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United States' T17 armored car

Photos

T17 armored car:
United States' T17 armored car
T17 armored car:
United States' T17 armored car
US Ordnance Dept.
T17E1 armored car:
United States' T17E1 armored car
T17E1 armored car:
United States' T17E1 armored car
Imperial War Museum
T17E1 armored car of the 18th Armored Car Regiment going around a destroyed King Tiger of the 503 PzAbt:
United States' T17E1 armored car of the 18th Armored Car Regiment going around a destroyed King Tiger of the 503 PzAbt
T17E2 armored car:
United States' T17E2 armored car
T17E2 armored car:
United States' T17E2 armored car
US Ordnance Dept.
T17E3 armored car:
United States' T17E3 armored car
US Ordnance Dept.
Staghound Mk III armored car:
United States' Staghound Mk III armored car

Design

Lessons From Europe

After the victories by the Germans in Europe in the summer of 1940 it was seen that the Wehrmacht used wheeled armored cars for reconnaissance.3 In the United States the Army was in the process of acquiring the M3A1 scout car which offered little protection for the crew nor carried large armament.3

British Needs

In July 1941, after British experience in North Africa, the Ordnance Committee gave design specifications for medium and heavy armored cars.3 On October 15, 1942, a committee was formed of Armored Force, Cavalry, Tank Destroyer, and Ordnance personnel to consider the armored cars in design or production. The T17 was considered too large and production was reduced to 250.

The British insisted that the turret contain two of the crewman and that a radio be near the commander.3 There was an extension at the rear of the turret that was used for the installation of a radio.3

T17 Not Wanted by United States Army

On October 14, 1942, the Palmer Board was formed under the leadership of Brigadier General W. B. Palmer.3 The Palmer Board felt that there were too many armored car designs and in December 1942 recommended that all except for the M8 Greyhound armored car program be terminated.3

British Still Needed the T17

The British Army on the other hand still wanted one of the T17 armored car designs.3,5 In February 1943 the T17 and T17E1 were pitted against each other.3 The T17E1 was the winner as it had better reliability.3

T17E1 by Chevrolet

The T17E1 project was lead by Earl S. MacPherson who was a British born engineer.3 After World War II he designed the automotive MacPherson strut.3

The T17E1 had two General Motors truck engines (97 HP).3

T17 Engine

It was decided that the engine for the T17 models was to be the Hercules JXD engine (110 HP), which was the same as used in the M3A1 scout car and the 2 1/2 ton trucks.3

Turret

Had the turret from the M3 Medium.1 The 37 mm M6 gun was in a M24A1 mount.3

Engines

The Staghound Mk I had who engines that were located side by side in the rear of the vehicle.2 The transmission was fully automatic hydraulic.2

Prototype

Ford developed a 6 wheel pilot model (T17) and Chevrolet a 4 wheel model (T17E1).3

The T17 prototype weighed 28,600 lb and had two Ford engines (90 HP).3 It was completed in March 1942.3

The T17E1 prototype weighed 27,200 lb.3 The prototype was completed in March 1942.3

The T17E2 prototype was completed in March 1943 and shipped to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds for tests.3

Production

In January 1942 an order was placed for 2,260 T17s to be built by Ford.3 These were to be produced at the St. Paul plant.3 In June 1942 another contract was issued to increase production by 1,500.3 These contracts were cancelled but the United States Army decided that 250 could be built while the M8 production was coming online.3

In January 1942 an order was placed for 2,000 T17E1s to be built by Chevrolet.3 The British requested 300 T17E1s in December 1941.2,3 In April 1942 the order for the T17E1s was increased by 1,500.3

The British had originally ordered 1,000 T17E2s but the order was cancelled in April 1944 after 789 were constructed.2

  • T17: 2501
    • Production: 19411
    • Manufacturer: Ford2,4
  • T17E13, Staghound Mk I3: 2,687, 2,8441,3
    • Production: October 1942 - December 19431
    • Manufacturer: Chevrolet2
  • T17E23, Staghound AA3: 7892, 1,0003
    • Production: ? - April 19442
      • 1943: 5004
  • T17E33, Howitzer Staghound3: 303
  • Staghound Mk III3: 32 converted3

Variants

  • T17 Armored Car: Designed by Ford.2,3
  • T17E1 Armored Car, Staghound Mk I: Designed by Chevrolet.2,3 It was designed to be a long distance reconnaissance vehicle and convoy escort. First went into combat in Italy in 1943. Was issued to Canadian, New Zealand, Indian, and Belgian units.
  • T17E2 Armored Car, Staghound AA: Antiaircraft armored car.2,3 Had a Fraser-Nash powered turret installed.3 There were two 12.7 mm Browning machine guns in the turret.2 The .50 cal machine guns fired an API round at a velocity of 2,930'/sec.4
  • T17E3 Armored Car, Howitzer Staghound: Had 75 mm howitzer placed in turret.2,3
  • Staghound Mk II, Staghound 3": In Italy the New Zealand Divisional Cavalry Regiment substituted 3" Mk howitzers for the 37 mm gun.2,3,5
  • Staghound Mk III: Had Crusader tank turret with 75 mm gun mounted.2,3,5 Issued to heavy troops of armored car regiments.
  • Staghound Command: Turret removed and extra radio gear and a table installed.2,3,5
  • Staghound Charger: Turrets removed from Staghound AA and a plastic windshield installed.3 The regimental commander would then use the vehicle.3
  • Staghound Control: Four assigned to each armored car regiment.3 Had a second No. 19 radio installed outside the turret.3
  • Staghound Rear-Link: Used by Canadians.3 Main gun removed and a long range CR-299 radio and antennae installed.3 It would allow the armored car regiment to communicate with the corp or other headquarters in the rear.3
  • Staghound Mine Clearer: Used for mine clearing.5

Usage

Mainland United States

The T17s that were completed were assigned to the United States Army's military police for patrol duties in the United States.3

Mediterranean Theater

The T17 Staghounds were to originally be used for reconnaissance in the North African dessert.3 But by the time they arrived at the front, it had moved to Italy.3 There the Staghounds became bogged down in the Italian mud.3

New Zealand 2nd Division

In August and September 1943 the Divisional Cavalry Regiment of the New Zealand 2nd Division were reequipped with the Staghound.3

The New Zealanders were known for their modifications of equipment and they were the first to swap out the 37 mm gun for a 3" Mk I howitzer.3

27th Lancers

The 27th Lancers was the first British unit to receive the Staghound.3

Northwest Europe

The T17s were used all over North West Europe.3 The Staghounds were primarily used at the headquarters for armored car regiments.3

Three of the Staghound Mk IIIs were sent to the Canadian XII Manitoba Dragoons and they found it was the best 75 mm armored car available.3

Post World War II

The Staghounds served with the Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, and some Middle Eastern countries after World War II.3 They were even found in Lebanon and Nicaragua in the 1980s.3

Specifications

  T17E1, Staghound Mk I
Crew 51,2,3,5
Commander, gunner, loader, driver, hull gunner3
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 30,624 lb5, 30,705 lb3
13.48 tons1, 13.92 tons2
13,700 kg1, 13,920 kg5
Length 18'1,2,3,5
5.486 m2,5, 5.49 m1
Height 7' 9"1,2,5, 9' 4"3
2.36 m1,2,5
Width 8' 10"1,2,3,5
2.69 m1,2,5
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 1' 3"3
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure 17.95 psi
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 1: 37 mm M63
1: 37 mm1,2,5
Secondary  
MG 2 or 3: 7.62 (.30 cal) MG1
3: 7.62 mm MG5
MG - coaxial 1: .30 cal3
1: 7.62 mm Browning MG2
MG - hull 1: .30 cal3
MG - antiaircraft 1: .30 cal3
Side arms  
Quantity  
Main 1033
Secondary  
MG 5,2503
Side arms  
Armor Thickness (mm) 85
Hull Front, Upper 0.625 - 0.975"
9, 223
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 0.75"
193
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear 0.625"
Hull Top 0.5"
Hull Bottom 0.5-0.25"
Turret Front 1.75"
253
mantlet: 1"
Turret Sides 1.25"
323
Turret Rear 1.25"
Turret Top 0.5"
Engine (Make / Model) 2 x GMC 2701,2,3
2 x GMC5
Bore / stroke  
Cooling  
Cylinders 62,3,5
Capacity  
Net HP 97 each2,3,5
Power to weight ratio 12.6 HP/ton3
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) Hydramatic, 4 forward, 1 reverse3
Steering  
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline2,5
Octane  
Quantity  
Quantity - internal 62 gallons3
Quantity - external 38 gallons3
Road consumption  
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°
Speed - Road 55 mph1,2,3,5
89 kph1,2,5
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 450 miles1,2,5
724 km1,2,5
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius 27.5'
Elevation limits -7° to +40°
Fording depth 2' 8"2,5
0.8 m2,5
Trench crossing 1' 6"3
Vertical obstacle 1' 9"2,3,5
0.533 m2,5
Climbing ability  
Suspension (Type)  
Wheels each side 4
Return rollers each side  
Wheels (Type) 4: 14 x 20 21 ply combat tires3
Length  
Width  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread  
  T17E2, Staghound AA
Crew 34, 5
Physical Characteristics  
Weight 26,558 lb, 28,000 lb4
Length 17' 7"4, 17' 10"
Height 7' 8"4, 7' 11 3/8"
Width 8' 10"4
Width over tracks  
Ground clearance 13.25"4
Ground contact length  
Ground pressure 15.4 psi, 18 psi4
Turret ring diameter  
Armament  
Main 2: .50 cal HB M2, MG4
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms .45 cal Thompson submachinegun4
Quantity  
Main 2,6104, 5,250
Secondary  
MG  
Side arms 4504
Armor Thickness (mm)  
Hull Front, Upper 0.625 - 0.975", 0.875"@0°4
Hull Front, Lower  
Hull Sides, Upper 0.375"@0°4, 0.75"
Hull Sides, Lower  
Hull Rear 0.625"
Hull Top 0.5"
Hull Bottom 0.5-0.25"
Turret Front 1.25"@0°4
Turret Sides 1.25"@0°4
Turret Rear 1.25"
Turret Top  
Engine (Make / Model) 2 x GMC 270
2 x Chevrolet OHV4
Bore / stroke  
Cooling Water4
Cylinders 2x64
Capacity  
Net HP 176 total4
Power to weight ratio  
Compression ratio  
Transmission (Type) Hydramatic with dual range transfer case4
8 forward, 2 reverse4
Steering Nut and recirculating ball, power assist, front wheels only4
Steering ratio  
Starter  
Electrical system  
Ignition  
Fuel (Type) Gasoline4
Octane  
Quantity 90 gallons4
Quantity - internal  
Quantity - external  
Road consumption 3 mpg4
Cross country consumption  
Performance  
Traverse 360°4
43°/sec
Fraser-Nash hydraulic powered4
Speed - Road 55 mph4
Speed - Cross Country  
Range - Road 450 miles4
Range - Cross Country  
Turning radius 27.5', 28'4
Elevation limits -10° to +80°4
Fording depth 2' 8"4
Trench crossing  
Vertical obstacle 1' 8"4, 1' 9"
Climbing ability 57° slope4
Suspension (Type) Semi-elliptic springing4
Wheels each side 4
Return rollers each side  
Wheels (Type)  
Length  
Width  
Diameter  
Number of links  
Pitch  
Tire tread  
Track centers/tread 89"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. Staghound Armored Car 1942 - 1962, Steven J. Zaloga, 2009
  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

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