Pegasus Bridge

This model celebrates the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings ((6th June 1944) in Normandy, France, and the capture and defence of the Pegasus Bridge.

The Pegasus rolling lift bridge spans part of the Caan canal in Normandy, France. It was built in 1934 and was the subject of an operation by the British 6th Airborne Division in 1944 to capture, defend and hold it against attack until relieved by D-Day invasion forces. The 6th were despatched in gliders to land nearby.

The bridge was originally named Benouville after the nearby village, but after its successful capture it was renamed Pegasus Bridge in honour of the operation and the emblem of the flying horse worn by the British airborne forces.

In 1994 (the 50th anniversary) the Pegasus Bridge structure was replaced by a new slightly larger design, when the earlier version was moved to a nearby site, which forms part of the Pegasus Bridge Museum.

The bridges are of a particular sub-group of rolling bridge known as ‘Scherzer rolling lift bascule bridges’. William Scherzer (1858–1893) was an American bridge designer/builder who, during his short life, made significant contributions to bridge design and construction.

The Scherzer patented principle is to roll the structure on a curved treadplate, causing its axis of roll to move away from, and the structure to retract from, the pier/waters edge, thereby maximising clearance for vessels to pass.

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