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M2
M2A1


Half-track Car M2, early production1-5
M2: General
Date of first acceptance May 1941 Total acceptances 11,415
(1266 converted to M2A1)
Manufacturers
  • White Motor Co.
  • Autocar Co.
Crew 10 men
M2: Dimensions
Combat weight 19,195lbs
8706.9kg
Height 89"
230cm
Length with roller 234.75"
596.27cm
Width 77.25"
196.2cm
Front tread 64.5"
164cm
Rear tread 63.8"
162cm
Wheelbase 135.5"
344.2cm
Ground clearance 11.2"
28.4cm
M2: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Elevation
.50cal M2HB MG Flexible on skate mount 700 rounds 360°
(manual)
Manual
.30cal M1919A4 MG Flexible on skate mount 7750 rounds 360°
(manual)
Manual
M2: Armor
Assembly
Bolting
Hull
Rolled face-hardened steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Radiator louvres .25"
.64cm
26°
Windshield cover .50"
1.3cm
25°
Sides .25"
.64cm
Rear .25"
.64cm
Hood top .25"
.64cm
83°
M2: Automotive
Engine White 160AX; 6 cylinder, 4 cycle, in-line gasoline
Horsepower Net: 147@3000rpm Torque Net: 325 ft-lb@1200rpm Fuel capacity 60gal
230L
Transmission Spicer 3461 constant mesh, 4 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Steering Steering wheel
M2: Suspension
Type Road wheels Track return rollers
Front: Semi-elliptic longitudinal leaf spring
Rear: Vertical volute spring
Front: Steel ventilated disc
Rear: 1 bogie/track;
4 dual/bogie
1 dual/track
Drive sprockets Idlers Shock absorbers
18-tooth front drive Adjustable fixed at rear of track On front wheels
M2: Track
Center guide band type
Width 12"
30cm
Pitch 4"
10cm
Pitches/track 58 Track ground contact length 46.75"
118.7cm
M2: Performance
Max level road speed 45mph
72kph
Max grade 60%
Max vertical obstacle 12"
30cm
Min turning diameter 59'
18m
Max fording depth 32"
81cm
Cruising range ~200mi, roads
~320km, roads


The half-track car M2 was based on the M2A1/M3 scout car, and was intended to be used as a reconnaissance vehicle and artillery prime mover. The front wheels could be engaged for cross-country travel. On either side of the car, just behind the driving compartment, was an ammunition stowage compartment. The top shelf of these compartments could be accessed from inside the vehicle, and the lower shelves were accessible through bottom-hinged doors in the side armor. The fenders were one of the ways to differentiate between the various types of half-track, and on the M2 they were thick in cross-section. Early half-tracks had a fixed adjustable idler wheel, but this was often damaged when traveling over rough terrain. This was remedied by springing the idler wheel, first with a single coil and later with a double coil assembly. Early vehicles also had their headlights mounted on the fenders, but these could be damaged by the muzzle blast from the various artillery pieces that were mounted on half-tracks. Later half-tracks had smaller, demountable headlights positioned on either side of the hood. Later vehicles also had the option of mounting the anti-ditching roller or a 10,000lb (4500kg) capacity Tulsa Model 18G winch below the radiator louvres. When fitted with the winch the M2's length was 241.63" (613.74cm). Later vehicles also had mine racks installed from behind the ammunition stowage compartments to the rear of the crew compartment.

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Half-track Car M2A11-5
M2A1: General
Date of first acceptance October 1943 Total acceptances 1643 + 1266 converted from half-track M2
Manufacturers
  • White Motor Co.
  • Autocar Co.
Crew 10 men
M2A1: Dimensions
Combat weight 19,600lbs
8890kg
Height 106"
269cm
Length with winch 241.63"
613.74cm
Width over mine racks 87.50"
222.3cm
Front tread 64.5"
164cm
Rear tread 63.8"
162cm
Wheelbase 135.5"
344.2cm
Ground clearance 11.2"
28.4cm
M2A1: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Elevation
.50cal M2HB MG Flexible on ring mount M49 700 rounds 360°
(manual)
Manual
.30cal M1919A4 MG Flexible on pintle mounts 7750 rounds 360°
(manual)
Manual
M2A1: Armor
Assembly
Bolting
Hull
Rolled face-hardened steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Radiator louvres .25"
.64cm
26°
Windshield cover .50"
1.3cm
25°
Sides .25"
.64cm
Rear .25"
.64cm
Hood top .25"
.64cm
83°
M2A1: Automotive
Engine White 160AX; 6 cylinder, 4 cycle, in-line gasoline
Horsepower Net: 147@3000rpm Torque Net: 325 ft-lb@1200rpm Fuel capacity 60gal
230L
Transmission Spicer 3461 constant mesh, 4 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Steering Steering wheel
M2A1: Suspension
Type Road wheels Track return rollers
Front: Semi-elliptic longitudinal leaf spring
Rear: Vertical volute spring
Front: Steel ventilated disc
Rear: 1 bogie/track;
4 dual/bogie
1 dual/track
Drive sprockets Idlers Shock absorbers
18-tooth front drive Spring-loaded at rear of track On front wheels
M2A1: Track
Center guide band type
Width 12"
30cm
Pitch 4"
10cm
Pitches/track 58 Track ground contact length 46.75"
118.7cm
M2A1: Performance
Max level road speed 45mph
72kph
Max grade 60%
Max vertical obstacle 12"
30cm
Min turning diameter 59'
18m
Max fording depth 32"
81cm
Cruising range ~200mi, roads
~320km, roads


The M2A1 did away with the skate rail for the machine guns, and replaced it with the M49 ring mount from the M32 truck, which was positioned over the assistant driver's seat on the half-track. The .50cal MG was mounted on this ring mount, and three socket mounts were provided for the .30cal MG on each face of the rear compartment.

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References

  1. TM 9-710 Basic Half-Track Vehicles (White, Autocar, and Diamond T). Washington, DC: War Department, 23 February 1944.

  2. Hunnicutt, R.P. Half-Track: A History of American Semi-tracked Vehicles. Navato, CA: Presidio Press, 2001.
    Reprinted from Half-Track, R.P. Hunnicutt ©2001, available from Presidio Press, 505B San Martin Drive, Suite 160, Navato, CA 94945.

  3. Crismon, Fred W. U.S. Military Tracked Vehicles. Osceola, WI: Motorbooks International, 1992.

  4. Chamberlain, Peter, and Chris Ellis. British and American Tanks of World War Two. Frome, England: Cassell & Co., 2000.

  5. Siemers, Cary. "USA's Half Tracks." World War II Tanks & Vehicles and Advanced Squad Leader. 4 Jul 2001. 6 Aug 2001 <http://www.siemers.com/wwii/USA/Halftracks.htm>.



Last updated 16 Dec 2006.

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© Copyright 2001-06 Chris Conners