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United States' M3 half track personnel carrier

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M3 half track:
United States' M3 Half Track

M3 half track:
United States' M3 Half Track
M3 half track:
United States' M3 Half Track

M3 half track:
United States' M3 Half Track
Aberdeen Tank Museum
M3 half track:
United States' M3 Half Track
M3 half track used as an ambulance:
United States' M3 Half Track used as an ambulance
M3A1 half track:
United States' M3A1 Half Track

M3A1 half track:
United States' M3A1 Half Track
M3A1 half track:
United States' M3A1 Half Track
M3A1 half track:
United States' M3A1 Half Track
M3A1 half track:
United States' M3A1 Half Track
M3A2 half track:
United States' M3A2 Half Track
M3A2 half track:
United States' M3A2 Half Track
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 carrier1 for motorized artillery and armored divisions.4

Body

The M3 had a rear access door.4 A .30 cal machine gun was mounted on a M25 pedestal mount. M3s had either a winch or an unditching roller.5 There were racks on the outside of the passenger compartment that held 24 anti-personnel mines.4

Passengers

The passengers were carried on two benches in the back that faced each other.4

Production

Standardized in 1940.1 Autocar was the lowest bidder and was selected for production.4 They were later joined by Diamond T. and White.4

  • M3: 3,7881
    • Production: 1941 - February 19444
    • Manufactured by: Autocar, Diamond T, White4
  • M3A1: 2,8624
    • Production: October 1943 - January 19444
    • Manufactured by: Diamond T.4
    • M3 upgrades: 2,2704
  • M3A2:
    • Manufactured by Autocar Co., Diamond T Motor Co., White Motor Co.
  • Total: 12,4994

Variants

  • M3:
  • M3A1: Fitted ring mount M49 and pulpit for .50 cal machine gun.1,4 Had 3 pintle sockets on each side and at the rear for mounting a machine gun.4
  • M3A2: Was designed to take place of M3, M3A1, M2,and M2A1.4 Stowage arrangements internally could be changed to carry 5 to 12 men.1 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.1
  • 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.4

Specifications

  M3
Crew Commander, driver, co-driver2
21,5, 133,6
Passengers 2 - 9, 101,2, 115
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 20,000 lb2,5, 20,458 lb6, 20,500 lb3
9,299 kg3,6
Length 20' 2 5/8"2 , 20' 3.5"3,6
6.18 m3,6
Length with roller 19' 6.75", 20' 3.5"5
Length with winch 20' 9 5/8"
Height 6' 9"5, 7' 5"2,3,6, 8' 10"
2.26 m3,6
Width 7' 1"5, 7' 2.5", 7' 3.5"2,3,6
2.22 m3,6
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 11 3/16"5, 17 1/8"
Ground contact length 46.75"5
Ground pressure 12.3 psi5
Armament  
Main 1: .50 cal Browning M2-HB
1: 12.7 mm (.50 cal) MG2,3,6
1: .30 cal M1919A4 MG5
Secondary  
MG 1: .30 cal Browning M1919A4
1: 7.62 mm (.30 cal) MG2,3,6
Side arms .45 submachine gun
24: M1 rifles or carbines5
22 grenades5
24 anti-personnel mines4
26 anti-tank mines
Quantity  
Main 7002, 4,0005
Secondary  
MG 4,000, 7,7502
Side arms 540
Armor Thickness (mm) 6.352, 86, 12.722
Hull Front, Upper 0.5"@0°5
12.74
Hull Front, Lower 6
Hull Sides, Upper 0.25"@0°5
6, 74
Hull Sides, Lower 6
Hull Rear 0.25"@0°5
6
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom 6.35
Engine (Make / Model) White 160AX1,2,3,5,6
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water5
Cylinders 63,6, I-65
Capacity  
Net HP 1473,5,6
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) 4 forward, 1 reverse
Syncromesh5
Dual range5
8 forward, 2 reverse5
Steering Cam and lever, front wheels only5
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline3,5,6
Octane  
Quantity 60 gallons5
Road consumption 3.6 mpg5
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 40 mph3,6, 45 mph2,5
64.4 kph3,6
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 175 miles3,6, 180-215 miles2, 200 miles, 220 miles5
282 km3,6
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius 59'
Elevation limits  
Fording depth 2' 8"2,3,5,6
0.81 m3,6
Trench crossing 30'5
Vertical obstacle 1'2,5
Climbing ability 30° slope5
Suspension (Type) Tracks: Vertical volute springs2,5
Wheels: Semi elliptic spring5
Wheels each side 4
Dual wheeled, 4 wheel bogies5
Return rollers each side 15
Tracks (Type) Endless band5
Length 5' 3 13/16"
Width 1'5
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch 4"5
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 5' 3.25"2, 63 3/16"5
Tire size 8.25 x 205
Wheel center 64.5"5
Wheel base 135.5"5
  M3A1
Crew Commander, driver, co-driver2
34
Passengers 102,4
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 20,000 lb2, 20,500 lb
Length 20' 2 5/8"2, 20' 3"4, 20' 9"1
6.14 m4, 6.34 m1
Height 7' 5"2, 8' 10"4
2.69 m4
Width 7' 3"4, 7' 3.5"2
2.22 m4
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 11 3/16", 17 1/8"
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Armament  
Main 1: .50 cal MG2
1: 0.5" Browning MG4
1: 12.7 mm Browning MG4
Secondary  
MG 1: .30 cal MG2
3: 0.3" MG4
3: 7.62 mm MG4
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 7002
Secondary  
MG 7,7502
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 6.352, 12.74, 12.722
Hull Front, Upper  
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper  
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear  
Hull Top  
Hull Bottom  
Engine (Make / Model) White 160AX2,4
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders 64
Capacity  
Net HP 1284
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type)  
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline4
Octane  
Quantity  
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse  
Speed - Road 45 mph2,4
64 kph4
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 180-215 miles2, 200 miles4
280 km4
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius  
Elevation limits  
Fording depth 2' 8"2
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle 1'2
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type) Vertical volute springs.2
Wheels each side  
Return rollers each side  
Tracks (Type)  
Length  
Width  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 5' 3.25"2
Tire size  
Wheel center  
Wheel base  
  M3A2
Crew 31
Passengers 101
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 21,200 lb
9.33 tons1
9,477 kg1
Length 20' 9"1
6.34 m1
Length with roller 19' 6.75"
Length with winch 20' 9 5/8"
Height 8' 10"
7' 6"1, 2.28 m1
Width 7' 4"1, 2.22 m1
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 11 3/16", 17 1/8"
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure  
Armament  
Main 12.7 mm (.50 cal) MG1
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 mph1
72 kph1
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 200 miles1
322 km1
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

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