Half-tracked vehicles M3 and M3A1 Half-Track was the basic armored US infantry vehicle in II World War. In total, there were more than 17 thousand. units, which accounts for almost 1/3 of the total production of all „Half-tracks”. Etat American armored division 1942 provided up to 441 transporters M3, making it the most numerous armored vehicle in a unit of this type.
In the 30s the US command needed modern vehicles for reconnaissance units for cavalry and artillery units in created armored and motorized units. Attention was paid to the solution proposed by the French designer Adolphe Kegresse, or Halftrack.
After testing cars purchased in France, US companies quickly offered their own solutions, based on Kegresse solutions. First developed prototypes transporter M2 (based on car design distinctive White M3 Scout Car with half-track system) intended for the cavalry and artillery, but soon appeared extended version of the M3 was designed for two-person crew and a typical 11-hundred person motorized infantry team in armored divisions.
Production started in May 1941 and for the next three years arose 17092 Half-tracks of M3 and M3A1 versions (new vehicles and the resulting redevelopment). The primary armament is a single 7.62 mm machine guns Browning M1919A4, then the M3A1 added 12.7 mm Browning M2 hmg in special rotary position over the driver’s assistant place.
The drive was also transferred to the front axle, which made it better in rough terrain than his III Reich counterpart, transporter Sd.Kfz. 251. As the Sd.Kfz. 251 also Half-Track became the base for a large family of support vehicles and self-propelled guns.
The most popular are: T48 (with 57 mm anti-tank gun – also known in the Soviet Union as SU-57) and M17 (quad-conjugated anti-air hmg 12.7 mm). Both types used by the Polish Peoples Army in the East. Combat service of US „half-tracks” did not end in 1945.
They were widely used in many armies of the world and numerous armed conflicts after the Second World War, including French-Indochina war and during the Israeli’s wars 1948-1967 in the Middle-Eastern.
Crew: 13 persons (the driver and his assistant + 11 infantry team)
Length / width / height: 6.34 / 2.22 / 2.26 m
Weight: 9.1 t
Armour: 6.35 – 12.7 mm
Armament: 1 WKM 12.7 mm Browning M2 (700 rounds) and 1 heavy machine gun 7.62 mm Browning M1919A4 (7750 cartridges)
Engine: 6-cylinder petrol engine, 4-stroke, White 160AX with a capacity of 6.33 liters and power of 147 hp
The maximum speed on the road 72 km / h
Maximum range on the road: 320 km