Like other players of World War 2 (1939-1945), the United States Army finally realized the importance of light armored wheeled vehicles for the armed scouting role. A medium-class car was sought in July of 1941, prior to the U.S. involvement in the war proper (this was to come in December 1941), and to this was added a requirement for a heavy-class car as well. Two designs were made for the medium model requirement and came from competitors Ford and Chevrolet. The former delivered a 6x6 wheeled form with roof-mounted turret armed with a 37mm M6 series gun while the latter became a more compact 4x4 wheeled model mounting the same turret. The heavy-class design went on to become the 8x8 wheeled T18 "Boarhound" and about thirty examples were built. The Ford vehicle became the T17 "Deerhound" and the Chevrolet model became the T17E1 "Staghound" - both names coming from the British.
The British Army was in need of any and all armored vehicles during the early phases of the North African Campaign. They commissioned for the T17 to be serially produced and this was granted in October of 1942 by American authorities. Meanwhile, the U.S. Army attention eventually settled on mass production of the M8 "Greyhound", another 6x6 wheeled system that was more in line with Army needs of the time. The Army also furthered production requirements of the T17 as a measure against availability of the new M8 should the latter run into delays in reaching units on the front. The T17 was to take on the official Army designator of "M6".
When the T17 was formally evaluated by the U.S. Army, the design showcased enough weaknesses that there was a decided decline in interest for the Ford product. By this time about 250 examples had been delivered from Ford assembly lines and, now facing rejection, this stock was handed down to local Army military police and kept stateside.
The British focus then fell to the other standing design, the T17E1 Staghound, which seemingly met the requirements of the service - particularly as experience in North African began to flesh out what was being needed to combat the might of German and Italian forces. The U.S. Army had already commissioned for 2,000 of the type in January of 1942 and this was followed by about 300 examples for British Army service. However, by the end of the year, the M8 design had also moved ahead of the T17E1 for the Army and the large order was cancelled. Nevertheless, the British requirement stood and serial production ended in the thousands under the Lend-Lease agreement - about 4,000 were eventually delivered though too late for service in North Africa.
During the long-running conflict, the Staghound appeared in various battlefield guises including the base Staghound Mk I form. The Staghound Mk II conversion model mounted the 3" Mk I howitzer instead of the original 37mm M6 gun and lost its bow-mounted 0.30 caliber machine gun. The Staghound Mk III fitted the complete turret of the Crusader Cruiser Tank and its QF 6-pounder main gun and, again, lost its bow-mounted machine gun. The Staghound Command model was stripped of its turret and cannon armament, outfitted with additional communications equipment and used as a dedicated command vehicle.
The T17E2 was an Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft (SPAA) development of the car and outfitted with and open-topped the Frazer-Nash powered-assisted turret mounting 2 x 0.50 heavy machine guns. About 789 of these were produced from October of 1943 until April of 1944.
The T17E3 was a proposed model fitting the complete turret of the 75mm Howitzer Motor Carriage (HMC) vehicle as a possible fire support solution. Though evaluated in late 1943 it was not adopted.
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.
Chevrolet - USA Manufacturer(s)
Australia; Belgium; Brazil; Canada; Cuba; Denmark; Egypt; Greece; Honduras; India; Israel; Jordan; Lebanon; Netherlands; New Zealand; Nicaragua; Philippines; Poland; Rhodesia; Saudi Arabia; South Africa; Sudan; Switzerland; United Kingdom; United States (cancelled); Zimbabwe Operators
ANTI-AIRCRAFT / AIRSPACE DENIAL
Base model or variant can be used to search, track, and neutralize airborne elements at range.
ARMOR CAR / SECURITY
Design, of typically lightweight nature, providing onroad/offroad capabilities for the scouting or general security roles.
18.0 ft (5.5 meters) Length
8.9 ft (2.7 meters) Width
7.9 ft (2.4 meters) Height
30,865 lb (14,000 kg) Weight
15.4 tons (Light-class) Tonnage
2 x GMC 270 series gasoline engines developing 97 horsepower each. Drive System
55 mph (89 kph) Road Speed
450 miles (724 km) Road Range
1 x 37mm M6 main gun
1 x .30 caliber M1919A4 machine gun in coaxial position.
1 x .30 caliber M1919A4 machine gun in bow position.
1 x .30 caliber M1919A4 machine gun on turret roof for anti-aircraft defense (optional).
T17E1 - Appearing in 1942; 37mm main gun armament in turret; 5 x crew; 2,844 examples produced.
T17E2 - Second production model; based on the T17E1 with Frazer-Nash turret armed with 2 x 12.7mm M2 Browning heavy machine guns; 3 x crew; appearing 1943; 789 examples produced.
T17E3 - Proposed self-propelled artillery system; fitted with turret of M8 Motor Carriage armed with 75mm howitzer.
Staghound Mk I - Initial British Army variant; based on the T17E1.
Staghound Mk II - British Army designation; Mk I model with 3-inch Mk 1 howitzer over the original 37mm gun; sans bow machine gun; conversions from existing Mk I vehicles and not new-build.
Staghound Mk III - British Army designation; Crusader turret (QF 6-pdr main gun); 1 x 7.92mm BESA coaxial machine gun; sans bow machine gun; appearing in 1945.
Staghound (COM) - Command Vehicle lacking turret assembly and outfitted with additional communications equipment.
Staghound (AA) - T17E2 identifier.
M6 - Proposed U.S. Army designation; never used.
The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content; site is 100% curated by humans.