Video: The M2A2 Mae West, circa 1936

The 102d Public Affairs Detachment has released a video about the M2A2 light tank on display at the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum.  The video features Staff Sgt. Mike Needham explaining the significance of this vehicle as the first American designed tank to be accepted and put into production by the US Army.  We would add one point of clarification.  The Mark VIII Liberty tank was partially designed by the US and 100 were assembled at Rock Island Arsenal.  However, the hull components were manufactured in the UK and then shipped to the US.  The M2A2 represents the first tank solely designed and built in the US and adopted into service.

Tanks in the Antarctic: Unidentified US light tank?

2026120_originalStatus Report has an interesting article about three M2A2 light tanks sent to the Antarctic in 1939 as part of an expedition.  Russian tank researcher Yuri Pasholok was able to find a Soviet report about the expedition in the Russian archives detailing some of the technical issues encountered with the light tanks in the rather harsh climate of the Antarctic.  These details are translated and available over at the Archive Awareness blog for those that are interested.  The Status Report article can be read here.  Pictures of the rusting M2A2 tanks can be found on the photography websites of Kevin Raber and Martin Grace.

Kevin Raber Pictures: Tanks in Snow, Antarctica ,Tanks and Ice , Rusty Tank treads and gears, Antarctica

Martin Grace Picture Gallery here

The photos by Martin Grace reveal that while one of the vehicles is an M2A2 as stated in the Status Report article, the other vehicle is not.   [Read more…]