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Author Topic: High Speed Tractors  (Read 5214 times)
Logan Hartke
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« on: March 16, 2010, 03:56:49 PM »

Since we don't yet have a topic on High Speed Tractors, I'll start one.  I'll begin with the end, one of the last High-Speed Tractors built by the US.

The M8 Tractor family (M8, M8E1, M8E2, M8A1, M8A2).



It's actually a variant of the M41 Walker Bulldog family with some M24 Chaffee components, as well.

More pics:

Vomiting its engine.

Profile shot.

Do It Yourself Kit!

Model kit, showing the details of assembly.

The US High-Speed Tractors were wonderful vehicles.  Fast, relatively cheap because of the standardization of their automotive components, and extremely reliable they were (and are) very well-liked by their users.

Since towed artillery went out of vogue with most US-aligned states by the 50s, and the HSTs didn't have that pesky armor weighing down their chassis, they were actually quite practical.

The WWII M5 High-Speed tractor has also found a new lease on life in the movies as a Japanese Type 95 Ha-Go...





...while the post-war M8 High-Speed Tractor appears as a T-72 and ZSU-23-4.





Cheers,

Logan
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Jeffry Fontaine
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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2010, 07:59:58 PM »

Thanks for posting the link to the model build article on the M8 HST.  That guy certainly put some time and effort into that old kit.  I guess that would qualify as a WHIF too when you consider the M8 version that kit is based on was used as the prime mover for the M51 Sky Sweeper 75mm anti-aircraft gun.   
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Ed S
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« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2010, 08:17:48 PM »

You never know where these things will end up.  Here's an M5 modified with crane and being used to tow a beached Flying Sub.



Ed
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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2010, 11:14:00 PM »

You never know where these things will end up.  Here's an M5 modified with crane and being used to tow a beached Flying Sub.

Nice little diorama.  I thought the Kettenkrad was pulling the Star Trek shuttle at first glance but it has a fire extinguisher cart hooked up to it.  

Here are some links to scale model (tracked) tractors found on-line:
M8 High Speed Tractor built by Serge Dompierre (1/35th scale Nitto kit)
M8 High Speed Tractor built by Bill Goodrich (1/35th scale Nitto kit)
M35 Prime Mover built by Konrad Schreier (1/35th scale AFV Club kit)
M4 High Speed Tractor built by Juan Andres Ravizzoli (1/35th scale Hobby Boss kit)
M4 High Speed Tractor built by Bill Goodrich (1/35th scale Hobby Boss kit)
M4 High Speed Tractor built by Krystian Olgier Ciechowicz (1/35th scale Hobby Boss kit)
M4 High Speed Tractor built by George Stray (1/35th scale Hobby Boss kit)
M4 High Speed Tractor built by Jan Vereerstraeten (1/35th scale PSP resin kit)
M4 High Speed Tractor built by Mario Cuniberti (1/35th scale Nitto kit)
M4 High Speed Tractor built by Mario Cuniberti (1/35th scale Nitto kit) (same as above but on a different web page)
C7P Artillery Tractor built by Serge Dompierre (1/35th scale Mirage Hobby kit
Renault UE 2 Tractor built by Glenn Bartolotti (1/35th scale Tamiya kit)
Killen Strait Tractor built by Michael E Orsbourn (1/25.4 (12mm:1.0') scratch-built)
Steyr RSO Tractor built by Rick Bennett (1/35th scale Italeri kit)
M4 High Speed Tractor built by Steve Zaloga (1/35th scale PSP resin kit)
M4 High Speed Tractor built by Barry Beaudry (1/35th scale Nitto kit)
M5 High Speed Tractor built by Steve Zaloga (1/35th scale Hobby Fan resin kit)
M33 Prime Mover built by Steve Zaloga (1/72nd scale Mirage kit)
Lorrain 38L Tractor built by Steve Zaloga (1/35th scale Ironside kit)
Vickers Utility B Tractor built by Steve Zaloga (1/35th scale ADV/Azimut resin kit)
Renault UE 2 Tractor with UK 2 Trailer built by Steve Zaloga (1/35th scale Tamiya kit)
« Last Edit: March 16, 2010, 11:17:20 PM by Jeffry Fontaine » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2010, 09:19:22 AM »

Since towed artillery went out of vogue with most US-aligned states by the 50s

*COUGH*COUGH*  It did?  I think you'll find that a rather sweeping statement to make.

Quote
The WWII M5 High-Speed tractor has also found a new lease on life in the movies as a Japanese Type 95 Ha-Go...





Do you know what movie/tv-show these pictures are from, by chance?  Its rare and unusual to see Japanese armour of any type, let alone something that looks like a what, a Type 95 Ha-Go or is it intended to be a Type 89 medium?

Quote
...while the post-war M8 High-Speed Tractor appears as a T-72 and ZSU-23-4.



This intrigued me, until I noticed it was front wheel drive, which the T-72 and all other Soviet tanks are not.
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« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2010, 10:49:48 AM »

I think the fake T-72 and "ZSU-23-2" (note it's lack of barrels) are from Red Dawn.

The Ha-Gos could be from Windtalkers or Flags of My Fathers, but I havn't seen either so I'm not sure.
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Logan Hartke
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« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2010, 12:22:27 PM »

Since towed artillery went out of vogue with most US-aligned states by the 50s

*COUGH*COUGH*  It did?  I think you'll find that a rather sweeping statement to make.

Yeah, it did.  Sure I'm aware that there were still many NATO members that loved and kept their 105mm howitzers, 8-inch howitzers, 155mm howitzers, and even developed fine new 155mm pieces (such as the 155mm FH-70), compared to the contemporary Red Army/Warsaw Pact or their own forces in WWII, most NATO members were trying to go more mechanized.  Look at the post-war users of the M7 Priest, M37 HMC, M44, and M52 to say nothing of the NATO-produced self-propelled howitzers.

I didn't say that they went out of use, or were even no longer the majority (you can buy many towed guns for the cost of one self-propelled howitzer), but they were definitely out of vogue.  In other words, the ratio of self-propelled artillery to towed artillery was definitely increasing in NATO as a whole.

Cheers,

Logan
« Last Edit: March 17, 2010, 03:11:37 PM by Logan Hartke » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2010, 12:52:35 PM »

You're assuming that Europe is the only place you'll find "US-aligned" states.

For something which has supposedly gone out of vogue there appears to be quite a large number of towed artillery pieces still in use around the world.  Further, there appear to have been quite a few new types developed since the 1950s.  You mention the FH-70, yet you appear to have forgotten the L5, the L118, the FH-77, the M-198, the M102, the M198, just to name a few! 
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Logan Hartke
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« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2010, 03:46:21 PM »

Agreed on both counts, but my assertion was that they're decreasing in popularity, which I absolutely stand by.  Towed guns are much like trains in the post-WWII era.  Sure there are still many things shipped by trains and many new trains have since been built.  They're not on their way out, but they're certainly not the powerhouses of industry that they were in WWII.

In WWII, towed guns were the way.  After WWII, armies that were restructuring along US lines agreed that self-propelled mobile artillery was the way to go.  Warsaw Pact forces didn't start heading that way until the 70s and even then it was only half-hearted by comparison.

I have to say that there were two factors that really spelled the end for most US High Speed Tractors besides self-propelled artillery.  One was the fact that the really heavy artillery (8 inch howitzers and larger) were also going out of style in the missile age of the late 50s and early 60s.  The other was the fact that their high speed was meant to keep pace with US mechanized units, where self-propelled guns were better-suited.  In the other cases of towed artillery, you were just as sensible using a truck, which is why I think we didn't see them in service any more.

The USSR clung both to heavy guns and towed artillery support for mechanized units for far longer.

Cheers,

Logan
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« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2010, 10:40:43 PM »

Useful resource if anyone is interested:



Regards,

Greg
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« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2010, 05:34:36 AM »

The Red Dawn vismods kept reminding me of the WWII NI tank.  Grin

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NI_Tank
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« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2010, 03:06:41 PM »

I saw a very M2 like vehicle today on the back of a flatbed. Appeared to be some sort of construction site vehicle. Brand new looking a bright red. Truck type body with a full width cab. Interesting to see a full tracked vehicle for civil use in the UK that isnt a crane/bucket type vehicle, especially one with the "Sherman" type suspension.
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