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M-4 High Speed Tractor

The M4 18-ton High Speed Tractor was designed as a prime mover for towing large field artillery guns such as the 90mm Anti-Aircraft gun, the 155mm Long Tom, the 8in. Howitzer, or other heavy weapons (See the Towed Artillery Chart). In addition to moving the gun, the M-4 High Speed Tractor carried ammunition in cargo space racks. Ten men plus the driver could be carried. The M-4 HST was manufactured by Allis-Chalmers Mfg. Co. of Milwaukee, WI starting in 1942 and was in U.S. military service until approximately 1960.

The M-4 High Speed Tractor was equipped with air and electric brakes that would match any types of brakes on the towed load.

An anti-aircraft .50 cal. machine gun on a ring mount was accessed through a hatch above the crew compartment.

M-4 High Speed Tractor
M-4 High Speed Tractor

Today in WW II: 30 Aug 1941 German Lorenz SZ40 teleprinter operator sent a 4,000 character message twice, allowing British mathematician Bill Tutte and others at Bletchley Park to decipher the machine's coding mechanism.  More 
30 Aug 1942 Germany formally annexes Luxembourg to the German Reich, triggering a general strike the next day protesting German Army conscription.
30 Aug 1942 Battle of Alam el Halfa, between Rommel's German force and British Commenwealth troops under Montgomery, south of El Alamein, the end of last major Axis offensive of their Western Desert campaign [30 Aug-5 Sep].
30 Aug 1944 Last remnants of German forces retreat across the Seine River, bringing Operation Overlord to a successful conclusion.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

Specifications of the M-4 High Speed Tractor

CrewDriver
Weight31,500 lbs.
Height7 ft, 10 in.
Width8 ft, 1 in.
Length17 ft, 2 in.
EngineWaukesha 145GZ 6 cyl. gasoline
Horsepower210hp
Road Speed35 mph
Range180 mi.

M-4 High Speed Tractor Photos

Find additional photos and hi-res versions of the M-4 High Speed Tractor at the Olive-Drab Military Mashup:

M4 18-ton High Speed Tractor with towed 8-inch howitzer, 999th FA Bn (Colored), Nantes-Gassicourt, France, 20 August 1944.
M4 high speed tractor, prime mover for the 155mm Towed Gun 'Long Tom'.
Vast amount of used and unused war material awaiting loading on flat cars enroute to various Army Service Depots, Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation, Newport News, VA, 11 January 1946. These materials were unloaded at Norfolk Army Base, HRPE, arriving from ETO, Middle East and African Theaters.  Vehicles:  CCKW trucks, M4 High Speed Tractors, crawler crane, M4 Sherman tanks, others.
Presentation of the three main artillery prime mover high speed tractors (HST), circa 1944.  From Field Artillery Journal, April 1944.
Allis Chalmers M4 18-ton high speed tractor w/winch, prime mover for the 90mm AA gun, 155mm Gun (Long Tom), 8-inch howitzer M1 and others.
Rear view of M4 High Speed Tractor, led by other vehicles, as they drive into the cobbled streets of Mons at the annual Tanks in Town festival, 18 November 2009.   The 2009 celebration marked the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Mons.

M-4 High Speed Tractor Photo Gallery

>M-4 High Speed Tractor at Hampton Roads, VA, 16 August 1943
M-4 High Speed Tractor at Hampton Roads, VA, 16 August 1943.

An M-4 High Speed Tractor of the Seventeenth Field Artillery, supporting the First Marine Division, stopped by a river near Chunchon, Korea, 1950
An M-4 High Speed Tractor of the Seventeenth Field Artillery, supporting the First Marine Division, stopped by a river near Chunchon, Korea, 1950.

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