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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: 30 Jul 1940 President of Estonia, Konstantin Päts, is imprisoned by Soviet agents and deported to Russia.  More 
30 Jul 1944 Operation Bluecoat begins, an attack by British Second Army supporting breakout in Normandy, aimed to secure the Vire junction and high ground of Mont Pinçon [30 Jul-7 Aug].
30 Jul 1945 USS Indianapolis [CA-35] torpedoed by Japanese submarine, sinks in 12 minutes killing 300 immediately, leaving 900 men in shark-infested waters without lifeboats; only 316 rescued 4 days later.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

M-2 Halftrack (G-102)

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

Vehicles of Co. A, 801st Tank Destroyer Bn., pass through Montebourg, France, 21 July 1944.  An M20 Armored 6x6 Utility Car is to the left, a jeep and 3/4 ton weapons carrier are toward the right side, and an M3 Halftrack towing a 3-inch antitank gun is in the foreground.
USMC M2 Halftrack used as a communications vehicle, Marshall Islands, 1 February 1944.
M3 37mm antitank gun crew ready for action, Second Army maneuvers in Louisiana, 11 September 1941.  M2 halftrack in background.  Members of the crew (left to right): CPL Roy Greer of Pocahontas, VA, PFC Albert Heinsohn of La Grange, TX, PVT Walter Gering of Chicago, IL, PVT John Miller of Ritzville, WA, and PFC Taft H. Boggs of Cumberland, KY.
Andrew Camp, playing as a German, is 'gunned down' by Jonnie Johnson manning the American M2 halftrack during his suicide run near Argonne Parade Field, F.E. Warren Air Force Base, 22 July 2007. The American and German camps at Fort D.A. Russell Days performed a fictional World War II skirmish using authentic clothing, vehicles and weapons.
M-2 Halftracks, undergoing inspections at the factory of White Motor Company, Cleveland, OH, December 1941.
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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