Jump to content

Half track development in WWII


Recommended Posts

We've talked alot about how tanks and infantry changed to meet the needs of the battlefield. Anyone know much about half tracks. Did they change significantly....e.g. the german half tracks seemed somewhat vulnerable to stuff like the .50.....and did the Americans do anything to their half tracks to adjust to the plethora of hand held AT weapons that the Axis started to use?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Apart from some individual uses of boxes, backpacks, sandbags and chicken wire that I've seen in period photos, almost nothing was done to the US WW2 halftrack to upgrade it during the war (after the main M3A2 version came out, at least).

What the army did, was experiment during and just after the war with covered halftracks, utility tracks (M-39), three-quarter tracks and finally settled upon the idea of the fully-tracked, fully-covered battle taxi that evolved from the behemoth M-44 (think of an entire platoon conveniently carried in a gasoline cooker) M-75 to M-59 to M-113 (don't even begin to ask about the army's eccentric and illogical M-series numbering system... :confused: ).

Hope this answers your question, or at least starts you in the right direction. smile.gif

[ February 05, 2003, 11:58 PM: Message edited by: gunnergoz ]

Link to post
Share on other sites

Except for some automotive improvements most armies didn't do a lot to change the basic HT once they had a working model. One thing to remember is that the HT/APC armor is to protect the infantry from small arms and artillery fragments, the biggest killers of infantry on the battlefield. They were never intended to be proof against tanks.

Basically the effectivness of the HT in its intended role stayed the same so there was no real need to divert resources from more important systems.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by gunnergoz:

What the army did, was experiment during and just after the war with covered halftracks, utility tracks (M-39), three-quarter tracks and finally settled upon the idea of the fully-tracked, fully-covered battle taxi that evolved from the behemoth M-44 (think of an entire platoon conveniently carried in a gasoline cooker) M-75 to M-59 to M-113

The germans were also, IIRC, working on a fully enclosed tracked troop carrier based on the Pz38 chassis. I forget what they called it.

It would be groovy if you could add entire vehicles to the CMBB database. That way we could try out some of the proto-types that never actually made it (such as the improved turret for panthers).

Or Gear Kreig stuff ;)

Aaron

[ February 06, 2003, 10:21 AM: Message edited by: Aaron ]

Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by Aaron:

The germans were also, IIRC, working on a fully enclosed tracked troop carrier based on the Pz38 chassis. I forget what they called it.

I think you mean the " Kaetzchen " , ( kitten ).

However it was not based on the Pz38 chassis, it was a complete new design from Auto-Union. There were only two prototypes,of this one was captured by american troops.

Link to post
Share on other sites

For U.S. halftracks check out the definitive "Half-track, history of America's semi-tracked vehicles" by R.P. Hunnicutt, from 2 years ago or so.

The U.S. had all sorts of new technology ready for halftracks but decided pretty early on that halftracks were a dead end and turned all their attention to full-track vehicles for the same tasks. The old White halftrack never got the upgrades and U.S. halftrack production was terminated well before the war was over.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Any money /production lines spent on enhancing HT is money taken away from tank production...so the key word becomes whats 'adquate' for the task.

As long as the HT can follow 1km behind the armor and go almost any where they go ...then the mission is accomplished.

Mind you German SPW in recon battalions was more of a cavalry role and needed more organic mobile fire power...this too was logical because of the way they were employed. One could argue that M-3/5 companies should have taken there 37mm ATG and mounted them on the HT in a fire support role.

But they wouldn't have been used in the same way the germans did with ATG on there SPWs.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...