Half track M5 03/1943

The half-tracks M5/M5A1 and M9A1 were created out of a need to produce more (M3) half-tracks. Unlike tanks, which required complex transmissions and brakes for steering, the half-track needed only conventional automotive steering. Therefore, these kind of vehicles were very popular during the start of the war. They were easy to drive, to operate and also less training was required than for operators of fully tracked vehicles. White, Autocar, and Diamond T could not keep pace with the demand for half-track personnel carriers. Therefore mid 1941 International Harvester Company (IHC) from Chicago, Illinois was requested to produce also half-tracks.

IHC was formed in 1902 by the merger of Mc Cormick Company of Chicago, Deering Harvester Company and several smaller companies. It gradually expanded to eventually build farm implements, tractors, stationary engines, trucks, construction equipment and household appliances. As many manufacturers it ranched out into military production after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour.

Improved design
The engineers of IHC did an extensive study to improve the design in combination with the large
scale manufacturing equipment they had and made many changes to the design. These vehicles became the M5, M5A1 and M9A1 half-tracks. Next to this the M14 was produced with in the rear a Maxon turret. The essential features of the vehicles remained the same, however, the IHC models differed in many respects from the M3 half-tracks. The armour was manufactured from 5/16 inch homogenous armoured plate which could be bent rather than the 1/4 inch face-hardened steel of the M3. This made the M5/M5A1 heavier than the M3. To avoid performance loss the IHC models were fitted with heavier so-called ´banjo´ model axles, a strengthened chassis and hull as well as the superb International Harvester RED-450-B engine with overhead valves!

Technical superior
The M5 and M9 International, respectively standardized in June and July 1942, were without any doubt the best half-track vehicles ever built. Technical superior to White, Autocar, and the Diamond T models, very well designed and loved by its crews, even though it had a limited capacity for stowage. Comfort, speed and performance made the vehicle a great pleasure to drive. Disadvantage however, was that the armour could only stop small arms fire and shell and mortar splinters. It couldn’t withstand direct artillery and anti-tank fire. Though the M5 and M9 were easy to drive, it did not mean that drivers needed not to take care! To reduce the number of accidents the First Canadian Army in Britain therefore introduced a 30-mph road speed limit for half-tracks.

Physically the IHC models had a couple of notable differences. For instance the IHC half-track’s fenders were flat in cross-section (rather than round), and they were 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 IHC models a much smoother appearance than the bolted M3 half-tracks. Also the M5 half-tracks featured rounded rear corners in contrast to the right-angled corners on the M3. IHC half-tracks always had a very good reputation!

Mainly used by America’s allies
Due to the Lend-Lease program the M5 and M9 were classified as ‘limited standard’ by the US authorities. Therefore, over half of the M5 and M5A1 production (respectively 4,625 and 2,959) and later also the M9A1 (3,433) were sent to Britain. There they were used by the Armoured Divisions of Britain, Canada and many other allied nations under the Lend-Lease program such as the Polish, Dutch and French forces for motorized infantry transport, engineer vehicles, command vehicles and anti-tank gun tows. Besides that a total of 420 vehicles were delivered to the Soviet Union. The remaining vehicles were used for training purposes in the United States.

Condition:

This halftrack is very original and has many of the rare original IHC parts, like the radiator and expansion type, they have the screwed pressure cap (threaded). It’s an older restoration but is a perfect runner and driver. Armor is original but has been cut but from the outside very well repaired and not visible. Tracks are made in the 80’s (made in Isreal) and are known to be very good. Vehicle will be serviced before delivery but if required we can also offer additional services like installing the M5A1 pulpit etc.

Would be a great vehicle to participate / commemorate with during the 75th anniversary of d-day

For more information contact us

 

Identification:

Model: Halftrack M5
Manufacturer IHC (International Harvester Company)
Combat Weight: 21,200 lbs (9.604 kg)
Crew: 13 (3 crew and 10 passengers)
Engine: International Harvester RED-450-B
6 cylinder in line gasoline
143 hp. at 2700 rpm
348 ft-lb at 800 rpm
Transmission: 4 speeds forward, 1 reverse, high / low gear
Dimensions Length: 20.18 ft. (6,15 m)
Width (with mine racks): 7.29 ft. (2,22 m)
Height (overall): 7.58 ft. (2,31 m)
Armament: Non (all cradles and carriages are however included)
Registration: USA 4030932 (W 4083567)
Chassis No. / ORD Serial No.: M5-2189-ORD-12944
Date of delivery: March 1943