U.S. Diamond T M19 Tank Transporter


The Models and Materials needed
As I already talked about in my article on the Diamond T trucks, these vehicles are most appealing to the modeler. As these are iconic in World War 2 transport, recovery, and appearance. For this project, my subject is the M19 Tank Transporter with a closed cab. During the past years, a handful of resin kits of this model were on the market. But fortunately, Merit brought us the first plastic kit in 1/35th scale. It's a very nice detailed kit. Very crisp parts. I want to build a very simple vignette with this vehicle just to show the model itself. So nothing fancy. It's a beauty in itself.

As a primary source I used the TM 9-768 from 1944. It states:"The 45-ton Tank Transporter Truck-trailer M19 is a combination of two units, the 12-ton, 6x4 truck M20 and the 45-ton, 12-wheel trailer M9. The unit is designed to recover and transport damaged tanks and materiel weighing up to 90,000 pounds."

Truck M20

The 12-ton, 6x4 truck M20 is a tandem-rear-axle, or 6-wheel, truck equipped with a rear pintle for towing the M9 trailer. The cab is a closed type on some models and open type on others. A ballast body and a winch are installed on the chassis behind the cab. The winch is operated through a power take-off installed on the auxiliary transmission and is controlled from outside the cab by means of an air-operated clutch control and remote throttle control. Recovery and loading are accomplished utilizing the winch. Additional wheel traction can be obtained by filling the ballast body with any available materials such as gravel or sand. The spare wheel and tire are mounted in the forward end of the ballast body, and two stowage boxes are located inside the body at the rear end. A fuel tank is installed on each side of the truck immediately behind the cab. The storage batteries and fuel gate valves are carried in a compartment on each side under the cab doors. The truck is powered by a Diesel engine, which is equipped with a fuel oil burning heater to facilitate cold-weather starting.

Trailer M9

The 45-ton, 12-wheel trailer M9 has a tandem axle at the rear which carries 8 dual wheels, and a front axle that carries 4 dual wheels. A drawbar is provided for towing the trailer. The rear end of the trailer slopes down and two hinged ramps are provided to facilitate loading. The trailer is equipped with track guides, cable troughs, rollers, and sheaves. Four chock blocks and various anchor chains are carried to secure the tank while it is being transported. The trailer is equipped with an air-brake system and manual control for setting brakes independently of the truck. A storage compartment is located at the rear of the trailer.

The pages from the TM 9-2800 (1943)

Where to find information

Publications found
on the M19 Tank Transporter

ORD 7-8-9 SNL G-159, Ordnance Supply Catalog, Truck, Trailer, 45-Ton. Tank Transporter, MI9

Tankograd No 6018 - U.S. WW II M19 Tank Transporter - Michael Franz

Very recommended

Squadron Signal Publications No 39006 - M19-20 Tank Transporter Detail in Action - David Doyle

Picture page with pictures from Manual TM 9-768
Click picture to view gallery

From an old magazine WW2 Journal Vol 3 No 2 - 1976

Building The Model

As my main interest lies in the last part of Word War 2, I want to build this vehicle according to this time period. I found markings, that puts the model around August of 1944 in Normandy France.

This vehicle belonged to Tank Transporter Company 859 Royal Army Service Corps 21st Army Group. (Source: Trucks and Tanks Magazine No 13)



The Final Result