Corgi HC60408 US M3A1 Half-Track - 331st Infantry Regiment, 83rd Infantry Division, Northwest Europe, 1944 (1:50 Scale)
"In war there is no second prize for the runner-up."
- General Omar Bradley
The best known American halftracks were the M series made as a standardized design by Autocar, Diamond T, International and White. The M series had a similar front end to the White M3A1 Scout Car but used more powerful engines: a 147bhp 6.3-liter White AX in the Autocar, Diamond T, and White, and a 143bhp 1HC in the International. Each version had four-speed gearboxes with two-speed transfer boxes and drive to the front axle as well as the tracked bogie. The M series halftracks were widely used by US forces in most theatres of the war, and were also supplied under the Lend-Lease Program to Great Britain, Canada and the Soviet Union. A total of 41,170 were made.
This particular 1:50 scale replica of a US halftrack was attached to the 331st Infantry Regiment, 83rd Infantry Division.
Length: 5 inches
Width: 2 inches
Release Date: October 2004
Historical Account: "Late to the Party" - The 83d Infantry Division arrived in England on 16 April 1944. After training in Wales, the division landed at Omaha Beach, on June 18th, 1944, and entered the hedgerow struggle south of Carentan, June 27th. Taking the offensive, the 83d reached the St. Lo-Periers Road, on July 25th, and advanced 8 miles (13 km) against strong opposition as the Normandy campaign ended.
After a period of training, elements of the division took Chteauneuf-d'Ille-et-Vilaine, on August 5th, and Dinard, August 15th, and approached the heavily fortified area protecting St. Malo. Intense fighting reduced enemy strong points and a combined attack against the Citadel Fortress of St. Servan caused its surrender, 17 August. While elements moved south to protect the north bank of the Loire River, the main body of the division concentrated south of Rennes for patrolling and reconnaissance activities. Elements reduced the garrison at Ile de Czembre, which surrendered, September 2nd. On September 16th, 1944: the only surrender of a German Major General B. H. Elster to US-troops with 18,850 men and 754 officers at the Loire bridge of Beaugency. The movement into Luxembourg was completed on September 25th. Taking Remich on the 28th and patrolling defensively along the Moselle, the 83d resisted counterattacks and advanced to the Siegfried Line defenses across the Sauer after capturing Grevenmacher and Echternach, October 7th. As the initial movement in operation "Unicorn," the division took Le Stromberg Hill in the vicinity of Basse Konz against strong opposition, November 5th, and beat off counterattacks.
Moving to the Hurtgen Forest, the 83d thrust forward from Gressenich to the west bank of the Roer. It entered the Battle of the Bulge, December 27th, striking at Rochefort and reducing the enemy salient in a bitter struggle. The division moved back to Belgium and the Netherlands for rehabilitation and training, January 22nd, 1945. On March 1st, the 83d advanced toward the Rhine in Operation Grenade, and captured Neuss. The west bank of the Rhine from north of Oberkassel to the Erft Canal was cleared and defensive positions established by March 2nd and the division renewed its training. The 83d crossed the Rhine south of Wesel, March 29th, and advanced across the Munster Plain to the Weser, crossing it at Bodenwerder. As opposition disintegrated, Halle fell on April 6th. The division crossed the Leine, 8 April, and attacked to the east, pushing over the Harz Mountain region and advancing to the Elbe at Barby. That city was taken on April 13th. The 83rd established a bridgehead over the river.