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United States' M8 light armored car

Photos

M8 Armored Car
United States' M8 Greyhound Armored Car
U.S. Official (Mark Holloway)
M8 Armored Car
United States' M8 Greyhound Armored Car
Aberdeen Tank Museum
T22 Armored Car Prototype
United States' T22 Armored Car Prototype
U.S. Ordnance Dept.
T22E2 Armored Car Prototype
United States' T22E2 Armored Car Prototype
U.S. Ordnance Dept.
T26 Armored Car Prototype
United States' T26 Prototype Greyhound Armored Car
U.S. Ordnance Dept.
T69 Armored Car Prototype
United States' T69 Prototype Armored Car
U.S. Ordnance Dept.

Design

Based on seeing the successful German Army using armored cars to good affect, the United States Army decided to develop an armored car with a 37 mm gun and 6 x 6 drive.2,5 Four companies were asked to submit designs.2

Radio

The radio used by the M8 was a SCR506, 508, 510, 608, or 610.

Construction

The M8 was made from all welded construction.3

The floor had rather thin armor and many crews put sandbags on the floor to help protect themselves from mines.3

In later models the steel gas tank was replaced by a rubber one.

Sand shields were mounted over the front and rear wheels, however, the rear ones were hinged and often removed to make it easier to mount tire chains. There was storage above the rear fenders and on the front hull between the headlights and racks for three mines on each side. The blackout lights were removable from their sockets.

Crew

The driver sat on the left and radio operator sat on the right and both had top and front hatches.3 The driver used a standard steering wheel.

The turret was located in the middle with the commander and loader.3

Much of the crew's equipment had to be stored externally as there wasn't enough room on the inside.1

Turret

The M8's turret had an open top.2,3

All shutters and hatch covers can be closed and protectoscopes used for observation. There is a radio and speaking tube for inside of vehicle.

Main Armament

The 37 mm gun was rotated and elevated manually and was located in an open turret.1,2,3

Engines

The fans in the rear blew towards the rear allowing for silent operation which allowed the M8 to approach the enemy stealthily.

Towing

A pintle was mounted in the rear of the M8 for towing a trailer.

Wheels

There were 6 wheels that had mudguards, but these were often removed for battle.2 The wheels had an armored center and a bead lock to help prevent tires from collapsing in combat.

Prototype

Prototypes built by Ford Motor Co.3 and Chrysler designated the T223 and T23.1,2 Both were very similar but the T22E2 was chosen for production on May 19, 1942.1

Production

  • M8: 8,5231,3, >11,0005, 11,6672
    • Manufacturer: Ford Motor Co.1,4
    • Production: March 1943 - September 19455, late 1942 - 19453

Variants

  • T22: Ford prototype.2 Became the M8.2
  • T22E1: Built by Ford as a prototype.1
  • T23E1: Built by Chrysler as a prototype.1
  • T22E2: Had improvements made to the storage of equipment and better driver visibility.1
  • T26: Prototype.
  • M8: Entered service in early 1943.3
  • M8E1: Suspension improvements, skate ring for .50 cal AA gun.
  • T69 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage:

Usage

First saw action in Italy in March 1943.1

Pacific Theater

Was used mostly on Okinawa and the Philippines in the Pacific theater.1

Britain's Use

The British forces received the M8 but didn't like it as they felt the armor was too thin and would often put sand bags on the floor to help protect against anti-tank mines.2,3 The British called it the Greyhound (it wasn't a compliment).2,5

Post World War II

By 1976 there were still 22 countries using the M8 Armored Car.2,3

Specifications

  M8
Crew 41,2,3,4,5
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 16,400 lb4, 17,468 lb5
7.68 tons1, 7.94 tons2, 8 tons3
7,802 kg1, 7,940 kg5, 8,126 kg3
Length 15' 8.25"4, 16' 5"1,2,3,5
5 m2,3,5, 5.01 m1
Height 7' 4.5"2,5, 7' 5"1,3, 7' 6"4
2.248 m2,5, 2.25 m3, 2.26 m1
Width 8' 3 5/8"4, 8' 4"1,2,3,5
2.54 m1,2,3,5
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 11.25"4, 11.5"
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure 13.6 psi
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 1: 37 mm2,5
1: 37 mm M61,3,4
Secondary  
MG 2: 7.62 mm (.30 cal) MG1
MG - coaxial 1: 0.3" MG3
1: .30 cal M1919A40 MG4
1: 7.62 mm MG2,3,5
MG - anti aircraft 1: 0.5" MG3
1: .50 cal HB M2 MG4
1: 12.7 mm MG2,3,5
Side arms

4: Carbines
Grenades
Smoke pots4
Antitank mines4

Quantity  
Main 804
Secondary  
MG .30: 1,500, 1,5754
.50: 400, 4204
Side arms .30: 400
Grenades: 12
Smoke pots: 44
Antitank mines: 64
Armor Thickness (mm) 85, 193
Hull Front, Upper 16 mm, 5/8", 0.625"@0°4
Hull Front, Lower 19 mm, 0.75"
Hull Sides, Upper 9 mm, 3/8", 0.375"@0°4
Hull Sides, Lower 9 mm, 3/8"
Hull Rear 9 mm, 3/8", 0.375"@0°4
Hull Top 6 mm, 0.25"
Hull Bottom 3 mm, 1/8-1/4"
Turret Front 19 mm, 0.75", 0.875"@0°4
Turret Sides 19 mm, 0.75", 0.75"@0°4
Turret Rear 19 mm, 0.75"
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) Hercules JXD1,2,3,4,5
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water4
Cylinders 62,3,4,5
Capacity  
Net HP 1102,3,4,5
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) Selective sliding gear
Synchromesh4
4 forward, 1 reverse4
Steering Worm and roller, front wheels only4
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline2,3,4,5
Octane  
Quantity 54 gallons4, 56 gallons
Road consumption 6.6 mpg4
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°4
Manual4
Speed - Road 55 mph2,3,4,5, 60 mph1
89 kph2,3,5, 100 kph1
Speed - Cross Country 30 mph
Range - Road 250 miles4, 350 miles2,3,5
563 km2,3,5
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius 28'4
Elevation limits -10° to +18°4
Fording depth 2'2,5, 2' 8"4
0.61 m2,5
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle 1'2,4,5
0.3 m2,5
Climbing ability 30° slope4
Suspension (Type) Leaf spring
Semi elliptical springs4
Wheels each side 6 x 64
Tires 6
Track centers/tread 6' 4"4
Tire size 9.00 x 204
Wheel base 79" + 48"4

Sources:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles - The Comprehensive Guide to Over 900 Armored Fighting Vehicles From 1915 to the Present Day, General Editor: Christopher F. Foss, 2002
  2. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
  3. World Encyclopedia of Armored Fighting Vehicles, Jack Livesey, 2006
  4. Tank Data 2, Aberdeen Proving Grounds Series, E. J. Hoffschmidt and W. H. Tantum IV, 1969
  5. Armored Fighting Vehicles, 300 of the World's Greatest Military Vehicles, Philip Trewhitt, 1999
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site