M9A1 Armoured Personnel Carrier (E1965.117)
The vast range of American half-track vehicles produced during the Second World War (production ran to some 40,000 vehicles) derived from prototypes developed in the early thirties. These in turn owed certain features, notably the rubber band track, to Citroen-Kegresse machines produced in France a decade earlier. The M9/M9A1 versions were manufactured by the International Harvester Corporation, primarily for Lend-Lease distribution. They saw service with virtually all of the Allied armies.
They were used for a variety of roles, from weapons carrier to ambulance, command vehicle to personnel carrier and, although not as well designed as their German counterparts were extremely reliable, with the advantage of a driven front axle. In the British Army they served, among other things, with motor battalions of armoured brigades, where they acted as armoured personnel carriers, or as general transport vehicles with reconnaissance regiments. Our exhibit has been painted in the markings of 15th (Scottish) Reconnaissance Regiment.
After the war these half-tracks served for a while as light repair vehicles in the British Army but they are particularly famous for the many years of service they gave to the Israeli Army. Long after they had been declared obsolete everywhere else they continued on active duty in Israel, often working alongside much more modern vehicles.
M2+M3.5 tracks were amongst most widely used vehicle of World War II. Produced by several companies - International Harvester Company were identified by Nos. M5 and M9. M5 was 1HC version of M3 and M9 the IHC version of M2. British Army obtained these vehicles under lend-lease agreement. It could be adapted to many uses, e.g. light recovery, gun towing, ambulance, SP gun and command post vehicle.