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Land Craft 2: M2/M3 (ePub)

American Half-tracks of the Second World War

Colour eBooks Military > Modelling Military > Weaponry WWII > Photographic eBooks

By Robert Jackson
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Land Craft
File Size: 27.0 MB (.epub)
ISBN: 9781526746566
Published: 16th April 2019


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Among the most successful armoured vehicles produced by American industry – known as the Arsenal of Democracy – during the Second World War were the M2 and M3 half-tracks. They served on every battlefront and were as recognizable as other famous American wartime vehicles like the Sherman and the Jeep, and around 40,000 were produced between 1941 and 1945. They were easy to assemble, operate and maintain, and their versatility allowed them to fulfil a variety of purposes. This volume in Pen & Sword’s LandCraft series traces the design, development and manufacturing history of the M2/M3 and describes its operational role within the Allied armies.

A selection of archive photographs showing the M2/M3 in action gives a graphic impression of how adaptable these vehicles were and records the range of equipment they could carry. The book is an excellent source for the modeller, providing details of available kits, together with specially commissioned colour profiles demonstrating how the M2/M3 used by different units and armies appeared.

Throughout the book there are excellent photographs of the various models and actions they were involved in. After reading it and leafing a few times through the scale models depicted, I am now searching the internet for a model to buy in future and build one myself.

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WW2 Traces

A very useful introduction to the vehicle and highly recommended to anyone new to modelling this ubiquitous Allied AFV.

Militray Modelcraft International – reviewed by David Grummitt

This fascinating book about the M2/M3 half track vehicles used by the USA during WW2 is not primarily designed solely for model makers, though it does admirably suit that purpose. The illustrations are spectacularly good, and the vehicle details are spot on.

Books Monthly

Verdict: Edited by experienced military, aviation and naval author Robert Jackson, this volume in Pen and Sword's popular LandCraft series traces the design, development and manufacturing history of the M2/M3 and provides a detailed account of its operational role.

Classic Military Vehicle, November 2019

As featured by

Military Vehicles Magazine • OCTOBER 2019

One aspect I really like for the unit formation illustrations, these provided some very useful insights to how tank or armoured regiments were formed. These are probably of more use for the war gamer than modellers, though they’re still of interest to both.

Irregular Magazine | Winter Issue 2019 – reviewed by Jason Hubbard

This is a great reference on half-tracks for both the modeler and the military historian. Lots of great detail. Well done.


Quality documentation that will delight vehicle modelers, historians and military researchers.

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Miniaturas JM

Hot on the heals of The Jeep is this, the second in the LandCraft series. It has everything you would expect, the informative development and design section, camouflage and markings and of course, the showcases. There is one showcase in particular of a 1/16 scale which is jaw dropping.

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Vintage Airfix

The latest book in the new “Land Craft” series from Pen and Sword Books features the American M2 and M3 Half Tracks. The book follows the well-established format of pictures of real vehicles and text about the development, variants and in service use, sandwiching a set of colour plates and a show case of models from a variety of model makers.

Overall this is a good outline reference source that will appeal to historians and model-makers who are looking for a general summary of this iconic vehicle.

MAFVA, 2019

As usual, there are a number of excellent models made by professional Modeller's and set in quality dioramas. The star of this show must go to the 1/16th scale Anti-Aircraft variant built by Mr Brian Richards. All round brilliance! The engine alone is a model in it's own right! Kits appear to be available in scales from 1/16, 1/35, 1/72 and 15mm with plenty of available stock from the usual internet aftermarket dealers.

Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

The model content has some fine models, while the historical content is heavily illustrated with archive photos... For a modeller looking for a basic reference on the subject, I reckon this offers an excellent value option.

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Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

The book is an excellent basis for learning about this medium, of which the manifestations of reenactors are still full. Used in many films also to simulate the rarest German Sd.Kfz, used by some armies well after the end of the Second World War (Israel in the Six Day War), the vehicle proved its worth in all versions.

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Old Barbed Wire Blog

This book continues in the tradition of excellence. Robert Jackson brings to life another great tracked vehicle in history. I have enjoyed his contributions to the Tank Craft series and he has carried it over into this new series as well. We follow from the design and manufacturing of this iconic piece of machinery to its role in every aspect of World War II. Again, a great addition to any scale modeling library.

Ray Stryker Ace, Scale Models & Dioramas of World War II (Facebook)

This addition to the series offers the story and pictures of the very important M2/M3 half-track vehicles. – Highly Recommended

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This is a great addition to the range of books usually covering tanks and Robert Jackson has made a stunning offering with this title considering the amount of space he had available and he has authored a title that all modellers should make space for in their library. The cost of £11.99 is an absolute steal for what is offered and I cannot fault it in any way.

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The archival and contemporary images are superbly chosen, conveying maximum info with great concision, and the colour profiles are excellent, and include front, back, side and plan elevations, for maximum coverage.

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A Question Of Scale, Seb Palmer

The second volume in the LandCraft series of card cover books by Pen & Sword is entitled "M2/M3 American Half-Tracks of the Second World War" and is edited by Robert Jackson, writer and lecturer, having authored over sixty books on military and aviation subjects. It packs into 64 pages some 84 black and white photos, 32 coloured plan drawings of 8 specific vehicles and devotes 24 pages to the modelling enthusiast with 70 colour photos of details of stunning models made by Brian Bochino, Brian Richardson, and Gary Riley. The text discusses the evolution in America of the half-track derived from the French Citroën-Kégresse half track imported by the U.S. Army in 1925 and covers the manufacture, development, detail and employment from their first use in the Philippines in December 1941, through to the war in Korea. As WWII progressed the Tables of Organization and Equipment (TO&E) are provided reflecting their distribution in army units. All American variants are touched upon, the Personnel Carrier, Mortar Carrier, Tank Destroyer, Self Propelled Howitzers and Anti-Aircraft versions. There is a critique of various scale model kits covering most manufacturers and most scales with 11 photos of box art.

Japanese Aviation Society

About Robert Jackson

ROBERT JACKSON is the author of over eighty books on military, aviation, naval and scientific subjects. He was defence and science correspondent for a major British newspaper publishing group. Among the other books he has compiled for Pen & Sword are on the Bf-109 in the FlightCraft series, whilst he has written extensively on the T-34, the Panzer I and II, the Centurion, and Chieftain main battle tanks, as well as the Russian T54/55, for TankCraft.

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