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M5 half-track

M5 Half-track (BR201)
International Harvester Company M5 and M5A1 half-track

The M5 was created out of a need to produce more M3 half-tracks. White, Autocar, and Diamond T could not keep pace with the demand for half-track personnel carriers. The International Harvester Company (IHC) was requested to also make the half-track, but because differing manufacturing equipment some changes had to be made to the design. These became the M5 and M5A1 half-tracks.

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The essential features of the vehicles remained the same. The M5 differed in several respects from the M3. The armour was manufactured from 5/16 inch homogenous plate armoured rather than the ¼ inch face-hardened steel of the M3. This meant its armour was slightly less effective against small calibre armour piercing rounds. This also made the M5 heavier than the M3, though extra weight didn’t seem to affect its performance in the field. M5 half-track
M5 half-track

To make up for the added weight of the armour the M5 was fitted with heavier axles and its hull strengthened.

Physically the M5 had a couple of notable differences, half-track's fenders were flat in cross-section (rather than round), and it was never fitted with the large fender-mounted headlights. The use of rolled homogeneous steel armour by IHC on their vehicles allowed plates to be welded together, giving the M5 smoother appearance than the bolted M3 half-tracks.

The M5 half-tracks featured rounded rear corners, which contrast to the right-angled corners on the M3.

Though the Homogeneous armour offered less protection from AP rounds it did lessen the chance of injury due to bullet splash and flying cap screws that could be dislodged when hit. 

M5 half-track
M5 half-track

The M5A1 was fitted with the .50cal ring mount over the assistant driver's position, and a socket mount for the .30cal MG was attached on both sides and the rear of the passenger compartment. Despite these fittings most M5 halftrack used in British fighting units were not fitted with US .30cal and .50cal machine-guns.

Despite only have the two drawbacks compared to the M3 (weight and armour), the M5 was classified “limited standard” by the US authorities and relegated to the Lend-Lease program. 

Over half of M5 production (5238) was send to Britain where it was used by the Armoured Divisions for Motor Infantry transport, engineer vehicles, command vehicles and anti-tank gun tows. 420 went to the Soviet Union and the remainder were used for training in the United States.

M5 half-track
M5 half-track

In Flames Of War

A M5 half-track is Half-tracked mobility, has Front Armour 1, Side 0 and Top 0. 

Designed by Evan
Painted by Jeremy

M5 half-track M5 half-track
M5 half-track M5 half-track

Last Updated On Wednesday, February 20, 2019 by Luke at Battlefront