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.
5 Jun 1941 During the Bombing of Chongqing, 4000 residents hidden in a bomb shelter tunnel are asphyxiated. 5 Jun 1941 German ammunition depot explodes at Smederevo on the outskirts of Belgrade, Serbia, killing 2,500 and injuring more than 4,500. 5 Jun 1944 In the night before D-Day, thousands of US and British paratroopers fly from England to jump over Normandy [5-6 Jun]. 5 Jun 1944 In a black Halifax, Team HUGH departed England at 2300 hours, the first Jedburgh team to infiltrate into occupied Europe, landing on French soil early D-Day mcrning. Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.
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.
Philippine Scouts M2 Halftrack, December 1941. Photo: Life Magazine, 22 December 1941, P28.
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.