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Jim Baker

A halftrack with chains?

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Well, I noticed something in a photo last night I have never seen or noticed before. A halftrack with chains. On it's tracks!!

 

The photo is on page 64 of Stanton's US Army Uniforms of WWII. I don't have a scanner, so if anyone is able to scan and post, that would be great.

 

Was this a common practice that I've just never noticed? I've looked at a lot of halftrack photos and never seen this, or just not noticed. I might not have noticed it in this photo except that the picture is taken from the rear and you just notice the slack in the chains at the idle wheel.


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Collecting WWII Armor and Tank Destroyer Items

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Well, I noticed something in a photo last night I have never seen or noticed before. A halftrack with chains. On it's tracks!!

 

The photo is on page 64 of Stanton's US Army Uniforms of WWII. I don't have a scanner, so if anyone is able to scan and post, that would be great.

 

Was this a common practice that I've just never noticed? I've looked at a lot of halftrack photos and never seen this, or just not noticed. I might not have noticed it in this photo except that the picture is taken from the rear and you just notice the slack in the chains at the idle wheel.

 

Here is the photo from U.S. ARMY UNIFORMS OF WORLD WAR II that you requested.

post-264-1287846949.jpg


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Thanks Retired! That's the photo.

 

I've seen the wheels chained up, but never the tracks. Anyone else seen this? Any other photos out there??

 

Thanks.


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Collecting WWII Armor and Tank Destroyer Items

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That's certainly unusual Jim. That said, I suppose the "rubber band" track of M2/3 half-tracks was really just like a big tyre and, like tyres do, was probably prone to lose traction in icy conditions...hence the snow chains?

 

Sabrejet


"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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That's certainly unusual Jim. That said, I suppose the "rubber band" track of M2/3 half-tracks was really just like a big tyre and, like tyres do, was probably prone to lose traction in icy conditions...hence the snow chains?

 

Sabrejet

 

 

My thoughts too. This is just the first time I've ever noticed them. I'd love to have a better photo of them in use if anyone has one.


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Collecting WWII Armor and Tank Destroyer Items

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Now wouldn't those be a PAIN to put on :blink: Tire chains are an annoyance in themself, can only imagine these, uggghh.


Learn to ride hard, shoot straight, dance well and so live that you can, if necessary, look any man in the eye and tell him to go to Hell! US Cavalry Manual, 1923

 

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Every so often, AFN shows commercials with old military footage. One scene is during a winter ice storm and in the video, a Sherman tank's tracks are obviously going forward, but the tank is sliding down the hill backwards as GI's are getting out of the way. What you have to remember is that a tank or tracked vehicle has fewer pounds per square inch than a regular vehicle, so loosing traction is not out of the question on a really slick surface, especially if you are running road tread instead of combat track, or rubber bands like the half track.



Visit my eBay store: http://stores.ebay.com/crustyw4scorner/

 

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Every so often, AFN shows commercials with old military footage. One scene is during a winter ice storm and in the video, a Sherman tank's tracks are obviously going forward, but the tank is sliding down the hill backwards as GI's are getting out of the way. What you have to remember is that a tank or tracked vehicle has fewer pounds per square inch than a regular vehicle, so loosing traction is not out of the question on a really slick surface, especially if you are running road tread instead of combat track, or rubber bands like the half track.

 

I understand that, I've just not seen chains on the tracks before.


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Collecting WWII Armor and Tank Destroyer Items

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Wow I've seen that picture a few times and never noticed the chains.


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GOD Bless Texas And All That Serve Her

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OK, I went through all my archived halftrack photos and nothing.

 

Then I open up Concords "US Half-Tracks in Combat 1941-1945", and immediately see 2 M15's with chains on their tracks. They are fitted so tightly you wouldn't even notice if you weren't specifically looking for them. And as Hoovie said, those would be a pain to put on.

 

Got to be more observant.


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Collecting WWII Armor and Tank Destroyer Items

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Every so often, AFN shows commercials with old military footage. One scene is during a winter ice storm and in the video, a Sherman tank's tracks are obviously going forward, but the tank is sliding down the hill backwards as GI's are getting out of the way. What you have to remember is that a tank or tracked vehicle has fewer pounds per square inch than a regular vehicle, so loosing traction is not out of the question on a really slick surface, especially if you are running road tread instead of combat track, or rubber bands like the half track.

 

In the mid 80's, I had the pleasure of watching a M-88 doing just that in Germany one winter, on a REFORGER. From the top of a hill, ice slicked road, and swisshhhhhhh. Straight to the bottom...into a house B) oopsss. Luckily the only injuries was to the Armys image and the home owners cashed in on the monies handed out with the Maneuver Damage funds!


Learn to ride hard, shoot straight, dance well and so live that you can, if necessary, look any man in the eye and tell him to go to Hell! US Cavalry Manual, 1923

 

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All US halftracks were supplied with chains for their tracks as standard OVM (on vehicle material). If you look at a set of tracks on a restored or preserved H/T you will see projections around the outside of the tracks, these were to keep the chains on and to allow the tracks to grip the chains. H/T tracks are somewhat slick and don't grip well on some surfaces like snow or ice. Chains increased the traction of the H/T.

Tom Bowers

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Interesting information. Thanks guys. I guess I will get Hunnicutt's book on the halftrack. Anyone here have it?

 

That film clip Hawkdriver was describing is really something. How helpless can a track driver feel sliding down a road and unable to stop??


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Collecting WWII Armor and Tank Destroyer Items

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How helpless can a track driver feel sliding down a road and unable to stop??

 

There's usually a small patch of driver's seat covering missing afterwards. ;)


Judges 1:19- And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.

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On my 1st field problem at Hohenfelds 2nd brigade 3rd AD(jan 84)I watched a tank start up beside my 113 and promptly slide off the road and overturn. I also had the experience on the same field problem off doing a 360 in my 113 and comming damn close to taking out a guard shack. We used to take off every other track pad for traction

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Wouldn't they have used the chains to plow through heavy mud too?

 

Erwin


704th Tank Destroyer Battalion

 

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Wouldn't they have used the chains to plow through heavy mud too?

 

Erwin

 

Most of the Armored force vets I talked to said that the halftrack was the only vehicle that they had that had no trouble with mud. But I imagine that if the mud was that extreme, like spring in Italy, then chains would be needed. I've never tried a set on a halftrack, but Gary Hebding used to sell the NOS tracks from time to time.

Tom Bowers

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I watched an 88 lose traction, slide down a hill at Camp Howze Korea, and took out the front of our movie theater. No chains on any of our tracked vehicles. We had 113s, 88s, and M60s in our motor pool.


"I won't tell you which church to go to, and you don't tell me what kind of firearm I can own." GROG

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Thanks, Tom, that's what I meant.

Some areas in Western Europe during October and November 1944 were "muddy hellholes".

Lots of vehicles got bogged down in the deep, heavy mud.

 

Erwin


704th Tank Destroyer Battalion

 

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No chains on any of our tracked vehicles. We had 113s, 88s, and M60s in our motor pool.

 

When I crewed M60A2's in the late 70's there was talk about removing track pads in intervals to increase traction in mud and snow.


Judges 1:19- And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.

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In Korea we used to mount cut center guides on our infantry rails (take a center guide and torch off the tines, leaving a very rough stub of metal). In extreme conditions (snow/ice) the idea was to mount them on the outside of the track, providing better traction by them biting into the ground. Of course, these would be applied only if war came because extreme damage to roads would occur if used in this manner.

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Guys,

 

I own a White Halftrack, early 1941 model. This is a picture from one of the Halftrack manuals:

 

chaininstallation2.jpg

 

chaininstallation.jpg


Hinrik Steinsson

Curator

Aviation and War history museum (project)

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This is a rare part on a halftrack, an Icescraper for the sprocket wheels. Its still installed on my friends Halftrack:

 

ice1.jpg

 

ice2.jpg

 

ice3.jpg


Hinrik Steinsson

Curator

Aviation and War history museum (project)

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Henrik,

 

Thanks for posting these pics. After looking at these pictures, the installation of the chains looks like it might have been pretty easy after all.


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Collecting WWII Armor and Tank Destroyer Items

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Well, I noticed something in a photo last night I have never seen or noticed before. A halftrack with chains. On it's tracks!!

 

The photo is on page 64 of Stanton's US Army Uniforms of WWII. I don't have a scanner, so if anyone is able to scan and post, that would be great.

 

Was this a common practice that I've just never noticed? I've looked at a lot of halftrack photos and never seen this, or just not noticed. I might not have noticed it in this photo except that the picture is taken from the rear and you just notice the slack in the chains at the idle wheel.

Back in the good ol days when I was restoring halftracks, Southern Parts in Memphis, was the mother load of HT's and parts in America. While they sold "wartime" complete and working type HT's (crane models, dump truck, etc), they also sold a lot of parts. Among those parts were track chains. In the 1970's you could buy a pair of track chains for $150.00. Just wish I would have bout a set then. Hell of a deal!

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