M5 Half-track

The Carrier, Personnel Half-track M5, also known as the M5 Half-track, was an American armored personnel carrier from World War II. It was produced in the United States by International Harvester as a supplement to production of the M3 Half-track. It was supplied to Allied nations (the British Commonwealth, France, and the Soviet Union) under the Lend-Lease. After the war it was leased to many countries in the NATO.

The M9 Half-track was the same vehicle but with a different internal layout to fulfill the same purpose as the M2 Half Track Car.

M5 Half-track
Class Vehicle
Type Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Manufacturer International Harvester
Production Period 1943 - 1945
Origin United States of America
Country Name Origin Year
United States of America 1943
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Brazil View
Canada View
Chile View
China View
Czechoslovakia View
France View
Germany View
Israel View
Mali View
Mexico View
Poland View
Russia (USSR) View
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) View
United States of America 1941 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
International Harvester 1943 1945 5000 View

In 1942, the U.S. faced a demand for a greater supply of M3 half tracks to the Allies and the existing manufacturers could not provide these. International Harvester could build them but changes in components and construction were necessary. Due to a lack of face-hardened armor, homogenous armor was used. Although thicker at 5/16 inch to the M3's 1/4 inch, it was effectively less protection – armor piercing rifle caliber bullets could penetrate it at 300 yds rather than 200 yds for the M3. At the same time IH was to produce a version of the M2 Half Track Car, the M9 Half-track.

The first production of the M5 were completed in December 1943. Changes to the demand for half-tracks led to reduced orders within the U.S. Army, and the M5 became "limited standard" for the U.S., and most all M5s were sent for Allied use. The added weight of the armor reduced the speed to 42 mph, and range was reduced to 125 mi.

During the war the majority of M5 (and M9) production went to the United Kingdom, which then passed them on to Commonwealth forces or other allies operating with the British Army such as Free Polish or Free Czech forces. The Soviet Union received supplies directly. In British service they were used as utility vehicles for Royal Engineers units, or to motor battalions instead of 15cwt trucks for towing anti-tank guns.

Type Half-track armored personnel carrier
Place of origin United States
Service history
In service 1941–1960?
Used by see list
Wars World War II, Korean War, Suez Crisis, Arab-Israeli War of 1948, and others
Production history
Designer International Harvester
Designed 1940–1942
Manufacturer International Harvester
Produced 1943–1945?
Number built ~5,000
Specifications (with winch[2])
Weight 18,900 lb (8,600 kg) loaded
Length 12 feet 5 1/16 inches (3.79 m)
Width 7 feet 3 1/2 inches (2.22 m)
Height 7 feet 4 inches (2.24 m) overall
Crew 3+10 troops
Engine IHC Red-450-B
141 hp (105 kW)
Suspension Beam axles on leaf springs (front)
tracks (rear)
Fuel capacity 60 US gal (230 l)
125 mi (201 km)
Speed 42 mph (68 km/h)

End notes