Staghound Mk I

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                          Staghound Mk I

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Vehicle design and service history:

The story of the Boarhound armoured car begins in July of 1941, when the U.S. Army Ordnance issued a specification for a medium armoured car, in order to fulfil a request by the British Purchasing Commission which was currently looking for Armoured Cars for use in the war in North Africa. Because of this British requirements were a driving force in the armoured car’s design, including the requirement of at least two crew members in the turret, along with a radio in the turret so that it would be close to the vehicle commander.

The British were pleased with the 4-wheel drive design presented by Chevrolet and allocated the name Staghound to the T17E series with the intent of acquiring them for service in the British army. The British liaison officers were in contact with the Chevrolet engineer in charge of the project, and were happy to report they had influenced him sufficiently to produce something that met all their requirements. Due to this the British British Purchasing Commission “formally requested” the production of 300 vehicles in December of that year, with the US Army authorized production of 2,000 units in January of 1942. The British confirmed their order in March of 1942, and the Pilot was delivered to Aberdeen Proving Ground for testing. The testing showed flaws, but these were negligible and expected to be corrected, and the British confirmed their order contract along with a further 1,500 units.

Production began in earnest in October of 1942, though at this point the US Army had lost any interest in the multitude of armoured car projects then on the table, and in December of 1942 requested the cancellation of most of the designs in favour of a standardized smaller vehicle that would become the m8 greyhound. The British applied for the T17E1 production to be continued and successfully stopped the termination of production, so the armoured car could be provided under Lend-Lease. Because of this demand, 3,844 Staghounds were produced in total with the vast majority being delivered to the British.

Despite its nature as an export vehicle, the Staghound was of innovative design and incorporated quite a number of advanced features. The first was two rear-facing 6-cylinder engines equipt with automatic transmissions providing 4 forward and one reverse gear, that fed through an axel case to drive both axles. This configuration allowed two or four-wheel drive to be easily selected, and either engine could be shut down whilst in motion, and taken out of the drive train. This in combination with power steering made the driver’s job significantly easier, as steering and suspension components were directly attached to the hull, resulting in a smoother ride, as the structure was rigid enough to dispense with the need for a separate chassis.

The Staghound MK I was equipt with a three-man fully rotating turret, armed with a 37 mm M6 gun, a coaxial .30 cal M1919A4 Browning machine gun along with a 2-inch smoke mortar in a rotating turret. A second .30 cal M1919A4 Browning was mounted in a bow position in the hull, along with an additional .30 cal M1919 machine gun mounted on the top of the turret for anti-aircraft defence. The turret also possessed power traverse and featured a turret basket, though this limited the amount of internal crew stowage. The 37mm gun was also gyroscopically stabilized in the same manner as the start tanks in service at the time.

Unfortunately for all these merits, Staghound entered service too late for use in the North African Campaign where it was initially intended. This was not much of a setback for the vehicle though, as due to its combination of armour, range and main armament it was still deemed a useful asset for use in the British army in the light reconnaissance role. Because of this it saw its first operational service in Italy, where its small size was found to be advantageous for navigating narrow roads too tight for larger units to traverse. This trend would repeat into the streets of Europe, where the Staghound saw service at the squadron and regimental headquarters level. Conditions for the staghound continued to improve, and the armoured car was used into 1944 in Italy along with taking part in the war in north-west Europe.

Its service would not end with the second world war though, and Staghounds were distributed among smaller NATO countries in Europe and to the Middle East where they would serve in conflicts like the Lebanese civil war, the greek civil war, the arab-Israeli war, Rhodesian bush war and even the Vietnam war, as vehicles saw service in 29 countries during its tenured career.

Vehicle specification:

Mass 14 t

Length 17 ft 10 in (5.49 m)

Width 8 ft 10 in (2.69 m)

Height 7 ft 9 in (2.36 m)

Crew 5

Armor 9 to 44 mm

Main armament 1 × 37 mm M6 cannon

Secondary armament 3 × .30 (7.62 mm) M1919 Browning machine guns

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)

Additional historical pictures:
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Sources:

3 Likes

+1, would be a nippy little thing

+1, would love to see this. IMO it should be added to both the British and the US trees. In the British tree it should be researchable, in the US tree I think it can be researchable, premium, or event.

+1 for adding to UK TT, and for US Premium as the T17E1.

With almost 3000 received by Britain Staghound was a very popular and capable recce vehicle, basically a Stuart with wheels, which served into the 1950s.

Interesting points;

  • US 37mm
  • 5 man crew
  • 44mm armour (on the turret?)
  • several variants with different armament viable as premium/event vehicles

The Americans can get the deerhound, as they actually operated that one T17 Deerhound - Wikipedia

America is in not hardship for armoured car designs mind, there are some really cool ones like the wolfhound :)

2 Likes

see above

This, exactly.