WWII saw a number of innovative new solutions to meet the demands of modern combat. One such class of military vehicle was the amphibious tractor, often referred to by US servicemen as amtracs. The first such Landing Vehicles Tracked (LVT) were produced by the Food Machinery Corporation (FMC) for the US military. The original military LVT-1 appeared in 1941, but one weakness was its lack of armored protection, especially in amphibious assaults. The LVT(A)-1 helped rectify this shortcoming, with the “A” in the nomenclature representing “armored”.
Despite what its name suggests, the LVT(A)-1 was actually based on the LVT-2, and it was employed as a fire support vehicle. It featured an M3 Stuart turret containing a 37mm M6 gun. A total of 510 LVT(A)-1 vehicles were eventually produced. This important amtrac was used at Saipan during the bloody Pacific campaign.
Dragon Armor is offering a fully built-up 1/72 scale model of an LVT(A)-1. The vehicle is finely detailed, including the complicated suspension system. Details such as weld seams and a hollow gun muzzle are present. The pre-painted miniature is finished in a striking ocean gray shade, a color that unfortunately provided little camouflage when fighting on land. The model’s markings identify “Crazy Legs” as coming from C Company of the 708th Amphibious Tank Battalion at the time of the Saipan landings. This US Army battalion with 68 LVTs was among the initial assault wave that landed there on 15 June 1944. The two yellow stripes on the pontoon sides denote its designated landing area of “Yellow Beach Two”.