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Today in WW II: 7 Aug 1942 US Marines invade Guadalcanal, the first major American offensive operation of WW II.   

USMC Landing Vehicle, Tracked (2) (LVT-2 or AMTRAC)

The second generation of LVT's was the LVT-2, following the LVT-1 AMTRAC. The LVT-2 was developed in 1941 and was in production from 1942 to 1945. They were sometimes called AMTRAC for Amphibian Tractor.

The LVT-2 was the basic design for a series of vehicles that included the LVTA1, LVTA2, LVT4, LVTA4, and LVTA5. This generation of LVTs was used through the Okinawa campaign in April 1945, although a few of the LVTA5s were modified in 1949 and continued in service until the mid-1950s.

These vehicles were powered with 7-cylinder radial aircraft engines built by Continental Motors. These engines developed 220hp, but their service life was very short. Major overhaul was scheduled for 100 hours, however few ever lasted that long.

The transmission was a 5 speed, manual shift Spicer that incorporated a manually operated steer differential. This transmission had been developed for the M-3 light tank, a transmission that was too-narrow for the LVT. This problem was overcome by using four final drives. The internal finals were bolted to the transmission/differential gear case and supported by two mounting yokes. The external final drives were bolted to the hull and powered the drive sprockets.

Landing Vehicle, Tracked (2) (LVT-2 or AMTRAC)
Landing Vehicle, Tracked (2) (LVT-2 or AMTRAC).

Landing Vehicle, Tracked (2) (LVT-2 or AMTRAC) on  Green Beach, Tarawa, November 1943
Landing Vehicle, Tracked (2) (LVT-2 or AMTRAC) on Green Beach, Tarawa, November 1943.

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