HISTORY




U. S. HALFTRACKS IN WW II (35 K)


Part I: The "Quad 50" Machine Gun Mount



QUAD MOUNT (27  K)

Here's the basis of all quad 50 arrays, the multiple caliber-.50 machine gun mount, aka the M45 "quadmount," pictured here installed on an M20 trailer. This gun mount was developed by the W. L. Maxon Company at the request of the U.S. Army for light antiaircraft weapons. The turret was tested successfully and immediately adopted by the U. S. Army. The turret was originally equipped with two .50-caliber machine guns but quickly redesigned to mount four guns because of the availability of the .50-caliber Browning machine gun. The gun mount was designed for antiaircraft applications with a capability of a high rate of concentrated fire. The quadmount was originally towed behind a halftrack or other ammunition carriers, but its most popular deployment was in halftracks and 2.5-ton trucks. In the halftrack installation the mount was lifted from the trailer and placed on mounting rings in the half-track. For the 2.5-ton truck installation the M20 trailer was lifted as one unit and secured to the back of the truck. The quadmount weighed approximately 2,500 lbs. The armored pod covers the legs of the gunner. The two handles in the center of the quadmount articulate to traverse and elevate the gun and house the firing triggers. Rotating the handles forward depresses the guns, while rotating back performs elevation. Pushing the left handle forward rotates the quadmount clockwise looking down while pushing the right handle forward rotates the quadmount counterclockwise looking downward. The speed of elevation and traverse is proportional to the amount of movement of the handles. The gun sight is located at the top of the mount. Four 200-round ammunition chests are mounted next to each .50-caliber machine gun. The quadmount will elevate, depress, or traverse at rates up to 60 degrees per second. Quadmounts were used in both the Pacific and European theaters. As enemy aircraft became less plentiful near the end of the war, the quadmount evolved into an antipersonnel weapon. In Europe, when enemy snipers were hidden in trees, it was not unusual to pull up a halftrack and quadmount to counter the threat. Instead of firing at the suspected location of the snipers, the quadmount gunner would aim at the base of the trees and fire. The high concentration of projectiles would literally mow down the trees taking out the snipers along with others at the same time. In the Pacific theater, the quadmount was effective against "dug-in" Japanese positions because of its high rate (450-550 rounds per minute) and high concentration of fire. It was affectionately nicknamed the "meat chopper." (Text and photo courtesy Roberts Armory.)

QUAD 50 (17 K)




DEFENDING THE BRIDGE AT REMAGEN (17  K)

A quadmount on trailer downstream from the bridge at Remagen, March 1945.


M16 MGC (24  K)

A restored M16 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage outfitted with a quadmount.


HALFTRACK WITH QUAD 50s (10 K)

A restored 1943 White M16 multiple-gun carriage halftrack.


HALFTRACK WITH QUAD 50s (19 K)

Another restored 1943 M16 multiple-gun carriage.


QUAD 50 CLOSEUP (37  K)

Close-up of Quad .50-caliber M2 heavy barrel air-cooled heavy machine guns mounted on a halftrack.


HALFTRACK WITH QUAD 50s (36 K)

A halftrack sporting quad 50s during the Battle of the Bulge.


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