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| | |-+  WW2 M3 half tracks with British seated troops with side backpack and rolls etc.
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Author Topic: WW2 M3 half tracks with British seated troops with side backpack and rolls etc.  (Read 837 times)
Posts: 404

« Reply #45 on: 15 October 2019, 10:12:28 PM »

"Other suggestion could be that part of the HQ section was attached to a rifle section."

That could make sense, as a platoon had 36 men in total, it being three ten man sections and a platoon HQ section of (usually) 7 men.

I found another reference to odd size platoons, in one of my books of all things  Roll eyes. 49th Infantry Division in mid-July 1944, or at least some battalions within it, each platoon had:
1 seven man PHQ with 2" mortar as usual;
1 eighteen man rifle group with 2 PIATs
2 six-man SMG sections each with 2 Brens

I do recall that the 43rd Division in the Seine crossing grouped all 16 Bren guns it had in one company (yes, 16 instead of regulation 9) into one unit on a ridge line, with the riflemen acting as ammo porters.
In another case, the 51st Highland Division by August 1944 added a Scout Platoon to each company, with 4(four-six man) sections, 8 snipers' rifles, & 4 Vickers K or Bren LMG, but had disbanded the Carrier Platoon. Yet they still had Wasp flamethrowers.

As a side note the 5th Camerons of the 51st Highland Division still had 2pdrs in it's battalion anti-tank platoon in July 1944 (!)

So there are multiple variations. It would be interesting to see the data Martin quoted, but presumably it's not online?

I think Martin made a couple of classic mistakes, which I see quite often:
1) Mixing up Infantry Battalions with Motor Battalions - these are two completely different beasts with only the latter having the halftracks. I see a similar thing with US infantry battalions and Armoured Infantry Battalions - again, totally different units.
I think this comes from the fact that in both cases you can use your usual infantry figures for both formations, and for the Brits both had Universal Carriers, but their organisations are quite different. I've found wargaming Motor Battalions and Armoured Infantry Battalions difficult because they have very few infantry dismounts relative to their foot borne counterparts. The extra firepower in US AIB doesn't seem to make up for their lack of grunts on the ground.
2) Assuming one piece of TOE data is then consistent across an army - certainly not, every battalion and every division had variations in every army.

I too do call all British halftracks M3 regardless of whether they were M5, M3A1, M9, or defrocked M14s - so I'm with Martin on that one  Smiley In wargames terms they are all the same.

Also, 3 bricks - isn't the term brick for a fire-team a modern term? I've not seen that in WW2 texts. WW2 squads/sections didn't use the modern fire team methodology.


Posts: 700

« Reply #46 on: Yesterday at 09:40:29 PM »

Would the British use their half-tracks for any other purpose than the motor battalions?

i.e. command or observer vehicles, artillery tractors or just general transport duties?
Posts: 404

« Reply #47 on: Yesterday at 10:01:05 PM »

Ah yes, some anti-tank regiments used M3 (sic) halftracks to tow 6pdrs, and 17pdrs in armoured divisions. There were Vickers MMG and 3" mortar carriers, and signals, repair, regimental HQ, Fitters, recovery, cargo and ambulance variants, but many of these were postwar, serving well into the 1960s.

Off the top of my head, the only roles I know used in WW2 was the anti-tank gun tractor; anti-tank battery, Troop and Regiment HQ vehicle; the Assult/Blitz Troop in some Armoured Recce Squadrons of Recce Regiments, and engineer Troop transport in some armoured divisional engiener squadrons, 6 per troop.

So you do have a variety of roles for them, but generally within the armoured divisions - no doubt other people will be able to cite others on further research.



Posts: 23

« Reply #48 on: Yesterday at 10:07:30 PM »

NO mistake I know what Motorised Infantry are and a standard infantry unit, thank you.

LOL  Grin

And also I never said there was a standard, I actually said it was most likely a Colonel would allow his men to scrounge what ever they could.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 10:10:06 PM by MartinKnight1333 » Logged
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