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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: 21 Apr 1943 Luftwaffe blitz raid on Aberdeen, Scotland is the worst there for WW II. 127 bombs dropped, 98 civilians and 27 servicemen killed, heavy property damage.  More 
21 Apr 1945 Soviet Red Army reaches Berlin.
21 Apr 1945 In Northern Italy, Bologna falls to the US 34th Infantry Division.
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:

Overhead view:  M21 Halftrack Mortar Carrier, an upgrade and replacement for the M4 and M4A1 Halftrack Mortar Carrier.  Production of the M21 Halftrack Mortar Carrier by White Motor Company started in January 1944 with a total of 110 vehicles produced before production was halted in March 1944.
M15A1 Halftrack, and air defense weapon that carried a 37mm automatic gun plus twin heavy barrel Browning M2 .50 cal. machine guns, U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery Museum, Fort Sill, OK. The M15A1 was based on the M3A1 halftrack with the M54 gun mount. The machine guns mounted below the level of the 37mm barrel, different from the M15.
Overhead view of the interior of an M2 Halftrack.  The M3 halftrack had a longer body and did not have the storage boxes between the driver and rear area, gaining capacity for more soldiers.
American 9th Infantry Division troops with M2 Halftrack and jeeps along the Bizerte beach shortly after the port fell, May 1943. Bizerte had been without running water for three months; typhus was present and cholera threatened.
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.
M3 75mm GMC (gun motor carriage, a heavy tank destroyer), Ft. Hood, TX, circa 1941-42. The M3 GMC was based on the White M3 Halftrack with a mounted M1897 or M2 75mm field gun.  The M3 in this photo is an early production unit lacking the larger shield of the later units.

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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