The Landing Vehicle Tracked (LVT) was an amphibious vehicle used by the United States Navy, Marine Corps and Army during World War II. It was widely known as amphtrack, amtrak, amtrac etc., a portmanteau of amphibious tractor.
The first LVTs could hold 24 men or 4,500 pounds (2,000 kg) of cargo. Originally intended to carry replenishments from ships ashore, they lacked armored protection and their tracks and suspension were unreliable when used on hard terrain. However, the Marines soon recognized the potential of the LVT as assault vehicle. Armored versions were introduced as well as fire support versions, dubbed amtanks, which were fitted with turrets from Stuart series light tanks (LVT(A)-1) and M8 HMCs (LVT(A)-4). Among other upgrades were a new powerpack, also borrowed from the Stuarts, and a torsilastic suspension which significantly improved land performance.
Production continued throughout the war, resulting in 18,621 LVTs delivered. In late 1940s a series of prototypes were built and tested, but none reached production stage due to lack of funding. Realizing that acquisition of new vehicles was unlikely, the Marines modernized some of the LVT-3s and LVT(A)-5s and kept them in service until late 1950s.
LVT(A)-1 (1942, A stands for armored)
Based on the LVT-2, this fire support version had an armored (6 to 12 mm) hull. It was fitted with a turret nearly identical to that of the Light Tank M3, with a 37 mm Gun M6 in mount M44, and also carried two rear-mounted machine guns. 510 units produced.