Light Armored Car M8 Greyhound1-7

M8: General
Date of first acceptance March 1943 Total acceptances 8523
Manufacturer Ford Motor Co. Crew
4 men:
  • Commander in turret right
  • Gunner in turret left
  • Driver in hull left front
  • Radio operator/assistant driver in hull right front
M8: Dimensions
Combat weight 17,400lbs
7890kg
Height 88.5"
225cm
Length 197"
500cm
Width 100"
250cm
Tread 76"
190cm
Wheelbase Front to center axle: 80"
Front to rear axle: 128"
Front to center axle: 200cm
Front to rear axle: 325cm
Ground clearance 11.5"
29.2cm
Fire Height 68.5"
174cm
Turret ring diameter 54"
140cm
Ground pressure, zero penetration Front: 60psi
Rear: 50psi
Front: 4.2kg/cm²
Rear: 3.5kg/cm²
M8: Armament
Type Mount Ammunition Traverse Elevation
37mm Gun M6 M23A1 in turret 80 rounds
(16 ready)
360°
(manual)
+20° to -10°
(manual)
.50cal M2HB MG Flexible on turret AA mount 400 rounds 360°
(manual)
Manual
.30cal M1919A4 MG Coaxial to 37mm gun 1500 rounds 360°
(manual)
+20° to -10°
(manual)
M8: Armor
Assembly
Welding
Hull
Rolled homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Upper front .75"
1.9cm
45°
Middle front .50"
1.3cm
60°
Lower front .625"
1.59cm
30°
Upper sides .375"
.953cm
22°
Lower sides .375"
.953cm
22°
Rear .375"
.953cm
Front top .25"
.64cm
83°
Rear top .25"
.64cm
86°
Floor .25"
.64cm
90°
Turret
Rolled and cast homogeneous steel
Location Thickness Angle from vertical
Gun shield 1.0"
2.5cm
0° to 60°
Front .75"
1.9cm
15°
Sides .75"
1.9cm
18°
Rear .75"
1.9cm
17°
Top .25"
.64cm
90°
M8: Automotive
Engine Hercules JXD; 6 cylinder, 4 cycle, in-line gasoline
Horsepower Net: 110@3200rpm Torque Net: 220 ft-lb@1150rpm Fuel capacity 56gal
210L
Transmission Synchronized, selective gear, 4 speeds forward, 1 reverse
Steering Steering wheel
Brakes Hydraulic, internal expanding
M8: Suspension
Type Road wheels Shock absorbers
Semi-elliptic leaf spring 3/side On each wheel
M8: Performance
Max level road speed 55mph
89kph
Max trench 18"
46cm
Max grade 60% Max vertical obstacle 12"
30cm
Min turning diameter 56'
17m
Max fording depth 24"
61cm
Cruising range ~350mi, roads
~560km, roads

The M8, dubbed Greyhound when evaluated by the British, was a 6x6 armored car with a small roof over the forward portion of the turret. The rest of the turret was open-topped. The vehicle was originally designed as a 37mm gun motor carriage, but once that weapon was shown to be ineffective on the battlefield the vehicle was instead called a light armored car. Late-production M8s incorporated some modifications requested by the Tank Destroyer Board, including a two-speed turret traverse mechanism and a movement of the gunner's position to the left to increase his working space. Ford designed a folding .50cal MG mount that attached to the removeable plate on the turret rear (this plate allowed access for removing the 37mm gun). The M49C ring mount as seen on various trucks and the -A1 half-tracks was instead installed on many M8s. Early M8s featured mine racks between the front and center wheels; these were later replaced with stowage bins. Late-production M8s were fitted with troughs along the engine compartment to prevent precipitation from fouling the spark plugs and distributor. These troughs were retrofitted to earlier production M8s. Late-production M8s also had 13-leaf front springs instead of the earlier 11-leaf springs, since the early springs could fail when traveling cross-country.

The car commander also functioned as the assistant gunner and loader for the 37mm gun.

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References

  1. Hunnicutt, R.P. Armored Car: A History of American Wheeled Combat Vehicles. Novato, CA: Presidio Press, 2002. Reprinted from Armored Car, R.P. Hunnicutt ©2002, available from Presidio Press, 505B San Martin Drive, Suite 160, Novato, CA 94945.
  2. TM 9-743 Light Armored Car M8. Washington, DC: War Department, 10 March 1943.
  3. Crismon, Fred W. U.S. Military Wheeled Vehicles. Minneapolis: Victory Publishing, Ltd., 2001.
  4. Gill, Lonnie. Tank Destroyer Forces--WWII. Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing Co., 1992.
  5. Hogg, Ian V. The Greenhill Armoured Fighting Vehicles Data Book. London: Greenhill Books, 2000.
  6. TM 9-1743 Ordnance Maintenance--Power Train, Suspension, Hull, and Turret for Light Armored Car M8 and Armored Utility Car M20. Washington, DC: War Department, 26 October 1943.
  7. FM 2-6 Crew Drill, Light Armored Car M8. Washington, DC: War Department, December 1943.

Last updated 24 Oct 2016.
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