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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: 19 Sep 1941 Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_NS_SEPARATOR in /big/dom/xolive_drab/www/od2/od2_support_functions.php(242) : eval()'d code on line 1 after a savage battle; pockets of resistence continue.  More 
19 Sep 1944 Battle of the Hürtgen Forest begins with a probe toward the town of Schmidt by US 60th Infantry Regiment.
19 Sep 1944 Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_NS_SEPARATOR in /big/dom/xolive_drab/www/od2/od2_support_functions.php(242) : eval()'d code on line 1.
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.
Halftrack Scout Car T14, prototype for the M2 halftrack, 1940.
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.
M-16 Gun Motor Carriage, Halftrack in Normandy, France, July 1944.  The M-16 is built on the M3 Halftrack as a platform for Quad-50 antiaircraft machine guns, consisting of four M2 HB .50 cal. machine guns in an electrically powered turret.  This vehicle was a weapon of an antiaircraft artillery unit, but the lack of enemy air activity in Normandy made possible its use in other roles.
Halftrack 81mm mortar carrier M21 maneuvering on a road in England during training for the D-Day invasion, circa spring 1944.
Shipment of M2 Halftracks on railroad flat cars, early in World War II.  Location and date unknown.

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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