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Author Topic: So, what is a MG-2, anyway?  (Read 1900 times)
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Ol Paint
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« on: January 23, 2009, 07:41:15 PM »

I've seen the terms MG-1, MG-2, and M2 tossed around interchangeably.  The data plate on the 1942 M2 I acquired give M2 as the military designation and the manufacturer's model as MG-1.  I tended to think that the MG-2 referred to late production, but I think my 1944 also has the data plate marked MG-1 and it has the later production characteristics (sprung idler and brush guard--I don't have the engine compartment panels, air system, or generator for this one).  The reproduction manuals I've purchased all give only "MG-1," which doesn't necessarily mean anything, depending on what edition of the original manual was used for the reproduction.  So, what is an MG-2, anyway?

I have not been intrigued enough to do any heavy research into the matter, but I just purchased U.S. Military Tracked Vehicles by Fred Crimson, and it has some interesting items.  According to this book, there were two different MG-1s?  An early test model that appears to have a much taller hood, no front bumper, winch, or PTO and equipped with a 3 speed transmission with a 3 speed auxiliary.  Weight was 9,700lb and drawbar pull was 5,500lb.  It also has a grille over the radiator similar in appearance to that found on a Cletrac A or B.  Then, there is the M2 HST that was also called the MG-1, which is the type of tractor one can find pictured if you run a web search.

There is also two versions of an MG-2 pictured.  This resembles a backwards M2 HST.  The engine is rear mounted, the drive sprockets are now at the front of the tractor, the operator's seat (which is a single-person bucket seat) is installed against the firewall where the gas tank used to be, and two bench seats similar to that found on the M2 are now mounted on the fenders so that the passengers face inboard.  These seats are longer to accommodate (4) passengers, each.  And there are (2) fuel tanks--one on each fender, aft of the passenger seats.  The idler has also been lowered to be nearly level with the ground, giving a parallelogram-shaped track.  Weight of this version is still approximately 12,000lb, but the tractor was regeared for a top speed of 35mph and drawbar pull was down to 4,900lb.  This configuration is very similar to (or the same as) the 3-inch Gun Motor Carriage T1.  The book doesn't give an Ordnance test number for this model.

The second version of the MG-2 has the same rear-engine/front-drive configuration, but has two 40 gallon tanks mounted in the middle of the fenders with a 2-person bench seat located at each corner of the vehicle.  A 15,000lb winch has been added, along with a windshield for the driver and provisions for a full canvas top.  It was designated the Medium Tractor T10 and weighed 15,500lb net/19,500lb gross.  Length = 14'-8", Width = 8'-1", Height with the top up = 7'-7".  Max speed was 30mph using the same WXLC-3.  Reportedly, 22 T10s were built.  

Incidentally, International Harvester built a very similar-looking tractor called the Medium Tractor T20 that has a suspension that looks almost identical to the T10.

So, it looks like the MG-2 may have been an evolution of the M2/MG-1 either in parallel with, or sequential to, the 3-inch GMC T1.  However, I have found a few minor errors in Crimson's book, although most seem to be typos rather than incorrect information, so it is tough to state unequivocally that this really is what the "MG-2" is, but I thought I'd toss it out to see if someone else knows more.

If I get time, I'll try to scan in a couple of the pictures.

Douglas

P.S.  Crimson's books are usually excellent.  They aren't technical histories, rather they are photo albums with informative captions under each picture.  A page usually has 4-5 black & white photos approximately 2" x 3" with each different vehicle getting anywhere from 1-5 pictures.  The pictures cover test vehicles, production vehicles, one-off prototypes, and variants.  

US Military Tracked Vehicles covers just about everything.  If it was tested and someone took a picture of it, it's probably in there, somewhere.  Tanks, motor carriages, halftracks (armored & otherwise), engineer vehicles, prime movers (tractors), Archimedes-screw vehicles, & hovercraft are all pictured.  Besides the M2, MG-1, & MG-2, the T1 GMC is pictured, as well as the T3 Cletrac light artillery prime mover, and a 1918 Model 30.  There are also all kinds of Holts, Cats, Internationals, Marmon-Herringtons, & many other manufacturers represented.

I also have his US Military Wheeled Vehicles which has various armored and unarmored Minneapolis-Molines, John-Deeres, & others, among the trucks and armored cars.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Ol Paint » Logged
Ol Paint
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2009, 05:39:16 PM »

I didn't mean to take this long to post these scans, but better late than never, I suppose.  Click on the pictures for a larger view.

Douglas





[Edit:  Took lots of tries, but I finally got the pictures to show.]
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Ol Paint » Logged
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