M8 Greyhound

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M8 Greyhound
M8 of the US Constabulary in Germany

M8 of the US Constabulary in Germany

General properties
crew 4th
length 5 m
width 2.54 m
height 2.64 m
Dimensions 7.8 t
Armor and armament
Armor 19 mm
Main armament 37 mm M6 cannon
Secondary armament Machine gun 7.62 mm or 12.7 mm
drive Hercules 6-cylinder
82 kW (110 PS)
Top speed 90 km / h (road)
48 km / h (terrain)
Power / weight 14.1 hp / t
Range 640 km

The M8 Greyhound was an American reconnaissance tank from World War II . It was used by US and British forces in Europe and the Far East during World War II . The Radpanzer was built in 11,667 copies by the end of 1944 production at Ford and was until the late 1970s, yet in some armies in action.

Development and description

In July 1941, the US Army Procurement Office began developing a new fast tank destroyer to replace the M6 37mm Gun Motor Carriage . The request was for a 6x4 wheeled vehicle, armed with a 37 mm cannon and a coaxial machine gun in the turret. The armor on the front should be able to withstand 12.7 mm ammunition, and on the side 7.62 mm ammunition. Prototypes have been supplied by Studebaker (T21), Ford (T22) and Chrysler (T23), all similar in design and appearance. In April 1942, a version of the Ford T22 was selected. In the meantime it was clear that the 37 mm cannon could do nothing against the front armor of the German tanks, so that the new armored car, now designated M8 Light Armored Car , had to take on the reconnaissance role. Due to technical difficulties and contractual problems, series production could only start in March 1943.

The British named the M8 after the dog breed Greyhound because of its high speed and thin armor .

The M8 had an open top turret with a 37 mm M6 cannon and a 7.62 mm Browning coaxial machine gun ; for anti-aircraft defense , he also had a 12.7 mm M2 machine gun . The crew consisted of the commander, gunner / loader, driver and radio operator (who could also act as a driver). The driver and radio operator sat in the front part, while the commander and gunner / loader sat in the tower, the commander on the right. The vehicle was equipped with 80 rounds of 37 mm ammunition (vehicles with a second radio had fewer, sometimes only 16 rounds), 1,500 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition and 400 rounds of 12.7 mm ammunition. There were also 16 hand grenades , four smoke launchers (M1 or M2), six mines and M1 carbines .

The armor ranged from 3 mm on the underside to 19 mm on the front and on the turret. The greyhound was powered by a Hercules Engine Company JXD gasoline engine.


The M8 was first used in Italy in 1943 and was used by the US Army in Europe and the Far East. In Asia it was sometimes used in its original role as a tank destroyer because its 37mm cannon could fight most tanks in the Japanese army . Over 1000 pieces have been shipped to the UK, France and Brazil.

The vehicle was considered to be fast, quite reliable (after solving some technical problems) and adequately armed for reconnaissance purposes. However, the reconnaissance units criticized the poor cross-country mobility. In the mountainous areas of Italy and in the mud and snow of the European winter, the M8's use was more or less restricted to the roads, which limited its value as a reconnaissance vehicle. He was also sensitive to land mines . The British sometimes added sandbags to the ground armor. Another problem was that the commanders often used the reconnaissance units for fire support, for which the thinly armored M8s were unsuitable.

The German Wehrmacht was able to capture some M8 and M20. These were provided with German national emblems and used or, for example at the Greif company , also used with the original national emblems.

The US Army was looking for a successor to the Greyhound as early as 1943. Two prototypes, Studebaker T27 and Chevrolet T28, were completed in the summer of 1944. Both were superior to the M8, but the decision was made to drop the project.

After the war, the M8 was used for occupation purposes, saw combat missions in the Korean War and was decommissioned by the US Army shortly thereafter. A number of M8s were handed over to the American police and were in use there until the 1990s. France used the M8 until the Indochina War . Many vehicles previously used by the US, UK and France have been exported to other NATO and third world countries. Some of them are still in use in some countries in Africa and South America .

From 1951 the M8 Greyhound was used after modifications as a special M8 car by the German Federal Border Police (BGS) and from 1953 also by the riot police of the federal states. The main armament of these vehicles was removed and replaced by a MG42 . The reconnaissance tanks called “Geschützter Sonderwagen SW M 8” by the BGS were replaced by the new Sonderwagen I and II from 1963 .

The M8 was used by Algeria , Ethiopia , Belgium , Benin , Brazil , Burkina Faso , German Reich (captured, Wehrmacht ), Germany ( Federal Border Guard ), El Salvador , France , Greece , Great Britain , Guatemala ( Ejército de Guatemala ), Haiti , Iran , Italy , Jamaica , Yugoslavia , Cameroon , Colombia , Democratic Republic of the Congo , Madagascar , Morocco , Mexico , Niger , Norway , Austria , Peru , Portugal , Saudi Arabia , Senegal , South Korea , South Vietnam , Taiwan , Thailand , Togo , Tunisia , Turkey , USA , Venezuela , Cyprus .


M20 Armored Utility Car

The M20 was an M8 in which the turret was replaced by a low armored structure (open at the top) and a ring mount for a heavy M2 (12.7 mm) machine gun. A bazooka for the crew was to serve as an anti-tank weapon. The M20 was mainly used as a FüFuPanzer and for reconnaissance ; however, many also served as armored transports for troops and material. The M20 had excellent maneuverability and speed, as well as some armor protection . In its role as a FüFuPanzer, the M20 was equipped with additional radio devices.

The original name was M10 Armored Utility Car ; this was changed to M20 to avoid confusion with the M10 Wolverine tank destroyer . 3791 M20s were built by Ford in 1943 and 1944.

T69 Multiple Gun Motor Carriage

At the end of 1943, a variant of the M8 was tested as an anti-aircraft tank. The vehicle was driven by Maxson Corp. with four 12.7 mm machine guns in a turret. armed. The Antiaircraft Board decided to drop the project as it was inferior to the M16 .

M8 TOW tank destroyer

M8 converted by the American company NAPCO. The cannon was replaced by a 12.7 mm machine gun , and a launch device for the anti-tank guided missile BGM-71 TOW was attached to the tower. Some vehicles converted in this way were used by Colombia.

M8 / M20 with H-90 tower

A French conversion with the turret of the Panhard AML 90 reconnaissance tank .

CRR Brasiliero

A Brazilian upgrade. The middle axle was removed and a new engine ( Mercedes-Benz OM-321 ) was installed. Not mass-produced.


  • Steven J. Zaloga , Tony Bryan: M8 Greyhound Light Armored Car 1941-91 . Osprey Publishing, 2002 (New Vanguard 53).

Web links

Commons : M8 Greyhound  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files