Staghound-AEC Armoured Car - the Hybrid

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Staghound-AEC-1

Introduction

The development of the Staghound began in response to U.S. Army Ordnance specifications for a medium armoured car issued in July 1941, alongside a heavy armoured car specification that led to the development of the T18 Boarhound. Ford Motor Company crafted a prototype named T17 with six driven wheels (6 x 6), while Chevrolet produced a model named T17E1 with four driven wheels (4 x 4). Concurrently, the British Purchasing Commission sought similar vehicles for the North African war effort.

Both the T17 and T17E1 shared a turret designed by Rock Island Arsenal, incorporating British requirements such as accommodating at least two crew members and situating the radio within the turret for proximity to the commander. The T17E1, known as the Staghound in British nomenclature, resulted from collaborative efforts between British liaison officers and Chevrolet engineers. Despite initial flaws identified during testing, production commenced in October 1942. Although a U.S. Army board recommended cancelling larger armoured car projects in favour of a lighter vehicle, production of the Staghound continued for the UK under Lend-Lease, with a total of 3,844 units manufactured. The Staghound featured innovative elements including two rear-facing 6-cylinder engines with automatic transmissions, selectable two- or four-wheel drive, and a unique power steering system that could be manually activated based on steering conditions. Its rigid hull structure eliminated the need for a separate chassis, showcasing advanced engineering for its time.

Following WWII, Britain found itself with a massive excess of armoured fighting vehicles, and begun to sell them off to buyers all over the world. One such purchaser was Lebanon, operating 56 Staghound armoured cars between 1949 and 1983. Quite exactly how Lebanon obtained these vehicles is a topic of debate, but the common consensus is that they were sold as WWII excess to Jordan from Britain, and Jordan then passed them on to Lebanon shortly after. In Lebanese service they saw extensive action, predominantly during the 1958 Lebanon Crisis and from 1975 onwards during the Lebanese Civil War. Over the period of their operation, they were modified extensively with additional armaments and turret swaps.

The variant being discussed in this suggestion underwent a fairly drastic modification - the original turret of the Staghound was replaced with the turret of a British AEC Mk III, armed with an Ordnance QF 75mm. This modification was undertaken because the 2pdr turrets of the Staghound Mk Is were beyond obsolete in the post-WW2 world, and ammo was becoming increasingly sparse as production lines were shut down. American 75mm ammo however was still abundantly available, and the gun was much more capable in many ways, with a potent HE round.

Specifications

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Mass: 14t
Length: 5.49 m
Width: 8 ft 10 in (2.69 m)
Height: 7 ft 9 in (2.36 m)
Crew: 4
Armour: 9 to 44 mm
Main armament: Ordnance QF 75mm
Secondary armament: 2× .30 (7.62 mm) M1919 Browning machine guns
Anti-aircraft armament: 1x .50cal M2 Browning
Engine: 2 × GMC 270 rated at 97 hp (72 kW)
Power/weight: 13.9 hp/tonne
Suspension: Wheels, 4 x 4
Operational range: 450 miles (724 km)
Maximum speed: 55 mph (89 km/h)

The above specifications are for the Staghound Mk III with the original modified crusader turret. The exact dimensions of this vehicle will be slightly different owing the the turret replacement.

Images

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Staghound-AEC-2

Staghound-AEC-3

Staghound-AEC-4

Staghound-AEC-5

Sources

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The Lebanese Civil War (Modern Conflicts Profile Guide Vol 2) - A-K Interactive (extract available here)

https://web.archive.org/web/20140201161520/http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/b040213.pdf

T17E1 (Staghound) Four-Wheeled Armored Car

Panzerserra Bunker- Military Scale Models in 1/35 scale: Staghound Mk I, Mk II CS and Mk III (6pdr. and 75mm) T17E1 - case report

Охотник на оленей 2. - Пещера злобного Буквоеда — LiveJournal (requires translation)

1958 Lebanon Crisis: (2) The Lebanese side – Military In the Middle East

Lebanon’s Past Equipment – Military In the Middle East

T17E1 Staghound - Wikipedia

3 Likes

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I kinda hope we get the one with the massive .50 gun shield. Lol.

2 Likes

That’s a Lebanese modification, I believe, and I’d love it too!