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Throughout WWII, the USA employed halftracks in a variety of roles. One need was for mobile artillery able to keep pace with armored formations, and one such vehicle was the T19 Howitzer Motor Carriage (HMC). The “T” designation (rather than a standardized “M”) indicates the vehicle was only an expedient measure. Indeed, it was an interim solution until the M7 Priest came on stream in 1942.
The T19 was essentially an M3 halftrack mounting an M2A1 105mm howitzer in the rear compartment. A total of 324 T19 HMCs were produced by Diamond T in January-April 1942. A halftrack was not the best carriage for the howitzer as the vehicle was cramped and overloaded, so much so that the T19 could carry only eight 105mm rounds. Despite drawbacks such as minimal armored protection, the T19 served with the U.S. Army in North Africa and Sicily, and even in Italy in limited numbers. With the arrival of the M7 Priest, many T19s were converted back into standard M3 halftracks.
Dragon is welcoming a T19 HMC into its 1/35 stable of U.S. halftrack plastic kits. As a Smart Kit, this new release is full of well-engineered components guaranteed to give modelers of all skill levels a pleasurable build. Where practical, it employs multimedia parts for added realism – elements such as an aluminum gun barrel or individual photo-etched parts for the front armored slats. The T19 fighting compartment is a brand new molding, as is the 105mm howitzer and its mount. No detail is spared, with a complete engine, drive-train, differential, steering mechanism and intricate detail on the rear suspension bogey all included. The track bands are made from plastic for maximum realism and ease of construction. The T19 adds a new dimension to the American halftrack family, adding some real firepower to a diorama from the North African or Mediterranean theater!