Howitzer Motor Carriage M8 'Scott'
|Primary Role||Self-Propelled Gun|
Contributor: Alan Chanter
ww2dbaseEarly in 1942 the US armoured force issued a requirement for a close support tank to work with medium tank battalions. To satisfy this demand the Cadillac Division of General Motors Corporation of Detroit, Michigan, United States took their M5 "Stuart VI" light tank and modified it to mount a 75mm field howitzer.
ww2dbaseCadillac's first attempt had an open-topped superstructure which resembled a scaled down M7, but the Army considered that this gave insufficient protection to the crew and, moreover, demanded too much modification of the basic tank. Eventually a new open-topped turret with full traverse, mounting the 75mm M2 howitzer was developed to fit into the turret ring of the M5 tank. Few other changes were found to be necessary beyond removing the ball-mounted hull machine-gun and transferring the driver's and co-driver's hatches to the glacis plate where they would not interfere with the traverse of the turret, and the resulting vehicle became standardized as the Howitzer Motor Carriage M8. The design was sometimes known as M8 Scott.
ww2dbaseM8 production was ordered in Apr 1942, and the production numbers reached 1,778 vehicles manufactured between Sep 1942 and Jan 1944. They were issued mainly as close support vehicles in headquarters companies of American armoured battalions in Europe. They were also employed in the Pacific theatre and by the Fighting Free-French in Italy and Southern Europe.
ww2dbaseSuperseded (usually by 105mm howitzer-armed M4 Sherman tanks) in US formations from late 1944, the only serious defect of the M8 lay in its poor ammunition storage capacity, for which reason it was frequently fitted with a towing hook for an ammunition trailer.
Ian V. Hogg & John Weeks, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Military Vehicles (Hamlyn, 1980)
B. T. Wyite, Tanks and other Armoured Fighting Vehicles 1942-45 (Blandford Press, 1975)
Last Major Revision: Jan 2012
|Machinery||Two 5,670cc Cadillac Series 42 V8 petrol engines rated at 220bhp at 4000rpm|
|Suspension||Vertical volute spring|
|Armament||1x75mm M2 or M3 howitzer (46 rounds), 1x12.7mm .50cal Browning M2HB machine gun|
|Range||160 km off-road; 210 km on-road|
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James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945