The White Motor Company began serial production of the four-wheel-drive M3A1 Scout Car in 1940. Covered in quarter-inch face-hardened armor, the vehicle served the US military as scout, command car, ambulance, and in some cases gun tractor. Armed with one .50-caliber and two .30-caliber machine guns on a skate rail that completely surrounded the fighting compartment, the M3A1 saw action in the Philippine tropics, the North African desert, and during the 1943 invasion of Sicily. However, US forces soon replaced the open-topped M3A1 with other armored vehicles that afforded better coverage. The vehicle was widely exported; it was heavily used by the Red Army on the Eastern Front and by Free French, Belgian, Czechoslovak, and Polish forces throughout WWII. Later, France took the vehicle into combat in colonial wars in Indochina and Algeria.