T17 (armored car)

The T17 and the T17E1 were two American armored car designs produced during the Second World War. Neither saw service with frontline US forces but the latter was supplied, via the United Kingdom, to British and Commonwealth forces during the war and received the service name Staghound. A number of countries used the Staghound after the war, with some of the vehicles continuing to serve into the 1980s.

T17 (armored car)
Class Vehicle
Type Armoured Fighting Vehicle
Manufacturer Chevrolet
Origin United States of America
Country Name Origin Year
United States of America 1942
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
United States of America 1942 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Chevrolet 1942 4000 View

In July 1941, the US Army Ordnance issued specifications for a medium armored car alongside a specification for heavy armored car (which resulted in the T18 Boarhound). Ford Motor Company built a six wheels, all driven (6 x 6) prototype which was designated T17 and Chevrolet a four wheels, all driven (4 x 4) model designated T17E1. At the same time, the British Purchasing Commission was also looking for medium and heavy armored cars for use in the war in North Africa. Had the U.S. adopted this, it would have been called the M6.

Both the T17 and T17E used the same turret which was designed by Rock island Arsenal with British requirements driving some of the design features such as putting at least two crew in the turret and placing the radio in the turret so that it was close to the commander.

The Staghound entered service too late for use in the North African Campaign where its combination of armor, range and main armament would have been an advantage in a light forces reconnaissance role. As a result, it first saw operational service in Italy, where many units found its large physical size too restrictive in the narrow roads, and streets of Europe. It saw most service at squadron and regimental headquarter level; an armoured car regiment having three Staghounds with the Regimental HQ and three with each HQ of the four squadrons in the regiment. Conditions for the Staghound improved when the Italian campaign became more mobile in the middle of 1944, and the Staghound was also used in north-west Europe campaign.

After the war, the Staghounds were distributed among smaller NATO countries in Europe and to the Middle East.

Type Armored car
Place of origin  United States
Service history
In service 1944- 1980s

Wars World War II
Production history
Designer Chevrolet
Produced 1942-
Number built 4000
Specifications (Staghound Mark I)
Weight 14 t
Length 17 ft 10 in (5.49 m)
Width 8 ft 10 in (2.69 m)
Height 7 ft 9 in (2.36 m)
Crew 5
Armor 9 to 44 mm
37 mm M6
2 or 3 x .30 (7.62 mm) machine guns
Engine 2 x GMC 270
2 x 97 hp (72 kW)
Power/weight 13.9 hp/tonne
Suspension wheels, 4 x 4
450 miles (724 km)
Speed 55 mph (89 km/h)

End notes