M-3 Halftrack

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M3 Halftrack

History

M3 Halftrack.png
M3 Halftrack
Specifications
Type Armoured Personal Carrier
Armament 1X M2 .50 calibre machine gun
Crew 2 (Driver, Gunner)
Weight 9000kg
Top Speed 68km/h

The M3 halftrack can be traced back to the M2 Halftrack. The M2 was designed as an artillery tractor with a two man crew. The M3, designed to carry a full infantry platoon and all their equipment was an elongated M2 with access through a backdoor, it could also be equipped with a 50 cal and two 30 cal machine guns.

The M3 first saw service during the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, where several mechanical issues were found. These issues were fixed by the time Operation Torch was launched in 1942. M3s initially were unpopular were the serving troops and were nicknamed “Purple heart boxes” due to the fact that mg fire could pierce the side armour and the troops riding inside were vulnerable to airburst shells. Despite initial unpopularity The M3 and its many different variants gave good service and could be found in every allied army during the Second World War.

Game Play

M3 Gun Motor Carriage

History

M3 Motor Gun Carriage.png
M3 Gun Motor Carriage
Specifications
Type self propelled anti tank vehicle
Armament 1x 75mm M1897A4
Crew 3 (Driver, commander, Gunner)
Weight 9,100kg
Top Speed 68km/h

With the shock of German Blitzkrieg in France, US forces belatedly realized that they had little anti-tank capability against large massed armour formations. Realizing that time was of the essence, the US Army mobilized any and all assets at their disposal. The immediate answer was to equip the already successful M2 White half track with surplus 75 mm guns, the venerable M1897 French pattern field gun modified for anti-tank duties. Slapped into the rear compartment of the M2,soon to be renamed M3, the quick-firing M1897 formed the nucleus of the brand-new US anti-tank force. Thus armed the US anti-tank forces entered combat with but a sketchy idea of how to employ the new weapon. The M3 Gun Motor Carriage first saw service in the Philippines and subsequently in North Africa, organized in tank destroyer battalions. While getting quite the bad reputation, not the least after the battle of Kasserine Pass where scores were lost, the M3 GMC actually gave as good as it got. The M3 GMC performed very well when employed for flanking fire and using hit-and-run tactics. In a head on set piece however, the flimsy vehicles hardly stood a chance.

The British received some 170 M3 GMC that fought in Tunisia, Italy and France until phased out by better performing vehicles. M3 GMCs were also supplied to the Free French, Canadian and Polish armies that fought under the joint Allied command.

Game Play

In WWII Online, the M3 GMC is a superlative ambush vehicle that can move up, shoot and scoot away at a decent turn of speed. Strive to engage the enemy at short to medium range - anything between point-blank to a thousand meters is good, and the M1897 gun packs a serious punch that cuts through all but the heaviest frontal armour. Although lacking machine-guns for self-defence against infantry, it can lay down a barrage of high explosive and cover its own retreat with smoke rounds.