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United States' M3 half track personnel carrier

Photos

M3 half track:
United States' M3 Half Track
Aberdeen Tank Museum
1/72 Die Cast Armor - Forces of Valor
M3A1 half track, #95024
Forces of Valor 85048, United States' M3A1 Half Track and Howitzer Set

Design

The M3 half track was designed to be an infantry carrier for motorized artillery and armored divisions.

Body

The M3 had a rear access door. A .30 cal machine gun was mounted on a M25 pedestal mount. M3s had either a winch or an unditching roller. There were racks on the outside of the passenger compartment that held 24 anti-personnel mines.

Passengers

The passengers were carried on two benches in the back that faced each other.

Production

Standardized in 1940. Autocar was the lowest bidder and was selected for production. They were later joined by Diamond T. and White.

  • M3: 3,788
    • Production: 1941 - February 1944
    • Manufactured by: Autocar, Diamond T, White
  • M3A1: 2,862
    • Production: October 1943 - January 1944
    • Manufactured by: Diamond T.
    • M3 upgrades: 2,270
  • M3A2:
    • Manufactured by Autocar Co., Diamond T Motor Co., White Motor Co.
  • Total: 12,499

Variants

  • M3:
  • M3A1: Fitted ring mount M49 and pulpit for .50 cal machine gun. Had 3 pintle sockets on each side and at the rear for mounting a machine gun.
  • M3A2: Was designed to take place of M3, M3A1, M2,and M2A1. Stowage arrangements internally could be changed to carry 5 to 12 men. Some variations were to be a machine gun squad carrier which would carry additional ammunition and water cooled machine guns. Fuel tanks were moved to be behind the passenger and driver seats.
  • M3, M3A1 Gun Motor Carriage: Carried 75 mm.
  • T19 105 mm Howitzer Motor Carriage: Carried 105 mm.

Usage

Post World War II

M3s were still being used in the 1980s by 22 different countries.

Specifications

  M3
Crew Commander, driver, co-driver
2, 13
Passengers 2 - 9, 10, 11
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 20,000 lb, 20,458 lb, 20,500 lb
9,299 kg
Length 20' 2 5/8" , 20' 3.5"
6.18 m
Length with roller 19' 6.75", 20' 3.5"
Length with winch 20' 9 5/8"
Height 6' 9", 7' 5", 8' 10"
2.26 m
Width 7' 1", 7' 2.5", 7' 3.5"
2.22 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 11 3/16", 17 1/8"
Ground contact length 46.75"
Ground pressure 12.3 psi
Armament  
Main 1: .50 cal Browning M2-HB
1: 12.7 mm (.50 cal) MG
1: .30 cal M1919A4 MG
Secondary  
MG 1: .30 cal Browning M1919A4
1: 7.62 mm (.30 cal) MG
Side arms .45 submachine gun
24: M1 rifles or carbines
22 grenades
24 anti-personnel mines
26 anti-tank mines
Quantity  
Main 700, 4,000
Secondary  
MG 4,000, 7,750
Side arms 540
Armor Thickness (mm) 6.35, 8, 12.72
Hull Front, Upper 0.5"@0°
12.7
Hull Front, Lower 6
Hull Sides, Upper 0.25"@0°
6, 7
Hull Sides, Lower 6
Hull Rear 0.25"@0°
6
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom 6.35
Engine (Make / Model) White 160AX
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water
Cylinders 6, I-6
Capacity  
Net HP 147
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) 4 forward, 1 reverse
Syncromesh
Dual range
8 forward, 2 reverse
Steering Cam and lever, front wheels only
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline
Octane  
Quantity 60 gallons
Road consumption 3.6 mpg
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 40 mph, 45 mph
64.4 kph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 175 miles, 180-215 miles, 200 miles, 220 miles
282 km
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius 59'
Elevation limits  
Fording depth 2' 8"
0.81 m
Trench crossing 30'
Vertical obstacle 1'
Climbing ability 30° slope
Suspension (Type) Tracks: Vertical volute springs
Wheels: Semi elliptic spring
Wheels each side 4
Dual wheeled, 4 wheel bogies
Return rollers each side 1
Tracks (Type) Endless band
Length 5' 3 13/16"
Width 1'
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch 4"
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 5' 3.25", 63 3/16"
Tire size 8.25 x 20
Wheel center 64.5"
Wheel base 135.5"
  M3A1
Crew Commander, driver, co-driver
3
Passengers 10
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 20,000 lb, 20,500 lb
Length 20' 2 5/8", 20' 3", 20' 9"
6.14 m, 6.34 m
Height 7' 5", 8' 10"
2.69 m
Width 7' 3", 7' 3.5"
2.22 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 11 3/16", 17 1/8"
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Armament  
Main 1: .50 cal MG
1: 0.5" Browning MG
1: 12.7 mm Browning MG
Secondary  
MG 1: .30 cal MG
3: 0.3" MG
3: 7.62 mm MG
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 700
Secondary  
MG 7,750
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 6.35, 12.7, 12.72
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Engine (Make / Model) White 160AX
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders 6
Capacity  
Net HP 128
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 45 mph
64 kph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 180-215 miles, 200 miles
280 km
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth 2' 8"
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle 1'
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type) Vertical volute springs.
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 5' 3.25"
Tire size  
Wheel center  
Wheel base  
  M3A2
Crew 3
Passengers 10
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 21,200 lb
9.33 tons
9,477 kg
Length 20' 9"
6.34 m
Length with roller 19' 6.75"
Length with winch 20' 9 5/8"
Height 8' 10"
7' 6", 2.28 m
Width 7' 4", 2.22 m
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 11 3/16", 17 1/8"
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Armament  
Main 12.7 mm (.50 cal) MG
Secondary  
MG 2: 7.62 (.30 cal) MG
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 330
Secondary  
MG 2,000
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Engine (Make / Model)  
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders  
Capacity  
Net HP  
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type)  
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 45 mph
72 kph
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 200 miles
322 km
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth  
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle  
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  
Tire size  
Wheel center  
Wheel base  

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002
  2. British and American Tanks of World War Two, The Complete Illustrated History of British, American, and Commonwealth Tanks 1933-1945, Peter Chamberlain and Chris Ellis, 1969
  3. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  4. World Encyclopedia of Armored Fighting Vehicles, Jack Livesey, 2006
  5. Tank Data 2, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, E. J. Hoffschmidt and W. H. Tantum IV, 1969
  6. Armored Fighting Vehicles, 300 of the World's Greatest Military Vehicles, Philip Trewhitt, 1999
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site