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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: 26 Oct 1940 First flight of the North American Aviation P-51 Mustang aircraft, only 117 days after the Government contract was awarded.  More 
26 Oct 1942 Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands: US and Japanese naval forces clash in southern Solomons as Japanese try to prevent US forces from responding to ground offensive on Guadalcanal.
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:

M2 Halftrack on a rocky road in Alaska, circa 1942.
M3 Gun Motor Carriage, a mobile tank-destroyer based on the White M3 Halftrack with a mounted M1897 or M2 75mm field gun, firing at a tank in a training exercise at Ft. Meade, MD, 1941.
M2 Halftrack of the 22d Infantry, 4th Division (Motorized), during training maneuvers 16 October 1941.
M3 Gun Motor Carriage, a mobile tank-destroyer based on the White M3 Halftrack with a mounted M1897 or M2 75mm field gun. The gun and its shield were mounted in the cargo space of the halftrack, positioned to fire forward over the drivers compartment. Photo:  Popular Science, December 1941, P78.
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.
Trail run of the Alaska Territorial Cavalry (Motorized) by a 12 vehicle club convoy over 29 miles on the back roads of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK, 27 July 2011.  M2 Halftrack and Dodge WC trucks, both 3/4-ton 4x4 and 1 1/2-ton 6x6.

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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