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M3
M3A1


Half-track Personnel Carrier M3, early production1-5
M3: General
Date of first acceptance May 1941 Total acceptances 12,391 + 108 converted from 75mm HMC T30
(2209 converted to M3A1)
Manufacturers
  • White Motor Co.
  • Autocar Co.
  • Diamond T Motor Car Co.
Crew 13 men
M3: Dimensions
Combat weight 20,000lbs
9100kg
Height 89"
230cm
Length with roller 242.63"
616.28cm
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
M3: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Elevation
.30cal M1919A4 MG Flexible on pedestal mount M25 4000 rounds 360°
(manual)
Manual
M3: 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°
M3: 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
M3: 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
M3: Track
Center guide band type
Width 12"
30cm
Pitch 4"
10cm
Pitches/track 58 Track ground contact length 46.75"
118.7cm
M3: 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 M3 half-track used the same chassis and mechanical components as the half-track car M2, but the rear armored body was 10" (25cm) longer and featured a door in the rear to ease entry and exit from the vehicle. The M3 lacked side ammunition stowage compartments, and the fuel tanks were moved from their rear position on the M2 to just behind the driving compartment. Improvements in the M3 paralleled those in the M2, with spring-loaded idlers, smaller demountable headlights, mine racks, and winch featured on late vehicles.

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Half-track Personnel Carrier M3A11-5
M3A1: General
Date of first acceptance October 1943 Total acceptances 2862 + 2209 converted from personnel carriers M3 + 1360 converted from 75mm GMC M3 + 281 converted from 57mm GMC T48 + 90 converted from 105mm HMC T19
Manufacturers
  • Autocar Co.
  • Diamond T Motor Car Co.
Crew 13 men
M3A1: Dimensions
Combat weight 20,500lbs
9300kg
Height 106"
269cm
Length with winch 249.63"
634.06cm
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
M3A1: 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
M3A1: 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°
M3A1: 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
M3A1: 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
M3A1: Track
Center guide band type
Width 12"
30cm
Pitch 4"
10cm
Pitches/track 58 Track ground contact length 46.75"
118.7cm
M3A1: 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 M3A1 featured the M49 ring mount for the .50cal weapon over the right front of the vehicle, and socket mounts for the .30cal MG were added to each side of the passenger 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. 7 Aug 2001 <http://www.siemers.com/wwii/USA/Halftracks.htm>.



Last updated 30 Aug 2013.

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© Copyright 2001-13 Chris Conners