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The M8 Howitzer Motor Carriage, or M8 Scott, was an self-propelled gun that was used by the United States during World War II.

Description

The M8 was based on the M5 Light Tank chassis and had a crew of four. The M8 also had two Cadillac Series 42 engines that were capable of propelling it at speeds of up to 56 km/h. The armament of the M8 consisted of a single 75 mm M1 howitzer and a 12.7 Browning M2HB mounted on top of the turret. The turret of the M8 was open-topped and was very vulnerable to grenades and rifle fire. Armor thickness varied from 44 mm thick in the front to 25 mm in the rear.[1]The type of transmission used on the M8 was six speed forward, 1 speed backwards system and the suspension system was a vertical volute type.

The M8 also had a maximum range of 209.2 kilometers.[2] The total weight of the Scott was approximately 15,600 kg and the total length was 4.3 meters. The Scott could also carry up to forty-six rounds of ammunition for its howitzer main gun and 400 rounds for its machine. Due to this low ammunition capacity, the Scott often towed or had an ammunition trailer nearby. That is why the M8 was fitted with a trailer hook towards the rear.

Variants

  • The M8A1 was an experimental tank destroyer variant of the M8 Scott, replacing the 75 mm M2 Howitzer with the 75 mm M3 L/40, commonly found on the M4 Sherman. Development was dropped once the M18 Hellcat entered service in 1944.

History

The M8 was first developed in 1942 and the first successful prototype was known as the T47 Howitzer Motor Carriage. After being tested, production began soon after in late 1942. Production of the M8 Scott continued into 1944 when production was finally cancelled.

The M8 was originally designed to serve in an infantry support role and after the M7 Priest saw mass production, the M8's use began to decline until it was used only in minor roles such as reconnaissance. The M8 first saw service in Italy in 1943 and saw widespread use in Europe soon after. It even saw service in the Pacific Theater. In total, about 1,700 models were produced throughout the war.

References

  1. http://www.wwiivehicles.com/usa/self-propelled-guns/m8.asp
  2. http://www.battletanks.com/m8_sp_howitzer.htm