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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: 1 Sep 1939 German troops, tanks, and aircraft begin Blitzkrieg attack on Poland, the start of WW II in Europe.   

M-2 Halftrack (G-102)

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

M3 (or M2) Halftrack, an exhibit at the 1st Armored Division Old Ironsides museum, Baumholder, Germany. The museum closed its doors 13 July 2009, to relocate to Fort Bliss, TX.
M2 halftrack, Hawaii Military Vehicle Preservation Association, 2004. M4 Sherman medium tank in background. Location: Tropic Lightning Museum.
World War II M2A1 Halftrack is loaded on a truck, at the former 1st Armored Division Museum, in Baumholder, Germany, 21 Aug 2009. The Halftrack will transported to a port in the Netherlands, from where it will be shipped to Fort Bliss, Texas, the new home of 1AD Museum.
M-2 Halftrack with machine gun and rifles with fixed bayonets, circa 1941.  With the M-2 Halftrack, the machine gun is mounted on a skate rail that circles the rear compartment.
Soldiers wait in England for loading of their halftrack for transport to the D-Day landings, June 1944.  M2 .50 cal. machine gun.
Soldiers of the 3rd Army Engineers fire an M-1917 .30 cal. water-cooled machine gun from the rear of an M2 halftrack during maneuvers in Louisiana, 23 August 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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