Halftrack in XXX CORP during Market Garden

Before i start planning a build i had a few questions. Based off my understanding the British used the M5 and M9 half tracks during WW2. My first questions is , did XXX Corp during market garden use halftracks and if they did, what variant was used?

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It depends on what you actually wish to depict, which itself requires some study(!)

You will really have to dig down into the Order of Battle of the Corps (at the time of Market Garden comprised only 2 Divisions). Thereafter you’ll have to identify Brigades and ultimately Units (Regiments/Battalions) let alone what’s known as Corps Troops - ie those supporting specialist units not organised by Division.

So “Yes” but you’ve a lot of research to do so you get the model and markings right; they were the principal equipment of the Motor Battalions - component of the Motor Battalion of the Armoured Brigades, but were also used by Royal Signals units, Royal Artillery, and the Medical Corps. For instance, amongst the armoured regiments the Medical Officer would have a half-track ambulance.

To help out here, at the time of Arnhem, 30 Corps only had 1 x Armoured Div under command and that was the Guards Armoured. The armoured Brigade component was 5th Guards Armoured Brigade which had a Motor Battalion (ie half tracks) - 1st Motor Battalion Grenadier Guards.

For the Motor Battalion markings:

“54” in white on a red square.

Div marking - the Guards Armoured Div sign - well known I think

Sub-unit markings ie Company (technically in green but with the Guards one never knows!)

HQ Diamond
A - Triangle
B - Square
C - Circle

Bridge plate - normally black on yellow

Vehicle serial number

Allied white star

On most US kit a “Caution Left Hand Drive” sign on vehicle rear.

I’m not too sure by the time of Arnhem but a gas detection patch may still have been visible painted on an upper surface somewhere (yellowy-green).

Once you’ve identified what unit you wish to represent it’s more or less, relatively straightforward, though that’s not a term I’d ever really use to describe British Army organisation(!)

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Hard to make out, but there are halftracks (captioned as “M-3” but to most people who know about halftracks, any American one is an M3, of course) in this photo, taken in Nijmegen on 19 September 1944:

Clearer proof of an M5A1 or M9A1 here:

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@BootsDMS this is true, i started looking at the breakdown of the corp last night and didn’t realize its extent. I think the vastness of it gets lost on everyone when you watch the movie and just see the initial element that made that first push. From what I’ve gathered so far is that certain Halftracks belonged to certain elements. Some it appeared were more for towing while others would have went to other support elements.

@Jakko those are are two great pics, the second pic looks like an M9 halftrack with the rounded corners on the rear of the troop compartment.

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Didn’t the British use the M-5 series of half tracks built by International Harvester, as opposed to the M-3 built by White? In most photos, they look pretty similar, but had some detail differences - different shape front fenders, cab doors slightly different, and rounded corners on the rear. Also automotive differences which aren’t always very visible. Or did British use both M-3’s as well as M-5’s?
:smiley: :canada:

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@Biggles50 i believe it was M5 and M9s that the British used. Some sources state these were used in a prime mover role rather than as a troop transport. I’ve also read that at time the 50s were removed and they were used as a troop transport but this was probably done when there weren’t enough kangaroo and universal carriers.

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As I said: either an M5A1 or an M9A1. The rounded rear corners and the front mudguards that have no downward turn on the sides clearly show it’s an M5-series.

However, you cannot tell the difference between an M5A1 and an M9A1 unless you can see the interior, which is almost never the case in wartime photos. If the halftrack has rounded rear corners, no machine gun ring mount, and no folding upper sides, it will be an M5; with folding upper sides and no ring mount it will be an M14 converted to a troop carrier; but with the ring mount it can be an M5A1 or an M9A1.

They used both, but the M5-series formed the large majority because the Americans had standardised on the M3-series for themselves, and handed most of the M5-series to the Allies. (Which doesn’t mean the US never used the M5 at all, though.)

They were used for all sorts of tasks. Officially, in the British Army it was a Truck, 15 cwt., half tracked, G.S. — not a Carrier, personnel, 15 cwt. etc. or something like that.

That probably refers to the M14 halftracks I mentioned above, and which the illustation also does. These were the M5-series vehicle with twin .50-calibre anti-aircraft guns¹ that had been delivered to the UK, but they had no need for AA vehicles, but they did need more infantry carriers. They looked like this:

Notice the folding upper sides to the load bed.


¹ Like the better-known M16, but with only two guns in the turret. The M3-series twin-gun was the M13, the M5-series quad-gun was the M17.
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