M2 Half-track question

I have a half-track M2 that I am thinking of building soon and I was thinking if building it with an artillery piece in tow. However I encountered some conflicting information. I have stumbled across some threads from the old armorama site where it was indicated the M3 was preferred to tow the 3 inch AT guns and the 105 mm howitzers. However, on Wikipedia (I know not the most reliable source) it indicates the M2 was the preferred prime mover for the 105 mm howitzers.

I think I want to build it with the AFV club 105 mm M2A1 howitzer. I have scoured the internet for pictures of an M2 half-track towing 105 howitzer but have come up empty. Does anyone have a source or evidence this setup?

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I don’t think that the M2 was meant to pull the 105, I Believe that was the job of the 2 1/2 ton truck.
But. I think the M2 did pull the 3 inch AT gun.

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S3: “ Sir, third battalion is really taking a beating up there. We really need to get some 105’s within range of them to provide fire support.”

“ No can do. We’ve only got M2’s.”

:roll_eyes:

“Uh, okay, sir.”
Motor pool SGT then hooks up 105’s to a couple of his M2’s without telling the commander. Third battalion is saved. Commander receives bronze star and St. Barbara medal.
Motor pool SGT threatened with punitive action.

I know many of you have had a Commander just like that.

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Sounds eerily familiar … :thinking:

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Good point! I am probably over thinking this. If it could have hauled it, it probably did at some point

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Finnish artillery 1949:

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I don’t know about the 105mm gun, but I do recall reading about them being used to tow the M1 57mm AT gun.

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The image caption claims:
1st Armored Division M2 with M1897A4, Winnsboro SC 1941
75 mm field gun M1987 on M2 carriage
" By 1940, the War Department had modernized 56 of its 81 75 mm gun battalions in the Regular Army and National Guard with these two conversions. These guns were used extensively for training and pre-war exercises. However, none are believed to have been used in combat by US forces during World War II."

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Yeah, but absent a desire to model a specific situation, most people like to model the common rather than the heroic exception.

That being said, the M2 was a prime mover and the M3 a personnel carrier. Later in the war the Army standardized on the M3 for all half-track applications. Pictures may be scarce because 105mm howitzers were more commonly truck-drawn or self-propelled. I’m not sure which units might have been designated to use half-tracks to pull field artillery.

If you are showing an M2 with a 105mm howitzer, make sure you coordinate the date and the M2 half-track version and M2 howitzer carriage version.

KL

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Another pic of the M1897A4 being towed:

As to the M2A1:

From Tankograd 6009 US Halftracks part 1:


Intended being the operative word here.

I have read some accounts where they were supplied to M2A1 equipped units in the States, when the M2 first came into production. Sadly nothing I have, has photographic evidence to back that up. There are so few pics out there showing this gun being towed. I guess being fired is so much more photogenic.

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That’s good enough for me! Thanks for the passage from tankograd

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According to this article US ARMY FIELD ARTILLERY which gives a great overview of WW2 US field artillery, infantry division 105’s were truck towed while armored division 105’s were half-track towed

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I thought that the 57mm anti-tank gun was one of the primary guns it towed

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According to Tankograd, as per the above snips, to tow the 57mm A/T was a later decision.

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I remember reading that generally speaking 105’s were towed by 21/2 ton trucks and the armoured half tracks were generally saved for moving infantry, engineers, 57mm and 3-inch. Which version M2 or M3 depended on the time frame and the units equipage. Because the trucks could tow the 105 + carry the crew, equipment and a basic load of ammo.

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Hmm this seems to corroborate the other link I posted, in that armored divisions used the armored half-tracks as artillery pulls for the 105

http://igorchub.at.ua/index/field_artillery_battery_105_mm_howitzer_armored_division_15_november_1940_toe_6_127/0-215

Look at it from a purely “economic” point of view:
Lots of trucks, relatively cheap to make in large numbers
Halftracks are more expensive and available in smaller numbers.

Armour is needed when going close to the enemy,
artillery is usually located further back.

Armour needed at the front, less need for armour further back.
Use armour to tow the guns that need to get close to the enemy (AT-guns).
Use softskins to tow the artillery that stays further back.
Mount artillry on/in armoured vehicles to be able to bring it close to the front.

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May go with the 3” M5 gun then. I think there is only 1 M1 gun in 1/35 plastic and the only place that has it in stock it’s $50…

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It’s only money …
( easy for me to say when it’s your money - lol )

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I am definitely not adverse to spending some money on models, but $50+ for an AT gun seems steep. The AFV club M5 3” and M2 105mm are $27

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