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M3 Half Track in the Western Desert questions


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I’ve managed to get hold of an Airfix M3 Half track and would like to finish it in a Western Desert finish. However, it’s not a subject I’m overly familiar with.

My first question is we’re they used by British and Commonwealth forces in the Western Desert?


And if so how would they be painted? Light Stone, Desert Pink or left in their original Olive Drab?


If not used then I pres7me 5hey were used by the US in Operation Torch and thereafter. Again how would they be painted? Olive Drab or did the Americans have a desert finish?


Anybother information Would be gratefully received.  

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Not used in the desert by British units but were used by the US Army in Tunisia. When the British did start using Half-tracks, they used almost exclusively the M5/M9 versions, rather than the M3 (easiest way to tell the difference is that the M3 has domed front mudguards whilst the M5 and M9 family have flat profile front mudguards, with no side panels).


The American vehicles were a standard Olive Drab but some were have been given a disruptive pattern of a sand colour over parts of the vehicle but not sure how common this was.


The Germans also captured and used a number of US Half-tracks during the campaign in and around Tunisia - there are photos available online if you search for them.


This is an American M2 with a shorter rear body, but you can see the two tone camo on the hull (also has same style of front mudguards as the M3).



Edited by John Tapsell
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For Torch, plain O/D but some used by the 1st Armored Division had plain yellow stars instead of the authorised white.  They also had paper pasted Stars & Bars flags applied on the sides.  This was to reassure the local French  that they were Arican vehicles.  The posted image shows an M2 in Sicily or Italy when the white or yellow circle was added.  The colours are basic O/D with Yellow Earth bands in the style laid down in a 1942 order.  I have these markings in my 1/76 range. 

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