Tuesday, March 17, 2015


The White Motor Company was an important American truck manufacturer before the war. To meet the Army's requirement for a high-speed scouting vehicle, the company offered an armoured version of one of its commercial truck chassis designs. This was tested as the T-7, accepted in 1938, and standardized as the M3 Scout Car in June 1939. Nearly 21,000 were built and 3340 of the M3s, widely known as the White Scout Car, were supplied to the USSR.

The White Motor Company was also responsible for producing the first US designed half-track used during the war. Based on a White commercial truck chassis, it had the body of the M3 Scout Car. This was tested as the T-14 in 1939 and standardized as the Half-Track Car M2 and the Half-Track Personnel Carrier M3 in September 1940.

The USSR would eventually receive 342 M2 Half-tracks, 2 M3s, 421 M5s, and 413 M9s.The most popular of these was the M17 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage, which was armed with quad 0.50 calibre (12.7mm) Brownings, and the M15A1 armed with a 37mm (1.46in) automatic cannon and twin Brownings. The USSR was sent 1000 M17s and 100 M15Als. These vehicles were very popular during World War II because they had no indigenous armoured self-propelled antiaircraft gun. The United States also supplied 5 M5 Light Tanks, 2 M24 Light Tanks, 1 M25 Heavy Tank, and 115 M31 ARVs. In addition to the receiving the half-track based mechanized guns, the USSR was sent 650 T48 Tank Destroyers (TD), 5 M18 TDs and 52 M10 TDs.

The Soviet Army pressed into service many captured enemy vehicles. These included StuG III assault guns, which were used as a replacement for either the SU-76 or SU-122.An interesting modification of the PzKpfw III, many of which were captured at Stalingrad, was as an SU-76 assault gun. A total of 200 of these vehicles were fielded by the Red Army during the war. By the end of the war, so many PzKpfw V Panther tanks had been captured that they equipped entire Soviet tank units.

1 comment:

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