In the years leading up to America’s involvement in World War II, the US Military was hard at work upgrading its archaic and nearly non-existent motor fleet. Attentions were turninganxiously toward Europe and the Army was well aware of the need to update its fleet. The Cavalry division of the US Army had a wheeled armored car at their disposal, however they found it suffered in bad weather or in soft road conditions due to its weight and high ground pressure. A better solution was needed, and it came – of all places – from a Citroen. In the 1930’s, a French built Citroen-Kegresse half-track was acquired by the US Ordinance department for evaluation. The Kegresse was temporary half-track system that used fabric belts over the rear wheels – it could be removed or installed in the field depending on conditions. The idea adapted to existing designs by the White Motor Company, but the first examples were woefully underpowered and could not live up to performance requirements. But the design evolved, and what became known as the M2 eventually received final approval in 1940. The M2, and its larger bodied sibling, the M3 were put into production under contract with White, Diamond T and Autocar – all three firms were considered experts in heavy vehicle manufacture.
The M2 proved its worth as a hard-working tractor, scout vehicle and troop carrier. It served successfully in Europe, The Philippines, and North Africa among many other places. Most were used as the primary carrier for the 105mm Howizer teams, but others served as carriers for machine gun squads and for armored reconnaissance missions. M2’s are massively tough but perfectly sized for maneuverability and speed. Several thousand were built and many found their way in to service in foreign countries. The last known M2 in service was retired by the Argentine army in 2006!
Imposing, outrageous, unbelievably cool and awe-inspiring. The superlatives keep coming when you stare at this 1941 White M2A1 Half Track. This M2A1 comes most recently from a passionate military vehicle collector and has been extensively restored to a very high standard. Fully functional and very well restored, this is a magnificent piece of American military history. This particular example is fitted with a personnel carrier body and a large canvas canopy. Likely used as a transport for machine gun squads, it features large ammunition boxes behind the seats and a rooftop turret with gunner seat and carries a replica .50 caliber machine gun. Of course it is correctly finished in olive drab green with period markings and it is exceptionally well detailed inside and out. A heavy duty PTO winch sits out front should you encounter a rare obstacle that can stop an M2A1. Even without considering the historical significance of these vehicles, the White M2A1 simply looks fantastic and menacing with its laid back radiator grille and cut-down pillbox windscreens. Few road going machines can match the M2A1 Half Track for the sheer wow factor. When factoring in the incredible things these vehicles were capable of, it becomes even that much more desirable. This example is ready to be shown or used and would surely be welcome in any military show or just about any historical event. It can be driven on the road and would make a serious impression wherever it takes you – on or off road.