Over There !!!
Hi, Soldiers !! Time to return to the past...the past of infantry transport. The early times of developments of mechanized infantry. Let's know an ancestor of the glorious M2 and M3 half-tracks: the Ford Marmon-Herrington half track.
The half-track design had been evaluated by the US Ordnance department using Citroën-Kégresse vehicles. The Cavalry arm of the US Army found that their wheeled armored scout cars had trouble in rainy weather due to their weight and high ground pressure.
|Citroën Kegresse P17 - 1929|
In 1938, the White Motor Company took the Timken rear bogie assembly from a T9 half-track truck and added it to an M3 Scout Car, creating the T7 Half-Track Car.
|Timken rear suspension with rubber|
continuous track (late type)
|T9 half track truck - production type - 1938|
Notice the early type bogie wheels of Timken rear suspension
|T7 Half track personnel carrier|
front and rear views
The T7 personnel carrier was woefully underpowered. When a further requirement came down from US Army artillery units in 1939 for a prime mover to be used as an artillery tractor, a vehicle with an uprated engine was developed, which was designated the Half Track Scout Car T14.
|T14 half track scout car - 1939 pic.|
Notice the metal wheels boogies (early type)
|T14 half track scout car. - 1940 pic|
Notice the rubber tired wheels boogies (late type)
By 1940, the vehicle had been standardized as the M2 Half-Track car.
|M2 half track car - 1940|
The M2 design was recognised as having the potential for general mechanized infantry use, which spawned the larger bodied M3 Half Track. Both the M2 and M3 were ordered into production in late 1940, with M2 contracts let to Autocar, White and Diamond-T. The first vehicles were received by the army in 1941.
|M3 half track car - 1941|
|Comparative drawings between|
M2 and M3 half tracks - same scale.
The half-track trucks T9 and T9E1 were identical except for the tracked suspension.
|Ford Marmon-Herrington T9 half-track truck|
Notice the 8 small metal wheels (early type) in the Timken suspension
|Ford Marmon-Herrington T9E1 half-track truck|
Notice the 4 big metal wheels in the Timken suspension
Both were based upon a 1936 Ford truck chassis modified with a Marmon-Herrington front wheel drive.
|Ford V8 truck - 1936|
It was fitted with a pressed steel cab and a 1 and 1/2 ton capacity cargo body. The 1936 Ford V8 engine developed 80 horsepower at 3800 rpm.
The standard transmission was modified and assembled to a Marmon-Herrington auxiliary transmission with an over-running clutch in the gearing to the front wheels. This provided eight forward and two reverse speeds. On the initial installation, the front wheels could not be driven in reverse. The volute spring bogie on the T9 had four 304mm diameter steel wheels on each side. On the half-track truck T9E1, the bogie had two 508mm diameter wheels on each side. These could be either steel (early) or solid rubber tired wheels (late).
The T9 was fitted with a T21 rubber block track 254mm wide with a 127mm pitch. The T9E1 used a T20E2 rubber block track 203mm wide with a 127mm pitch. The empty weights of the T9 and the T9E1 were 3.200Kg and 3.130Kg respectively. The cargo load was 1.250Kg in both cases. The maximum speeds were 40 Km/h for the T9 and 56 Km/h for the T9E1.
Two production models each were built of the T9 and T9E1 with the following changes. The front wheel drive was modified so that it would operate in reverse, two hand brakes were added on the sprocket shafts to aid in steering, the battery was shifted from the right running board to the upper right on the engine side of the dash, a new military body with seats for six was installed, and the suspension on both vehicles was modified to use the 254mm wide T24E1 rubber band tracks. For a time, the T9 was standardized as the half-track truck M2. The pilot T9E I was fitted with special pneumatic tires on the bogie wheels and designated as the half-track truck T9E2.
|T9E2 rear suspension, with|
pneumatic tires on the bogie wheels.
Tests. at Aberdeen had unsatisfactory results and the vehicle was returned to its original state. Tests of the T9 series vehicles proved the feasibility of synchronizing the front wheel and track drives on the half-track vehicles. The half-track truck T10 was a proposed light half-track truck intended for wire laying, but it was never built.
The Canadians Fords Marmon-Herrington half tracks:
In the 1930s, when Marmon-Herrington had found that in addition to specialty vehicles there was a growing market for moderately priced all-wheel drive vehicles, they started to co-operate with Ford Motor Co. Large numbers of commercial Ford truck chassis were converted with Marmon-Herrington's All-Wheel Drive Conversion kits.
These Ford/Marmon-Herrington trucks were bought in massive numbers by the military around the world.
Marmon-Herrington's expertise on all-wheel drive vehicles was also called upon when the Canadian automotive industry geared up for war production: "Immediately after the war was declared, the Ford Motor Company of Canada were charged with the responsibility of developing a 4x4 truck for army use. Obviously, they had very little experience in this field. Consequently they went to the Marmon-Herrington Company, Indianapolis, who in peace time supplied conversion material to convert Standard Ford 4x2 trucks into 4x4 models for various commercial peace time usage.(font: http://www.coachbuilt.com/bui/m/marmon_herrington/marmon_herrington.htm).
One of the products cooperation between Marmon-Herrington and Canada was the Ford Marmon- Herrington half track 1936. This vehicle was the first military vehicle to be designed in Canada. Purchased in 1936 as artillery tractor, it saw service with the Royal Canadian Artillery, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry and the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada.
|Ford Marmon-Herrington artillery tractor towing an|
Ordnance QF 18-pounder howitzer with limber
Royal Canadian Artillery, Camp Shilo, 1937.
|A row of 4 Fords Marmon-Herrington artillery tractors|
Royal Canadian Artillery - 1937.
|A well preserverd Ford Marmon-Herrington artillery tractor|
at Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
|Notice the different rear suspension, compared to the American model.|
|The vehicle of Canadian War Museum shows a front suspension different|
Perhaps an inaccurate reconstruction ...
This picture below was sent to me by my friend Christophe Jacquemont (was shot in May 2016):
|Thanks a lot, Chris !!!|
For this project (2007) , I built a possible (?) American prototype with cabin Ford 1936, with Marmon-Herrington front wheel drive and for the rear suspension, the late model of Timken bogies. Almost a M2 with civil cabin. The appearance was similar to Canadian artillery tractor, but with the American suspensions. Something like that:
As it was almost a joke, I decided to use only scraps for this project: The cabin of a deceased Brazilian resin conversion kits manufacturer (Commando 5) and a scrap of an M3 half-track Tamiya, who was slouched in a corner of my workshop. The result of heresy you will see below:
First ingredient for my cake: A built Tamiya M3 half track kit that I received as a gift parcially destroyed ... No harm in consciousness to use this poor girl as an organ donor ...
|My poor Tamiya M3 after being hit by a Stuka!!!|
|The Commando 5 resin kit.|
Unfortunately, a very, very rare kit!!!
|The Ford cabin dating with the Tamiya chassis...|
|The headlights were made with transparent resin...|
|Levers of my primary and secondary gearbox. Cool !!!|
|Scratching the cargo bed...|
|Details from Tamiya poor girl..|
|Makink and using sprues...|
|Painting in chrome the reflection areas of headlights...|
|Belly view. Notice the Tamiya donation...|
|Olive drab...i love this color!!!|
Future to prevent silvering...
As the Tamiya kit was very old, the vinyl tracks were wobbly and loose. I glued them in this position, simulating lack of tension adjustment. Someone will sleep in jail for this ....
|Notice the tracks:|
Jail for the inept and inattentive recruit!!!
|The doors in position...|
And the girl ready for action (after adjusting the tracks, of course !!): Ford Marmon-Herrington half track prototype - Aberdeen Proving Ground - 1937.
And you must be wondering: Where is Kojak and Rover ??
The last time I saw Kojak (and Rover...) he was passing a lashing in the unfortunate soldier responsible for the tracks of the Ford... Poor bastard ... Really will sleep in the fridge !!!