half-tracked, adj.
/haf"trak', hahf"-/, n.
1. a caterpillar tread that runs over and under the rear or driving wheels of a vehicle but is not connected with the forward wheels: used esp. on military vehicles.
2. a motor vehicle with rear driving wheels on caterpillar treads.
3. Mil. an armored vehicle equipped with half-tracks.
Also, halftrack.

* * *

      motor vehicle that has wheels in the front and tanklike tracks at the back. Rugged armoured all-terrain half-tracks were widely used by American and German forces in World War II as armoured personnel carriers and for other purposes. They usually had open tops, armoured sides, and engine coverings.

      The German army used half-tracks primarily to transport troops in step with their fast-moving panzer ( tank) formations. Half-tracks were thus an essential element in German panzer and motorized infantry divisions. The Germans built a great variety of specialized half-tracks ranging in weight from 1 to 18 tons. Their tracks were long, which gave the vehicles good traction but reduced their speed. Half-tracks could be armed with a machine gun, a small howitzer ( artillery piece), an antiaircraft gun, rockets (rocket), or even a flame thrower, and they might also be used as radio and command cars or as ambulances. A typical type was the 8t SdKfz personnel carrier, which weighed almost 12 tons, could carry 12 soldiers, and had a top speed of 50 km (31 miles) per hour.

      American half-tracks had shorter tracks and tended to be capable of faster road speeds. Some types functioned as armoured personnel carriers, while others were used to carry ammunition and tow guns. The M2 armoured personnel carrier accommodated a crew of 12, mounted a .50-calibre machine gun, and had a road speed of 76 km (47 miles) per hour. Half-track production declined late in the war as both Germany and the United States switched to using either all-wheel or all-track vehicles.

Additional Reading
Studies of half-track vehicles include John Milsom, German Half-Tracked Vehicles of World War 2 (1975); Steven J. Zaloga (compiler), US Halftracks of World War Two (1985); and Peter Chamberlain and Hilary L. Doyle, Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, rev. ed. (1993).

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • half-track — [ alftrak ] n. m. • 1946; mot angl. amér. « semi traction » ♦ Anglic. Milit. Véhicule blindé, semi chenillé. Des half tracks. half track n. m. MILIT Véhicule blindé et équipé de chenilles à l arrière. Des half tracks. half track [ alftʀak] n. m.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • half-track — half track, half tracked half trackedadj. having caterpillar treads on the rear and wheels in front; as, half track armored vehicles. Syn: half track. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • half-track — also halftrack, type of military vehicle, 1927, from HALF (Cf. half) + TRACK (Cf. track) (n.) …   Etymology dictionary

  • half|track — half track or half|track «HAF TRAK, HAHF », noun. 1. a type of motor vehicle having wheels in the front for steering, and caterpillar tracks at the rear for driving power, used especially in the armed forces for mounting heavy weapons and… …   Useful english dictionary

  • half-track — half′ track or half′track n. 1) aum a caterpillar tread that runs over and under the rear or driving wheels of a vehicle but is not connected with the forward wheels: used esp. on military vehicles 2) aum a motor vehicle with rear driving wheels… …   From formal English to slang

  • half-track — n. a half tracked vehicle; used mostly of armored military vehicles. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • *half-track — ● half track, half tracks nom masculin (américain half track, semi traction) Véhicule semi chenillé et blindé, d origine américaine. (Initialement affecté au transport des fantassins [Seconde Guerre mondiale ; Algérie], il ne subsiste plus que… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Half-track — A half track is a civilian or military vehicle with regular wheels on the front for steering, and caterpillar tracks on the back to propel the vehicle and carry most of the load. The purpose of this combination is to produce a vehicle with the… …   Wikipedia

  • half-track — noun Date: 1935 1. an endless chain track drive system that propels a vehicle supported in front by a pair of wheels 2. a motor vehicle propelled by half tracks; specifically one lightly armored for military use • half track or half tracked… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Half-track — Autochenille Autochenille militaire israélienne Une autochenille (en anglais half track) est un véhicule terrestre possédant un pont avant directeur équivalent à celui d une automobile et un système propulseur équipé de chenilles …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.