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M-2 Halftrack

The M-2 Halftrack is similar to the slightly larger and more common M-3 Halftrack, produced at the same time during WW II. To distinguish the M2 from the M3 halftrack, the longer M3 body extends further beyond the tracks while the M2 body stops close to the end of the tracks and has a step at the rear. The M2 had no rear access door, which would be blocked by its machine-gun skate rail. The driver area of the M2 halftrack is separated from the rear compartment by storage bins, accessed by doors on the sides of the vehicle. Note: halftrack is sometimes spelled "halftrac".

The M2A1 halftrack, fielded in 1943, had a ring mount machine gun that replaced the machine-gun skate rail. During the production life of the M2 many small changes were made, in parallel with the M3, including spring-loaded idlers, demountable headlights moved from the fenders to the side of the hood, mine racks, and a winch.

The M-4 Mortar Carrier Halftrack is based on the M2 Halftrack.

Armored unit M-2 Halftrack during training at Fort Benning, GA, April-June 194
Armored unit M-2 Halftrack during training at Fort Benning, GA, April-June 1942.

Today in WW II: 24 Apr 1945 Retreating German troops in Italy destroy all the bridges over the Adige in Verona, including the historical Ponte di Castelvecchio and Ponte Pietra.   

M-2 Halftrack (G-102)

Find additional photos and hi-res versions of the M-2 Halftrack at the Olive-Drab Military Mashup:

M2 halftrack camouflaged for European winter conditions, near Thionville, France, 12 January 1944.
A column of halftracks, advancing along a road during the training period in England. The lead vehicle is an M2 halftrack.  Following vehicles are 75mm Gun Motor Carriages M3, the first standardized US self-propelled, high-mobility  antitank weapon used in World War II. The M3 GMC was replaced in March 1944 by the 76mm Motor Gun Carriage M18, then declared obsolete in September 1944.
Armored vehicles of the 46th Tank Bn, 13th Armored Div, 1943.  From left to right:  Ford GPA amphibian, MB/GPW jeep, M2/M3 halftrack, M5A1 Stuart light tank, M4 Sherman medium tank, M8 75mm HMC, M3A1 Scout Car, M6 GMC.
M-2 Halftrack on display at the Museum of the Marine's book fair and living history display at Barnes and Noble, near Marine Corps Base Camp LeJeune, Jacksonville, NC, 20 May 2011.
US Army vehicles move through the Huertgen Forest, circa October 1944.  CCKW 2 1/2-ton trucks, jeep, M2 halftrack.
US Soldiers of the armored forces training in M-2 halftrack scout cars at Fort Benning, GA, April-June 1942.

M-2 Halftrack Photo Gallery

M2 halftrack, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. Photo: Popular Science Magazine, August 1941
M2 halftrack, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. Photo: Popular Science Magazine, August 1941.

Assembly line for production of M-2 Halftracks at the Diebold Safe and Lock Company, Canton, OH, December 1941.  The bodies were made in this plant and mounted on chassis produced in a converted automobile plant.
Assembly line for production of M-2 Halftracks at the Diebold Safe and Lock Company, Canton, OH, December 1941. The bodies were made in this plant and mounted on chassis produced in a converted automobile plant.

Philippine Scouts M2 Halftrack, December 1941. Photo: Life Magazine, 22 December 1941, P28
Philippine Scouts M2 Halftrack, December 1941. Photo: Life Magazine, 22 December 1941, P28.

M-2 Halftrack at Fort Benning, GA, April-June 1942
An M-2 half-track during training at Fort Benning, GA, April-June 1942. The other halftracks in the photo are M-3 halftracks with the longer body.

M2 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) followed by M3 Gun Motor Carriage halftracks
M2 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) followed by column of M3 Gun Motor Carriage halftracks.
Thanks to Steve Allen and Bukvoed for correct identification.

M-2 Halftrack at the Musée des Blindés (Armor Museum), Saumur, France in 2003. Photo: Courtesy of Jeff Hollerman
M-2 Halftrack at the Musée des Blindés (Armor Museum), Saumur, France in 2003. Photo: Courtesy of Jeff Hollerman.

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