History Podcasts

M33 Prime Mover

M33 Prime Mover

M33 Prime Mover

The Prime Mover M33 was an artillery tractor based on the M31 Tank Recovery Vehicle, itself based on the Medium Tank M3.

The first effort to produce a prime moved based on the M3 produced the T16, which was built around M3A5, but this lacked storage space and the project was abandoned.

A more dramatic conversion saw the M3 turned into the M31 Tank Recovery Vehicle. This involved removing the 75mm and 37mm guns and related equipment, installed a crane in place of the 37mm gun and greatly increasing the amount of storage available. A total of 805 M31s were produced by converting surplus M3s, M3A3s and M3A5s.

The M31 became the basis of the M33 Prime Mover. These had the crane, 37mm turret, internal winch and machine guns removed and a compressor installed to operate the artillery brakes. The turret ring was left open. One machine gun could be carried on a ring mount installed above the 75mm gun rotor (and somewhat resembling the machine gun pulpit of the M7 'Priest'. A total of 109 M31s were converted into prime movers as the M33, along with twenty four M4s, which became the M34.


1st Armored M3 Lee in N Africa

I picked up a couple of old Tamiya M3 Lee's at a show and I'm wondering what to do with them.

I just saw a decal sheet depicting and M3 Lee "Command Tank". It was an M3 Lee with its 37mm turret removed.
Did such a vehicle exist?
If so I'd like to know about the following:
1) What was its markings. ie, serial number, unit number and designations.
2) What color were the markings. Also was the tank OD or was it locally camo'ed?
3) Most importantly! What did the new deck used to cover the hole left by the turret look like? ie' what kind of hatch or hatches, periscopes, radio mast mounts and any mounted machinegun.
Also, would these be the right type to have been used by the Russians? If so would you know anything about markings, etc?
I'd greatly appreciate any info or ideas.

Nov 13, 2018 #2 2018-11-13T19:46

I think the decal manufacturer may perhaps be mis-representing an M33 Prime Mover, but I'm not sure that any of these were available in N Africa. However, one of those might have been a logical choice for use as an ACV rather than converting a gun tank. Certainly much easier as all the hard work was already done.

If it's a decal set, doesn't it have the identity and markings for the vehicle illustrated? Would seem strange not to.

Nov 13, 2018 #3 2018-11-13T23:44

Bear in mind that the Tamiya Lee is a mess, as it has the engine deck of an M3, but the rear panels of an M3A5 (the Grant kit has the correct rear for an M3). The proportions of the hull are incorrect, and the end connectors on the tracks are centered on the track blocks instead of being in between them, so they don't connect anything.

The Academy kits are better, apart from too-narrow tracks, and they include interior parts for the turret and fighting compartment. .The first production batch had too-tall suspension units, but Academy corrected that straightaway.

The new Takom kits are more difficult to build, as the hull plates are all separate, and there is no internal structure to glue them to--they are all edge-to-edge joints. The suspension is fussy to assemble, and the wheels have oversize metal sections and undersized tires (overall diameter is correct). I swapped leftover Dragon wheels on mine.

Miniart's new kits are soon to appear, and I am hopeful.

I picked up a couple of old Tamiya M3 Lee's at a show and I'm wondering what to do with them.

I just saw a decal sheet depicting and M3 Lee "Command Tank". It was an M3 Lee with its 37mm turret removed.
Did such a vehicle exist?
If so I'd like to know about the following:
1) What was its markings. ie, serial number, unit number and designations.
2) What color were the markings. Also was the tank OD or was it locally camo'ed?
3) Most importantly! What did the new deck used to cover the hole left by the turret look like? ie' what kind of hatch or hatches, periscopes, radio mast mounts and any mounted machinegun.
Also, would these be the right type to have been used by the Russians? If so would you know anything about markings, etc?
I'd greatly appreciate any info or ideas.


Contents

There are two main types of artillery tractors, depending on the type of traction: wheeled and tracked.

  • Wheeled tractors are usually variations of lorries adapted for military service.
  • Tracked tractors run on continuous track in some cases are built on a modified tankchassis with the superstructure replaced with a compartment for the gun crew or ammunition.

In addition, half-track tractors were used in the interwar period and in World War II, especially by the Wehrmacht. This type of tractor was mostly discontinued postwar.


M3 Lee

The M3 Lee, officially Medium Tank, M3, was an American medium tank used during World War II. In Britain, the tank was called by two names based on the turret configuration and crew size. Tanks employing US pattern turrets were called the "Lee", named after Confederate general Robert E. Lee. Variants using British pattern turrets were known as "Grant", named after Union general Ulysses S. Grant.

Design commenced in July 1940, and the first M3s were operational in late 1941. [2] The U.S. Army needed a medium tank armed with a 75mm gun and, coupled with the United Kingdom's immediate demand for 3,650 medium tanks, [3] the Lee began production by late 1940. The design was a compromise meant to produce a tank as soon as possible. The M3 had considerable firepower and good armor, but had serious drawbacks in its general design and shape, including a high silhouette, an archaic sponson mounting of the main gun preventing the tank from taking a hull-down position, riveted construction, and poor off-road performance.

Its overall performance was not satisfactory and the tank was withdrawn from combat in most theaters as soon as the M4 Sherman tank became available in larger numbers. In spite of this, it was considered by Hans von Luck (an Oberst (Colonel) in the Wehrmacht Heer and the author of Panzer Commander) to be superior to the best German tank at the time of its introduction, the Panzer IV (at least until the F2 variant). [4]

Despite being replaced elsewhere, the British continued to use M3s in combat against the Japanese in southeast Asia until 1945. [5] Nearly a thousand M3s were supplied to the Soviet military under Lend-Lease between 1941–1943.

Development

In 1939, the U.S. Army possessed approximately 400 tanks, mostly M2 Light Tanks, with 18 of the to-be-discontinued M2 Medium Tanks as the only ones considered "modern". [6] The U.S. funded tank development poorly during the interwar years, and had little experience in design as well as poor doctrine to guide design efforts.

The M2 Medium Tank was typical of armored fighting vehicles (AFVs) many nations produced in 1939. When the U.S. entered the war, the M2 design was already obsolete with a 37 mm gun, an impractical number of secondary machine guns, a very high silhouette, and 32 mm frontal armor. The Panzer III and Panzer IV's success in the French campaign led the U.S. Army to immediately order a new medium tank armed with a 75 mm gun in a turret as a response. This would be the M4 Sherman. Until the Sherman reached production, an interim design with a 75 mm gun was urgently needed.

The M3 was the solution. The design was unusual because the main weapon – a larger caliber, medium-velocity 75 mm gun – was in an offset sponson mounted in the hull with limited traverse. The sponson mount was necessary because, at the time, American tank plants did not have the design experience necessary to make a gun turret capable of holding a 75 mm weapon. A small turret with a lighter, high-velocity 37 mm gun sat on top of the tall hull. A small cupola on top of the turret held a machine gun. The use of two main guns was seen on the French Char B1 and the Mark I version of the British Churchill tank. In each case, two weapons were mounted to give the tanks adequate capability in firing both anti-personnel high explosive and canister ammunition and armor-piercing ammunition for anti-tank combat. The M3 differed slightly from this pattern, having a main gun that could fire an armor-piercing projectile at a velocity high enough for effectively piercing armor, as well as deliver a high-explosive shell that was large enough to be effective. Using a hull mounted gun, the M3 design could be produced faster than a tank featuring a turreted gun. It was understood that the M3 design was flawed, but Britain [7] urgently needed tanks. A drawback of the sponson mount was that the M3 could not take a hull-down position and use its 75 mm gun at the same time. The M3 was tall and roomy: the power transmission ran through the crew compartment under the turret basket to the gearbox driving the front sprockets. Steering was by differential braking, with a turning circle of 37 ft (11 m). The vertical volute-sprung suspension (VVSS) units possessed a return roller mounted directly atop the main housing of each of the six suspension units (three per side), designed as self-contained and readily replaced modular units bolted to the hull sides. The turret was power-traversed by an electro-hydraulic system in the form of an electric motor providing the pressure for the hydraulic motor. This fully rotated the turret in 15 seconds. Control was from a spade grip on the gun. The same motor provided pressure for the gun stabilizing system.

The 75 mm gun was operated by a gunner and a loader sighting the gun used an M1 periscope – with an integral telescope – on the top of the sponson. The periscope rotated with the gun. The sight was marked from zero to 3,000 yd (2,700 m), [a] with vertical markings to aid deflection shooting at a moving target. The gunner laid the gun on target through geared handwheels for traverse and elevation. The shorter barreled 75 mm M2 cannon sometimes featured a counterweight at the end of the barrel to balance the gun for operation with the gyrostabilizer until the longer 75 mm M3 variant was brought into use. [8]

The 37 mm gun was aimed through the M2 periscope, mounted in the mantlet to the side of the gun. It also sighted the coaxial machine gun. Two range scales were provided: 0–1,500 yd (1,400 m) for the 37 mm and 0–1,000 yd (910 m) for the machine gun. The 37 mm gun also featured a counterweight – a long rod under the barrel – though it was ill maintained by crews who knew little about its use.

There were also two .30-06 Browning M1919A4 machine guns mounted in the hull, fixed in traverse but adjustable in elevation, which were controlled by the driver. These were, due to coordination issues, removed, though they would be seen on early Sherman tanks. [9]

Though not at war, the U.S. was willing to produce, sell and ship armored vehicles to Britain. The British had requested that their Matilda II infantry tank and Crusader cruiser tank designs be made by American factories, but this request was refused. With much of their equipment left on the beaches near Dunkirk, the equipment needs of the British were acute. Though not entirely satisfied with the design, they ordered the M3 in large numbers. British experts had viewed the mock-up in 1940 and identified features that they considered flaws – the high profile, the hull mounted main gun, the lack of a radio in the turret (though the tank did have a radio down in the hull), the riveted armor plating (whose rivets tended to pop off inside the interior in a deadly ricochet when the tank was hit by a non-penetrating round), the smooth track design, insufficient armor plating and lack of splash-proofing of the joints. [10]

The British desired modifications for the tank they were purchasing. A bustle rack was to be made at the back of the turret to house the Wireless Set No. 19. The turret was to be given thicker armor plate than in the original U.S. design, and the machine gun cupola was to be replaced with a simple hatch. Extended space within the turret of the new M3 also allowed the use of a smoke bomb launcher, although the addition of the radio would take the space for storage of fifty 37 mm rounds, reducing the ammunition capacity to 128 rounds. Several of these new "Grant" tanks would also be equipped with sand shields for action in North Africa, though they often fell off. [9] [11] With these modifications accepted, the British ordered 1,250 M3s. The order was subsequently increased with the expectation that when the M4 Sherman was available, it could replace part of the order. Contracts were arranged with three U.S. companies. The total cost of the order was approximately US$240 million, the sum of all British funds in the US it took the US Lend-Lease act to solve the financial shortfall.

The prototype was completed in March 1941 and production models followed, with the first British-specification tanks produced in July. Both U.S. and British tanks had thicker armor than first planned. [12] The British design required one fewer crew member than the US version due to the radio in the turret. The U.S. eventually eliminated the full-time radio operator, assigning the task to the driver. After extensive losses in Africa and Greece, the British realized that to meet their needs for tanks, both the Lee and the Grant types would need to be accepted.

The U.S. military used the "M" (Model) letter to designate nearly all of their equipment. When the British Army received their new M3 medium tanks from the US, confusion immediately set in [13] between the different M3 medium tank and M3 light tank. The British Army began naming their American tanks after American military figures, although the U.S. Army never used those terms until after the war. [14] [15] M3 tanks with the cast turret and radio setup received the name "General Grant", while the original M3s were called "General Lee", or more usually just "Grant" and "Lee". [14] [16]

The chassis and running gear of the M3 design was adapted by the Canadians for their Ram tank. The hull of the M3 was also used for self-propelled artillery as with the original design of the M7 Priest, of which nearly 3,500 were built, and recovery vehicles.

Operational history

Of the 6,258 M3 variants manufactured in the United States, 2,887 (45%) were supplied to the British government. [17]

The M3 Grant first saw action with the Royal Armoured Corps in North Africa, during May 1942. However, most of the M3s ordered by the UK quickly became surplus to the requirements of the British Army.

  • 1,700 were transferred to the Australian Army, for home defence and training duties in Australia. [18]
  • The British Indian Army received 900 Grants
  • A further 22% (1,386) were exported directly from the US to the Soviet Union, [19] although only 957 of these reached Russian ports, due to German U-boat and air attacks on Allied convoys. [20]

North African campaign

The M3 brought much-needed firepower to British forces in the North African desert campaign. Early Grants were shipped directly to Egypt and lacked some fitments (such as radio) that were remedied locally. Under the "Mechanisation Experimental Establishment (Middle East)" other modifications were tested approved and made to tanks as they were issued. These included fitting of sandshields (later deliveries from the US had factory fitted shields), dust covers for the gun mantlets and the removal of the hull machine guns. Ammunition stowage was altered to 80 75 mm (up from 50) and 80 37 mm with additional protection to the ammunition bins.

The American M3 medium tank's first action during the war was in 1942, during the North African Campaign. [21] British Lees and Grants were in action against Rommel's forces at the Battle of Gazala on 27 May that year. The 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars, 3rd and 5th battalions Royal Tank Regiment going into action with Grant tanks. Retreating in the face of large attack the 8th Hussars had only three of their Grants remaining, while 3rd RTR reported losing 16 Grants.

Their appearance was a surprise to the Germans, who were unprepared for the M3's 75 mm gun. They soon discovered the M3 could engage them beyond the effective range of their 5 cm Pak 38 anti-tank gun, and the 5 cm KwK 39 of the Panzer III, their main medium tank. The M3 was also vastly superior to the Fiat M13/40 and M14/41 tanks employed by the Italian troops, whose 47 mm gun was effective only at point-blank range, while only the few Semoventi da 75/18 self-propelled guns were able to destroy it using HEAT rounds. [22] In addition to the M3's 75 mm gun outranging the Panzers, they were equipped with high explosive shells to take out infantry and other soft targets, which previous British tanks lacked upon the introduction of the M3, Rommel noted: "Up to May of 1942, our tanks had in general been superior in quality to the corresponding British types. This was now no longer true, at least not to the same extent." [23]

Despite the M3's advantages and surprise appearance during the Battle of Gazala, it could not win the battle for the British. In particular, the high-velocity 88 mm Flak gun, adapted as an anti-tank gun, proved deadly if British tanks attacked without artillery support. [24] Britain's Director of Armoured Fighting Vehicles nonetheless said before the M4 Sherman arrived that "The Grants and the Lees have proven to be the mainstay of the fighting forces in the Middle East their great reliability, powerful armament and sound armor have endeared them to the troops." [25]

Grants and Lees served with British units in North Africa until the end of the campaign. Following Operation Torch (the invasion of French North Africa), the U.S. also fought in North Africa using the M3 Lee.

The US 1st Armored Division had been issued new M4 Shermans, but had to give up one regiment's worth to the British Army prior to the Second Battle of El Alamein. Consequently, a regiment of the division was still using the M3 Lee in North Africa.

The M3 was generally appreciated during the North African campaign for its mechanical reliability, good armor protection, and heavy firepower. [b] In all three aspects, the M3 was capable of engaging German tanks and towed anti-tank guns. [ citation needed ]

However, the high silhouette and low, hull-mounted 75 mm were tactical drawbacks since they prevented fighting from a hull-down firing position. In addition, the use of riveted hull superstructure armor on the early versions led to spalling, where the impact of enemy shells caused the rivets to break off and become projectiles inside the tank. Later models were built with all-welded armor to eliminate this problem. These lessons had already been applied to the design and production of the M4.

The M3 was replaced in front-line roles by the M4 Sherman as soon as the M4 was available. However, several specialist vehicles based on the M3 were later employed in Europe, such as the M31 armored recovery vehicle and the Canal Defence Light.

Eastern Europe- Soviet Service

Beginning from 1941, 1,386 M3 medium tanks were shipped from the USA to the Soviet Union, with 417 lost during shipping (when they went down with their transporting vessels which were lost to German submarine, naval and aerial attacks en route). [20] [27] These were supplied through the American Lend-Lease program between 1942 and 1943.

Like British Commonwealth units, Soviet Red Army personnel tended to refer to the M3 as the "Grant", even though all of the M3s shipped to Russia were technically of the "Lee" variants. The official Soviet designation for it was the М3 средний (М3с), or "M3 Medium", to distinguish the Lee from the US-built M3 Stuart light tank, which was also acquired by the USSR under Lend-Lease and was officially known there as the М3 лёгкий (М3л), or "M3 Light". [28] Due to the vehicle's petrol-fuelled engine, a high tendency to catch fire, and its vulnerability against most types of German armour the Soviet troops encountered from 1942 onwards, the tank was almost entirely unpopular with the Red Army since its induction into the Eastern Front. [29]

With almost 1,500 of their own T-34 tanks being built every month, Soviet use of the M3 medium tank declined soon after mid-1943. Soviet troops still fielded their Lee/Grant tanks on secondary and quieter/less-action fronts, such as in the Arctic region during the Red Army's Petsamo–Kirkenes Offensive against German forces in Norway in October 1944, where the obsolete US tanks faced mainly captured French tanks used by the Germans, such as the SOMUA S35, which to a limited extent was somewhat comparable to the Lee/Grant it fought against.

Pacific War

In the Pacific War, armored warfare played a relatively minor role for the Allies as well as for the Japanese, compared with that of naval, [30] air, [31] and infantry units.

In the Pacific Ocean Theater and the Southwest Pacific Theater, the U.S. Army deployed none of its dedicated armored divisions and only a third of its 70 other separate tank battalions.

A small number of M3 Lees saw action in the central Pacific Ocean Theater in 1943.

While the US Marine Corps deployed all six of its tank battalions, [32] none of these were equipped with the M3 Lee. (USMC tank battalions were equipped initially with M3 Stuarts, which were then replaced by M4 Shermans in mid-1944. [33] )

Some M3 Grants played an offensive role with the British Indian Army, in the Southeast Asian Theater.

The Australian Army also used Grants during World War II, mainly for homeland defence and training purposes.

Pacific Ocean Theater

The only combat use of the M3 Lee by the US Army against Japanese forces [34] occurred during the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign of 1943.

Following the better-known landing at Tarawa, the US 27th Infantry Division made an amphibious assault on Makin Island with armoured support from a platoon of M3A5 Lees equipped with deep-wading kits belonging to the US Army's 193rd Tank Battalion.

Burma

After British Commonwealth forces in Europe and the Mediterranean began receiving M4 Shermans, about 900 British-ordered M3 Lees/Grants were shipped to the Indian Army. Some of these saw action against Japanese troops and tanks in the Burma Campaign of WWII. [18]

They were used by the British Fourteenth Army [35] until the fall of Rangoon, [35] regarded as performing "admirably" in the original intended role of supporting infantry in Burma between 1944 and 1945. [35] [36]

In the Burma Campaign, the M3 medium tank's main task was infantry support. It played a pivotal role during the Battle of Imphal, during which the Imperial Japanese Army's 14th Tank Regiment (primarily equipped with their own Type 95 Ha-Go light tanks, together with a handful of captured British M3 Stuart light tanks as well) encountered M3 medium tanks for the first time and found their light tanks outgunned and outmatched by the better British armour. [37] Despite their worse-than-average off-road performance, the British M3 tanks performed well as they traversed the steep hillsides around Imphal and defeated the assaulting Japanese forces. Officially declared obsolete in April 1944, [35] nevertheless, the Lee/Grant saw action until the end of the war in September 1945.

Australia

At the beginning of the war, Australian Army doctrine viewed tank units as minor offensive components within infantry divisions. It had no dedicated armoured branch and most of its very limited capabilities in tank warfare had been deployed to the North African Campaign (i.e. three divisional cavalry battalions). By early 1941, the effectiveness of large-scale German panzer attacks had been recognised, and a dedicated armoured mustering was formed. The Australian Armoured Corps initially included the cadres of three armoured divisions – all of which were equipped at least partly with M3 Grants made available from surplus British orders.

The 1st Australian Armoured Division was formed with a view towards complementing the three Australian infantry divisions then in North Africa. However, following the outbreak of hostilities with Japan, [38] the division was retained in Australia. During April–May 1942, the 1st Armoured Division's regiments were reported to be re-equipping with M3 Grants and were training, in a series of large exercises, in the area around Narrabri, New South Wales. [38]

The cadres of other two divisions, the 2nd and 3rd Armoured Divisions were both officially formed in 1942, as Militia (reserve/home defence) units. These divisions were also partly equipped with M3 Grants. [39]

In January 1943, the main body of the 1st Armoured Division was deployed to home defence duties between Perth and Geraldton, Western Australia, where it formed part of III Corps. [38]

By the middle of the war, the Australian Army had deemed the Grant to be unsuitable for combat duties overseas and M3 units were re-equipped with the Matilda II before being deployed to the New Guinea and Borneo Campaigns. Due to personnel shortages, all three divisions were officially disbanded during 1943 and downgraded to brigade- and battalion-level units. [39]

During the war, the Australian Army had converted some M3 Grants for special purposes, including a small number of bulldozer variants, beach armoured recovery vehicles, and wader prototypes.

Following the end of the war, 14 of the Australian M3A5 Grants were converted to a local self-propelled gun design, the Yeramba, becoming the only SPG ever deployed by the Australian Army. Fitted with a 25-pounder field gun, the Yerambas remained in service with the 22nd Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, until the late 1950s.

Many M3s deemed surplus to Australian Army requirements were acquired by civilian buyers during the 1950s and 1960s for conversion to earthmoving equipment and/or tractors.

Conclusion

Overall, the M3 was able to be effective on the battlefield from 1942 until 1943. However, US armored units lacked tactical expertise on a method to overcome its design. [40] Its armor and firepower were equal or superior to most of the threats it faced, especially in the Pacific. Long-range, high-velocity guns were not yet common on German tanks in the African theater. However, the rapid pace of tank development meant that the M3 was very quickly outclassed. By mid-1942, with the introduction of the German Tiger I, the up-gunning of the Panzer IV to a long 75 mm gun, and the first appearance in 1943 of the Panther, along with the availability of large numbers of the M4 Sherman, the M3 was withdrawn from service in the European Theater.


M33 Prime Mover - History

White Motor Company in World War Two
Cleveland, OH
1900-1980
Rest in Peace

White 1916 Armored Car in the Mexican Punitive Expedition: The 1916 White Armored Car is on display at the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning, GA. The vehicle is located outside the Armor and Calvary Gallery. The White was restored in six months' time by the personnel of Armor Museum Restoration Shop at Fort Benning.

The armored plate was installed on a 1916 White truck chassis at the Rock Island Arsenal, Rock Island, IL. The vehicle then became part of General Pershing's Mexican Punitive Expedition to find Poncho Villa in Mexico. After the Expedition was over, the 1916 White served at Fort Brown, TX. In the 1930's, it was moved to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds where work was being done on the next generation of armored cars. The vehicle came to Fort Benning, with the closing of the outside displays at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds during Army museum consolidation.


Author's photo added 9-21-2018.


Author's photo added 9-21-2018.


Author's photo added 9-21-2018.


Author's photo added 9-21-2018.


The floor and the fire wall of the 1916 White Armored Car is wood. Author's photo added 9-21-2018.


This early White Motor Company truck is on display at the Sam Werner Military Museum in Monteagle, TN. The hard rubber has worn off the front wheels but not the back. This truck was used to haul logs at the nearby Werner lumber mill. Author's photo added 2-26-2020.


Author's photo added 2-26-2020.


Author's photo added 2-26-2020.


This 1919 White fire truck is on display at the Liberty Aviation Museum in Port Clinton, OH. It served with the Elyria, OH fire department from 1919 until 1948. Author's photo added 4-21-2019.


Author's photo added 4-21-2019.

In 1942 White was the first truck manufacturer to win the coveted Army-Navy "E" award.

The White Motor Company won the Army-Navy "E" award five times.

White Motor Company World War Two Production Statistics: (12,329) trucks of various types, (20,894) M3A1 Scout Cars, and (15,414) half-tracks of various types. White also converted 785 half-tracks from one type to another. White not only supplied the Hercules engines for its own half-tracks, but it also supplied the engines for those built by Autocar and Diamond T.


These White Motor Company armored vehicles from World War Two were photographed at the Fort Benning, GA. The M3 half-track and M3A1 scout car are part of the U.S. Army's Armor and Cavalry Collection. Author's photo added 4-29-2020.


This M3A1 scout car is on display at the Wright Museum of WWII in Wolfeboro, NH. Author's photo added 4-18-2020.


This M3A1 is Ordnance Serial Number 1477 and was built in February 1941. Author's photo added 4-18-2020.


Note that this is an operable scout car and is registered as an antique vehicle in New Hampshire. Author's photo added 4-18-2020.


Author's photo added 4-18-2020.


This overhead view of the scout care give an excellent view of the interior of the vehicle. Note the skate rail that runs all the way around the vehicle for mounting machine guns. Author's photo added 4-18-2020.


This photo of an excellent restoration of a 1943 White M3A1 Scout Car was provided by Jim Moffett. The vehicle is owned by his brother.


This White1943 M3A1 Scout Car was also photographed by the author at the 2014 MVPA Annual Convention. Author's Photo added 8-5-2014.


Author's Photo added 8-5-2014.


Author's Photo added 8-5-2014.


Author's Photo added 8-5-2014.


Author's Photo added 8-5-2014.


Author's Photo added 8-5-2014.


Author's Photo added 8-5-2014.


This White M3A1 is on display at the US Army Basic Combat Training Museum at Fort Jackson. Author's photo added 4-6-2015.


This 1943 M3A1 was on display at the 2017 MVPA National Convention in Cleveland, OH. It is owned by Dr. James Laws and is serial number 265365. Author's photo added 4-29-2020.


This White M3A1 was photographed at Fort Benning, GA and is part of the collection of the U.S. Army Armor and Cavalry Collection. Author's photo added 3-29-2020.


This M3A1 is owned by the National Museum of World War II Aviation of Colorado Springs, CO and was on display at the 2017 Pikes Peak Airshow. Author's photo added 6-2-2020.

Half-tracks: The next logical step was to give the scout car a set of tracks in the rear for better mobility over rough ground.

White-built M2 artillery prime mover half-tracks:


This M2 half-track is on display at the Wright Museum of WWII in Wolfeboro, NH. Like the M3A1 scout car at the museum, the M2 is licensed for public road travel. Author's photo added 4-18-2020.


The M2 was designed as an armored prime mover for artillery. One feature of the M2 half-track series are ammunition storage compartments behind the doors on both sides of the vehicle. The storage compartment door has "Smokey Stover" painted on it and has two latches at the top of the door. On White-built half-tracks the quarter-inch armor plate was fabricated and installed by the Diebold Safe and Lock Company. Once the chassis was complete, the partially finished vehicles were driven to the Diebold plant where the armor was installed. Then the vehicles were driven back to the White plant for final assembly before shipment. Note that all of the button head screws that fasten the armor plate to the vehicle have their slots in a vertical position. This allows for a visual check to see if any of them have become loose. Author's photo added 4-18-2020.


The USMC used a different color of OD paint than the army. Author's photo added 4-18-2020.


The view from the balcony at the museum allows for a view into the vehicle. The ammunition storage compartments can be see along with the skate rail for the machine guns. Author's photo added 4-18-2020.


This M2 has Ordnance serial number 3086 and was built in 1941. Author's photo added 4-18-2020.


This 1941 White M2 was on display at the 2018 MVPA Convention in Louisville, KY. Owner Mike Spradlin worked from 2012 until 2018 restoring this M2 back to what it would have looked like in 1942 for "Operation Torch" in North Africa. It is serial number 232903 and USA registration number 4013809. Author's photo added 4-29-2020.


The door and latches for the ammunition storage compartment are plainly visible in this photo. Author's photo added 4-29-2020.


Author's photo added 4-29-2020.


This White M2 is at the Indiana Military Museum in Vincennes, IN awaiting restoration. Author's photo added 1-27-2019.


This White M2 has Ordnance serial number 4448 and was also built in 1941 by White. Author's photo added 1-27-2019.


Author's photo added 1-27-2019.

White-built M2A1 half-track: The M2A1 differed from the M2 half-track with the .50 caliber machine gun being moved from the skate rail on the M2 to an M32 ring mount above the passenger seat in the cab.


This owned by 1941 M2A1 Owner David Morrison and is White serial number 275002. Author's photo added 4-29-2020.

White-built M3 half-track: The M3 had a body that was ten inches longer at the back end of the vehicle than the M2. Because it was utilized as a personnel carrier the ammunition lockers were removed. That can be seen as there is not a door on the side of the vehicle. A back door was added and there was seating down both sides of the rear section. The M3 could carry a twelve man infantry squad plus the driver.


This half-track was on display at the 2017 MVPA National Convention in Cleveland, OH, and is identified by the data plate as a White M3. The information placard on the top of the windshield armor plate indicates it is an Autocar. I will call it a White, based on the data plate. Author's photo added 4-29-2020.


The added ten inches to the rear of the vehicle results in the back wall protruding beyond the rear of the tracks. The rear door is open showing several of the seats along the left wall of the half-track. Author's photo added 4-29-2020.


Author's photo added 4-29-2020.


Author's photo added 4-29-2020.


This M2A1 is owned by the National Museum of World War II Aviation of Colorado Springs, CO and was on display at the 2017 Pikes Peak Airshow. Author's photo added 6-2-2020.

White-built M3A1 half-track: The M3A1 differed from the M2 half-track with the .50 caliber machine gun being moved from the skate rail on the M2 to an M32 ring mount above the passenger seat in the cab.


M3A1 Israeli half-track serial number 264877 owned by Richard Mastin. The Israelis modified this M3A1 and removed the M32 ring mount and armor plate and moved a .30 caliber machine gun into an armored window on the passenger side of the cab. They also installed a bar along the rear body for hanging back packs. The M3A1 Widow Maker in the background shows the half-track with the M32 ring mount and .50 caliber machine gun. Author's photo 4-29-2020.


Author's photo 4-29-2020.


This White M3A1 is on display at the Indiana Military Museum in Vincennes, IN. Author's photo 4-29-2020.

White-built M4A1 81mm mortar carrier half-track:


A 1942 White M4A1 81mm mortar carrier seen at the 2014 MVPA Convention in Louisville, KY. This had a reinforced floor. White was the only manufacturer of both the M4 and M4A1 81 mortar carrier. Author's Photo added 8-5-2014.


Author's Photo added 8-5-2014.


Author's Photo added 8-5-2014.

White-built M16 quad-four .50 caliber anti-aircraft gun half-track:


This White M16A2, named the "African Queen" by its owner, is the most well-restored and realistic half-track I have seen and is on special display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, OH. This was found in 2005 by Lt. Colonel Koloc in Djibouti in 2005 while on military duty there. He was then able to purchase it and return it to the U.S. for restoration. This vehicle has an extensive history and served with the U.S. Army in Korea, and the French Foreign Legion in Vietnam and the Horn of Africa. Author's Photo added 1-2-2021.

To lean more about the "African Queen," go to: The African Queen Project


Author's Photo added 1-2-2021.


Author's Photo added 1-2-2021.


Author's Photo added 1-2-2021.


Author's Photo added 1-2-2021.


This M16A1 multiple gun carriage is on display a the Louisiana Military Museum at Jackson Barracks in New Orleans, LA. Author's photo added 4-18-2020.


The Louisiana Army National Guard used this type weapon during World War Two to shoot down 127 German aircraft. The 105th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion destroyed the aircraft while operating in North Africa, Sicily and Italy. Author's photo added 4-18-2020.


Author's photo added 4-18-2020.


This White M16 Halftrack was formerly on display at the National Military Historical Center in Auburn, IN. It has since been sold. Author's Photo.


White built 2,877 M16s in 1943 and 1944 and converted another 109 T10E1s to the M16 configuration in 1944. Author's Photo.


This M16 is located in the motor pool of the New Jersey Army National Guard Militia Museum Annex in Lawrenceville, NJ. Author's photo added 6-2-2020.


T his M16 half-track on display at the AAF Tank Museum in Danville, VA was one of fifteen half-tracks the U.S. Army brought back from France in 1988 to donate to American museums. It took museum volunteers six years to restore this vehicle back to running and display worthy conditions. Author's photo added 6-26-2020.


The Maxson quad fifty turret is missing but the elevated spacer ring can be seen through the open rear door. Author's photo added 6-26-2020.


Author's photo added 6-26-2020.


Contents

With the tank destroyer M18, the US Army introduced a highly mobile weapon system. However, it soon turned out that large parts of the anti-tank battalions, especially the rifled guns, could not follow it on the battlefield and thus the mobility of the M18 could not come into its own. For this reason, development work began on the armored utility vehicle T41 , the first tests of which were successful on March 7, 1944. The production of an armored tractor ( armored utility vehicle T41 ) and a command and reconnaissance variant ( armored utility vehicle T41E1 ) were considered. On June 26, 1944, the conversion of 650 M18 tank destroyers (including ten T41E1s), which were undergoing a general overhaul at the manufacturer, to T41s was ordered. In November the T41 was adopted into the standard armament of the US Army and renamed the armored utility vehicle M39 . The T41E1 was only produced and delivered in a number of ten vehicles, but not included in the standard armament.

With the retirement of the rifled 76 mm and 90 mm anti-tank guns after the end of World War II, the M39 were used as armored personnel carriers and were used in this function in the Korean War.

Use in the Bundeswehr

The Bundeswehr was in 1956 about 100 vehicles from US stocks offered, of which 32 were acquired in initial as armored MTW. The training battalion in Munster was the only armored infantry battalion to be equipped with them. The M39 was replaced by the HS 30 as early as 1960 .


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Sinotruk HOWO 4X2 Tractor Truck Head/Prime Mover

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SINOTRUK is the leader in Chinese truck industry&comma founded in 1956&comma successively cooperated with Many Europe top manufacturers like Styre&commaVolvo and MAN&period In 2007&commawe listed in the red-chip Hong Kong &commaGermany MAN is our sencond largest share holder&period Through centuries development&comma we have owned 20 subsidiaries in China&comma our products exported all around the world&period

Hubei Huawin Special Vehicle Imp & Exp Co&period&commaLTD is a professional supplier of trucks and trailers&comma whose factory is located in Suizhou City&comma Hubei province&comma is a branch factory of SINOTRUK Group&periodThe annual production capacity is over 20000 units all kinds of special trucks and 10&comma000 units trailers&period With a tradition of over 50 years in engineering industry&comma Huawin has accumulated rich experience in manufacturing all kinds of special purpose vehicles and semi trailers&periodThe truck products range from tractor truck&commacargo truck&commatipper truck&comma fuel tank truck&comma water tank truck&comma truck-mounted crane&commasewage suction truck&comma LPG tank truck&comma garbage compactor truck&comma fire truck&comma wrecker truck&comma mobile stage truck&comma LED AD truck&comma bulk cement truck&comma refrigerator truck&commasweeper truck&comma milk tank truck&commahigh-altitude operation truck etc&period

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Lee/Grant M3 Paperback – 1 July 2003

This 96 page book (the first 5 pages are credits, etc.) published in 2003 deals primarily with the development of the “Grant” (British version) and “Lee” (United States version) M3 medium tank of 1940-1945, as well as variants springing directly from it including self-propelled artillery and armored recovery vehicles and the “Canal Defense Light” or other “funnies” (or indirectly in the case of the Canadian “Ram” and “Sexton” etc.). The term “General Grant” (“General Sherman”, etc.) is incorrect in that Winston Churchill did not want these tanks called “General” since that could cause confusion. It cannot compare to the broad coverage of say R.P. Hunnicutt’s “Sherman: A History of the American Medium Tank” published in 1978 but is not intended to. Like the other “Tanks in Detail” volumes it contains a number of pictures on semi-gloss paper, better than many publications but not as sharp as glossy prints. Most are period, in training, in campaign or even from museums there are a few color photos of a post war of both a Grant and Sexton and four pages of color illustrations of markings (most of them British). Some pics are interior shots some come from manual. DP Dyer provides some of the quality black and white diagrams inside. On page 29 there is a reference to 75mm ammunition storage when in fact the picture shows 37mm ammunition.

When anyone refers to the “United States Amy” they do the military dirty - the using branches (Artillery, Cavalry, Coast Artillery, and Infantry) were extremely independent each doing its own thing. It was several members of the cavalry (and their citizen supporters) who argued that horses should play a major role in warfare, not “the Army”, and they were over-ruled by others. The United States tank destroyer doctrine was based on massed anti-tank guns countering German panzer divisions the tanks themselves were expected to be able to destroy enemy tanks when met it was only the opinion of a few influential officers such as Lesley McNair that tanks should not fight enemy tanks, not “the Army”, nor was their opinion doctrine. McMair started his own argument not with the idea that towed guns were better so much as they were cheaper and the original doctrine focused on towed cannon, but then morphed until the tank destroyer units were armed with the much more costly (but also more effective) tank-like gun motor carriages M10, M18 and M36

The real interwar problem for the U.S. Army was the isolationist belief that the U.S. did not need an army, and as such the Congressional budget comitteess did not fund one, severely hampering research and development, let alone production. So much so that by June 1940 when the politicals in charge accepted the need for many tanks, the U.S. had no civilian tank design and building industry (unlike, for example, Britain, Germany or the Soviet
Union) – and one of the smallest armies in existence at the time. Around May 1940 the need for a new tank with a 75mm gun (starting with the M3 medium) snow-balled into a month-by-month if not week-by-week realization that other things also needed to be changed. The Army had to design not merely tanks but also the industry needed to build them, which brought about the idea of government funded civilian managed tank arsenals for mass production. (Civilian firms did build tanks, about half of those supplied during the war). They had to replace the old system of riveting with casting and welding, which had to be developed during the 1940-1942 period. All of which meant that work on new cannon (such as the 76mm and mounting the 90mm on vehicles) could not begin until mid-1942, let alone production worthy versions of modern components such as new transmissions and working torsion bar suspension to replace the VVSS. The M3 medium was not so much an intermediary to the M4 as an intermediate to a modern tank design and production system.

Another issue for the U.S. Army was a plague of indecision, of lack of a political/military leadership with a firm vision. George C Marshall eventually got fed up and dumped the assorted "Chiefs" and replacef them with the AGF in 1942, simplifying the command structure.

Before that event: The using branches began developing a modern tank/anti-tank cannon in 1935 but could not agree on what to develop. Finally in 1937 the Chief of Staff kicked them forward and in 1938 the War Department assigned the Infantry the role of choser and denied funding for research into any weapon larger than 37mm in caliber – which is why the U.S. wound up with the 37mm, and late at that. All sorts of people argued for a larger caliber gun - which is why funding was cut off for research into larger caliber weapons in 1938, to prevent the never-ending (so it seemed) cycle of indecision. The 37mm was not a copy of the German Pak35/36 it was based on the U.S. 37mm M1 AAA gun with a rimmed case and carriage customized for the users, more modern with much better ballistics. It was an entirely different cannon from the PAK.

The Infantry and (once allowed Cavalry) Branch looked into the Christie suspension as early as 1920, interested in the convertible feature which promised the elimination of tank transporters (early Christie designs were faster than then existent tanks on wheels but not really faster on tracks). Interest did not officially expire until 1939 when the Cavalry formally halted development of its U.S. bred tank with the Christie suspension. Besides space issues, it was costly. Early tanks developed by the infantry were slow but after the Christie experience the need for speed was recognized and they developed the first tanks that would lead to the M2 light tank series, with the suspension also used in the M2 medium tank series.

Note how the delay in developing the 37mm gun delayed putting a cannon on tanks, thus the machinegun armed versions made up all production until 1940, with a few 37mm armed M2 mediums built in 1939 the Cavalry command resisted cannon such that in 1940 machinegun armed combat cars were produced despite the advent of the M2A4 the M2A4 did not enter production until 1940.

Until the war the United States army tank designs concepts were little different than anyone else’s – the 37mm and 47mm gun being common at the time and the Germans invading Europe with 37mm armed Panzer IIIs supported by Panzer IVs with short 75mm guns for fire support. It was around May 1940 (8 months into the war) that it was accepted by the highest level men in charge that a medium tank with 75mm gun was needed which led to the M3 medium and M4 (“Sherman”). The M1897 played no role at all in the development of the new 75mm the M1897 was an old design a bore length of 34.5 calibers and concentric screw breech. Authors who cannot be bothered to do research know the U.S. Army used the M1897 as its main 75 and assume it was the critter used, when in fact the U.S. Army had three distinct 75s on hand: the M1897, and far less common M1916 and M1917. Actually, the 75mm T5 anti-aircraft gun was used as the model, a different, more modern creature with a lineage back to the M1916. Said weapon was first tried as the ground/air experimental T6 for a mobile gun and, finally, as the T7 which was the M2. The barrel length had nothing at all with jutting out beyond the bow of any tank instead, the T5, T6, and T7 (M2) all had the exact same 28.4 caliber bore length (7 foot/84 inches) as the 75mm M1916 field gun with its sliding block breech. In fact, a test was done with a shorter length but rejected the weapon was seen as artillery, not the main weapon. U.S. Armored forces requested a longer barrel and higher velocity resulting in the 75mm M3. Gander’s velocity quote and comments on effectiveness are wrong, based on high explosive versus armor piercing rounds (or based on bad data from early manuals). The difference was 100 f/s (33 meters per second) and it was the M2 that brought to light the power of the 75mm.

The idea of mounting the gun in the hull was taken from the 75mm howitzer motor carriage T3 (and French Chsr b) but neither the weapon nor the mount itself was used, which means development into the Naval-style barbette mount, recoil system, etc. all had to be done as well.

Note the maximum elevation for the 105mm howitzer in the M7 on page 77 which limited range unless the vehicle was parked nose-first on a ramp (which crews did when possible), and then the “odd” M7B2 in page 74.

I may be critical of some things but do not regret buying the book and find many elements useful and entertaining. The section on the Canadian “Ram” was helpful and shows just one of many ways the U.S. might have skipped the original M3 design, given a bit more experience with the 75mm. Few authors point out that the 75mm gun would later be mounted in turrets as small as that on the Ram let alone that on the M3 medium (Gander dismisses this with the usual “military excuses” to explain why they didn’t do what could have been done). Work on the 105mm M7 HMC was not initiated until October 1941 and pilots appeared in early 1942, so the 25-pounder version could not have been designated as the T51 in “June 1941” per page 65 (June 1942 is the first actual date). With more time, the U.S. (or British) might have converted the M7 to use the 25-pounder earlier, which might have saved the British and U.S. some money and time and logistics by the time the T51 was ready for 1943 the Sexton was there and preferred by the British. The basic HE shell of the 25-pounder used during the war carried a small filler for weight (7%) and work into a higher capacity projectile (12% filler) was under way but not finished by the war’s end, meaning such rare comments like the Ram being “too much vehicle for too little gun” (page 65) might have been alleviated some. The 3.7 inch gun on the Ram (briefly explained with one pic) is similar to the 90mm T53 and T53E1 project of the U.S.

I am not a model builder and have no say on the suitability for that, but overall this is a decent book to own if you have the money to spend on various bookd. With its usual pitfalls of some bad data and old-wives-tales and those odd gaps left by a lack of thorough research.


Prime mover: is it is, or is it ain't?

Situation: Twitter discussion. Question: Is the prime mover a special pleading logical fallacy, or not?

What's the prime mover? Aristotle, a couple of thousand years ago, observed that some things move and some things are moved.

He thought that the things that are moved must have a mover. Repeat.

This would lead to an infinite regression which doesn't seem to be possible.

To get out of this infinite regression, he conjured up a prime mover which isn't moved but causes other things to move.

My objection to the prime mover (omnipotent, omniscient, etc) is that it's a special pleading logical fallacy. This has upset a lot of wannabe philosophers.

What's a special pleading logical fallacy? If you establish a rule, you should follow that rule. If you don't, without proper justification, it's special pleading.

The religious wannabe philosophers claim that god is a proper justification. At least, that's what I understood.

Bonus fun: Aristotle's observation of things that are moved has been improved on by science. In the quantum mechanical world everything moves.

Also, the movers (animals) can be explained by emergent behavior. No gods required.

Anyway, Iɽ love to hear your thoughts. Did I explain the prime mover correctly? Is there a reason why the prime mover might not be a special pleading logical fallacy?

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Watch the video: Prime Mover (January 2022).