallowed a little with envy ...

      Greetings Vladislav hi ! Yes, the spectacle I will say - IMPRESSES !!! Even I looked with an open mouth, about Small - generally keep quiet, super emotions good Moreover, we hold the engineering stage of the Army Games (which we visit) - there is not even a tenth of the program completed by the Cadets! Well, it's not for nothing that half of our Cadets are foreigners ... a very high status of the university, it's funny to watch a company from Nigeria or Vietnam march on Victory Day laughing And God knows where request
      1. sgapich
        sgapich 1 February 2021 23: 40
        +1
        Quote: Hunter 2
        ... it's funny to watch a company from Nigeria or Vietnam march on Victory Day laughing And God knows where request


        These are kind of from Angola. laughing
    2. Mister X
      Mister X 1 February 2021 20: 47
      +3
      Quote: Kote pane Kohanka
      for example, in the lungs could "whip the sea" nafig to destroy bridges and sink ships !!!

      hi
      The same Persians used inflated waterskins as an individual means of crossing.

      A warrior floating across the river on an inflated waterskin

      Many ancient peoples made pontoons of whole skins of large animals, which were inflated like a wineskin.
    3. Undecim
      Undecim 1 February 2021 21: 12
      +2
      The first, as always, were the Chinese, in the XNUMXth or XNUMXth centuries BC.
  3. Alien From
    Alien From 2 February 2021 04: 23
    +1
    Comrade Hunter! Gold in your words!)
  4. pmkemcity
    pmkemcity 2 February 2021 05: 39
    +1
    Quote: Hunter 2
    Well done Military Engineers !!!

    A grateful topic for the authors, these foreign armies are a bunch of materials, no secrets and, most importantly, no specialists. After all, try it, write about our engineers, they will immediately correct you, explain all the subtleties, and all this in juicy language flavored with narrowly professional terms.
  • SaLaR
    SaLaR 1 February 2021 18: 51
    +1
    I would like such a boat for fishing ...)
    1. Kote Pan Kokhanka
      Kote Pan Kokhanka 1 February 2021 19: 07
      +3
      Quote: SaLaR
      I would like such a boat for fishing ...)

      Better on a tank for crabs !!! laughing
      1. Lipchanin
        Lipchanin 1 February 2021 19: 31
        +1
        Quote: Kote pane Kohanka
        Better on a tank for crabs !!!

        On a helicopter for lol ducks
      2. Catfish
        Catfish 1 February 2021 19: 39
        +5
        On the tank it is better for women! "We swam, we know" (c) laughing soldier
        1. Kote Pan Kokhanka
          Kote Pan Kokhanka 1 February 2021 19: 54
          +2
          Quote: Sea Cat
          On the tank it is better for women! "We swam, we know" (c) laughing soldier

          That's right, Uncle Kostya, first for the "women". then go with them for a crab! drinks
          1. Catfish
            Catfish 1 February 2021 20: 43
            +3
            Better for crayfish, somehow it will turn out closer. wink
            1. Gato
              Gato 1 February 2021 22: 02
              +3
              Go fishing

              for the "women". then with them for a crab

              Not optimal. Compromise option repeat :
              1. Catfish
                Catfish 1 February 2021 22: 19
                0
                There was such an anecdote about the steamer, Boatswain, Mermaid and the crew. The sailors caught the mermaid and dragged her into the cockpit.
                Towards the boatswain and orders:
                -- Overboard!
                Sailors:
                But why !?
                Boatswain:
                But how? request
                1. Gato
                  Gato 1 February 2021 23: 48
                  +1
                  But how?

                  Yes, it was an English boatswain. French wouldn't ask such stupid questions lol
                  1. Catfish
                    Catfish 1 February 2021 23: 53
                    +1
                    Yes, for sure. wink
    2. Potter
      Potter 1 February 2021 19: 42
      +3
      A similar boat from our NLP park weighed 450kg. A bit hard for fishing.
    3. bk316
      bk316 1 February 2021 21: 15
      +3
      I would like such a boat to go fishing ...

      God forbid. You are probably very far from fishing.
      Send photos of boats for fishing?
  • Mister X
    Mister X 1 February 2021 19: 09
    +3
    The reality is that ever since significant changes in the organization of pontoon crossings Did not happen... The changes mainly affected the materials used and the overall load capacity of the structures.
    Author: Yuferev Sergey

    How did it not happen?
    The pontoons became self-propelled.
    GSP (self-propelled tracked ferry)
    PMM-2 (ferry bridge machine)
    BMM "Lin" (Coastal Bridge Machine) - limited edition

    1. Catfish
      Catfish 1 February 2021 19: 41
      +2
      Hi Michael! hi
      Absolutely correct remark.
      1. Mister X
        Mister X 1 February 2021 20: 35
        +3
        Quote: Sea Cat
        Hi Michael!

        Hi Constantine! hi
        My cousin served in Czechoslovakia, engineering troops.
        It was from him that I learned for the first time about such colossus.
        He served on PTS-2
        1. Catfish
          Catfish 1 February 2021 20: 50
          +2
          During the second riot in Moscow, this bandura was brought to the White House from somewhere, and they went to capture Ostankino.
          How it all ended is well known.
    2. Potter
      Potter 1 February 2021 20: 15
      +6
      I will develop your idea - global changes took place at the turn of the 1950s-60s with the invention of the PMP park by Colonel Glazunov and its adoption. Before that, there really was a classic - floating supports in the form of boats or pontoons and the upper structure - spans with a carriageway. The PMP park combined the functions of a floating support and a carriageway in a folding pontoon. And the design of the locks made it possible to assemble the bridge in half an hour, instead of tens of hours earlier. With the reduction of the calculation of the pontoon fleet also dozens of times. It is indicative that an unlicensed copy of the park was created in the USA.
      Other revolutionary designs include quickly erected inventory bridges (MARM, SARM, BARM), screw piles for the quick erection of supports under these bridges, and a set of bridge-building tools "Prolet", including installations for screwing piles.
  • Potter
    Potter 1 February 2021 19: 40
    +6
    Bridges, pontoon parks are my specialty, both military and civil. Build, blow up and rebuild. Thank you for the article!
    In the USSR, at the same time, a similar concept was created for the NLP pontoon park, which was in service with the rifle division of the pre-war state. Carrying capacity up to 16t, that is, a BT or T-50 tank. Folding boats made of bakelized plywood. It is possible that the NLP park was created under the influence of the English park. The layout of the boats of the English pontoon park is shown in the film "A Bridge Too Far" by D. Attenborough about the famous Operation Market Garden.
    1. Catfish
      Catfish 1 February 2021 20: 48
      0
      They had a book called "The Bridge on the River Kwai", then they made a film in which they perverted the main idea of ​​the book. The book is good and the film is bad. If someone is not familiar, I recommend the book first, and the film only as an illustration of that theater of military operations.
  • for
    for 1 February 2021 21: 23
    0
    Not much out of topic, maybe anyone is interested.
    http://tutunnikovnn.ucoz.ru/3714.pdf
  • abrakadabre
    abrakadabre 1 February 2021 21: 24
    +4
    So, during the First Dacian War in 200 BC
    What? !!!
    First Dacian - 85 AD, Emperor Domitian
    Second Dacian - 89 AD, aka
    Third Dacian - AD 101-102, Emperor Trajan
    The fourth Dacian is AD 105, aka.
    Correct the article.
    And then, from the mega-super-pontoon bridges, before the Romans, the Persians nevertheless noted in the Greco-Persian wars.