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Corgi 1945 M8 Amored Car, Greyhound: French Army

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Corgi 1945 M8  Amored Car,  Greyhound: French Army

Corgi 1945 M8 Amored Car, Greyhound: French Army

This model is approx 2 1/2" long

The M8 Light Armored Car is a 6×6 armored car produced by the Ford Motor Company during World War II. It was used from 1943 by the United States and British troops in Europe and the Far East until the end of the war. The vehicle was widely exported and as of 2006 still remained in service with some countries.

In British service, the M8 was known as the "Greyhound", a nickname seldom if ever used by the US. The British Army found it too lightly armored, particularly the hull floor, which anti-tank mines could easily penetrate (the crews' solution was lining the floor of the crew compartment with sandbags). Nevertheless, it was produced in large numbers. The M8 Greyhound's excellent on-road mobility made it a great supportive element in the advancing American and British armored columns. It was marginal off-road, especially in mud.

The cavalry reconnaissance troops (equivalent to companies and assigned to infantry divisions) and squadrons (equivalent to battalions and assigned to armored divisions or independent and used at the direction of a division or corps commander) used by the US Army served as advance "eyes and ears." This mission demanded an emphasis on speed and agility, rather than firepower and armor. When on the march, the cavalry's mission was to make contact with enemy forces at the earliest practical moment and maintain it thereafter. In this role, the recon troops identified hostile units and reported their strength, composition, disposition and movement. During withdrawals, the cavalry often served as a screening force for the main units.

The M8 performed this function with distinction. Each M8 armored car was equipped with a long-range radio set to assist in the exercise of command, or for the purpose of relaying information received from subordinate elements to higher headquarters. Another short-range radio set served to communicate within a cavalry reconnaissance platoon, reconnaissance team, or with headquarters. The M8 weighed 17,400 lb (7,900 kg) fully loaded with equipment and crew, and was capable of cruising 100–200 mi (160–320 km) cross country or 200–400 mi (320–640 km) on highways without refueling. On normal roads, it was capable of a sustained speed of 55 mph (89 km/h), hence its nickname.

The M8 was not designed for offensive combat, and its firepower was adequate only against similar lightly armored enemy vehicles and infantry. The vehicle's armor provided a fair degree of protection against small-arms fire but nothing more. With a meager .25 in (6 mm) of floor armor, the M8 was particularly vulnerable to German mines.

The vehicle's other drawback was limited mobility in heavily wooded areas and on broken terrain; armored cavalry units preferred using the ¼-ton reconnaissance car (Jeep) in these environments. A large turning radius, limited wheel travel, and open differentials limited its cross-country mobility and made the M8 susceptible to immobilization off-road in off-camber terrain and defiles. This led operators to using the vehicle mostly on existing roads and paths, where it became vulnerable to ambush. The use of wheels, rather than continuous tracks like a tank, gave it a higher ground pressure which hampered its off-road performance in soft or loose terrain such as mud and snow. Conversely, the performance of the M8 on hard surfaces was exceptional, with the vehicle having a long range and able to consistently maintain its top speed of 55 mph. Also, as a wheeled vehicle, the M8 was generally more reliable than tracked vehicles of similar size, requiring far less maintenance and logistics support.

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