The M2-M3-M5 Half-Track is a family of American half-track armored personnel carriers from the Second World War. The first prototypes of vehicles of this family were created in 1938, and serial production continued in the years 1941-1944, ending with the production of tens of thousands of vehicles of this type! The M2-M3-M5 Half-Track family was powered by either the 147hp White 160AX engine or the 142hp IHC RED-450-B engine. The armament of the vehicles was very different and dependent on the version, but most often consisted of two machine guns: Browning M2HB cal. 12.7 mm and Browning M1919 cal. 7.62 mm.
The first attempts to introduce half-tracked vehicles to the US Army took place in the 1920s, but only in the late 1930s, after many experiments, they led to the intended effect. In 1938, the prototype Half-Track Personnel Carrier T7 was created, and a little later the body was changed to a body similar to the Scout-Car M3 - this is how the progenitor of the entire M2-M3-M5 Half-Track family, i.e. Half-Track Scout T14, was created. It was this version that finally entered mass production in 1941. In its course, three main variants of this armored personnel carrier were created. The first was the M2 Half-Track, which could carry up to 10 people and served as a transporter and artillery tractor for 155 mm howitzers. Later, the M3 Half-Track version appeared, which was a 13-person armored personnel carrier with an enlarged crew compartment and an extended hull. It also had a door at the rear of the fuselage. It was a highly versatile vehicle that served as a transporter, artillery tractor, ambulance, command vehicle or communication vehicle. In December 1942, the M5 Half-Track version came into production, which was very similar to the M3 version, but differed in the place of production (International Harvester plants), the drive unit and was produced primarily for foreign customers. Vehicles from the M2-M3-M5 Half-Track family began their combat route from the fighting in the Philippines in 1941-1942, and were later used on a very large scale by American troops both in the Pacific, North Africa and during the Italian campaign and in northwestern Europe until 1945. The M2-M3-M5 Half-Track vehicles were used by many countries, including Great Britain and the Soviet Union, which received a large number of them under the Lend-and-Lease program. They were also used by the Polish Armed Forces. After 1945, they took part in many armed conflicts, for example: the Korean War (1950-1953), the Six-Day War (1967) and the Yom-Kippur War (1973).