Battlefront – Flames of War WWII – US – Armored Rifle Platoon (UBX51)
Out of stock
Contains five plastic M3 Halftracks, five plastic Halftrack Crew sprues, two plastic Infantry sprues, one Decal Sheet and two Unit cards.
There is never enough infantry in the Armored Divisions to go around, so support from armored infantry companies is always in high demand.
Between the world wars, the U.S. Army sought to improve the tactical mobility of its forces. With the goal of finding a high-mobility infantry vehicle, the Ordnance Department had evaluated the half-track design by testing French Citroën-Kégresse vehicles. The White Motor Company produced a prototype halftrack using their own chassis and the body of the M3 Scout Car.
The design, using as many commercial components as possible to improve reliability and the rate of production, was standardized in 1940 and built by the Autocar Company, Diamond T Motor Company, and the White Motor Company.
Even though the ‘blitz doughs’ have nicknamed it the ‘purple heart box’, the M3 Half-track is a versatile and resilient machine. The chief complaints centered on the complete lack of overhead protection from airbursting artillery shells and that the armor was inadequate against machine gun fire. However its body offers all-around protection, including an armoured shutter over the radiator and a bulletproof windscreen.
The pedastal mount lets the .30-calibre machine-gun—or a .50-cal for the platoon leader’s vehicle—fire in any direction.
Engine noise echoed off the walls of the surrounding villas as the M3 half-tracks careened through the dusty, narrow alleys of the small village, too insignificant to be marked on Lieutenant Croyden’s map. A recon jeep came barrelling back past them, the gunner yelling, “Enemy infantry right behind us!” before accelerating past
the column of vehicles. Croyden waved for the rest of 3rd Platoon’s vehicles to pull off the road.
“Get into the buildings! Get the MG’s into the windows.”
Troops piled out of their half tracks, leaping over sides of the vehicles liberally covered with satchels and gunny sacks. The mortar team set up in a small courtyard, stacking ammunition cases nearby. Sergeant Goffman’s section dismounted carried the platoon’s two .30-calibre machine-guns into nearby storehouse. Bazooka teams crouched behind low shuttered windows of houses covering the approach roads.
The first shots began to stutter as German infantry scouts tentatively approached. Croyden kept two squads
close in reserve, waiting to see where the main enemy effort would appear. The rattle of the MG’s opening up from the window of the storehouse announced the arrival of the enemy there. The mortar began pumping out shells, its short cough buried under the sharper cracking of gunfire.
The heaviest enemy fire was coming in on the right flank, aided by machine-gun fire from further off. This was where the assault would come from. Croyden turned to his reserves. “Follow me. Time to knock them back!”
As he led his men forward, the firing suddenly ratcheted up, automatic weapons from both sides ripping off long bursts. Grenades detonated, screaming erupted and a bloodied dazed trooper with no helmet stumbled into view before collapsing.
“Quickly now—throw them back!” Croyden charged into the smoke, trusting his men to follow him into the cauldron.