Howitzer Motor Carriage M8 of the 15th French Cavalry Squadron from WW2

The 75 mm Howitzer Motor Carriage M8 was a self-propelled howitzer vehicle of the United States in use during World War II. It was developed on the chassis of the M5 Stuart tank and was equipped with a M116 howitzer in an M7 mount.

Experiments with a close-support version of the M3 Stuart began with the T18 Howitzer Motor Carriage. This essentially combined an M3 light tank chassis with the gun mount of a M3 Grant medium tank mounting the much smaller 75mm pack howitzer. This produced a tall design with the gun well forward, which led to the tank being nose-heavy. They also found the fighting compartment was too cramped and the cut-down sides provided no protection to the crew for shots anywhere but the front.

The T18 was cancelled in 1942 in favor of a new design, the T41. This moved to the updated M5 chassis, differing from the M3 mostly in its engine, while introducing a new fighting compartment with a well-sloped front that provided more room and much better production. However, the new layout also moved the gun even further forward and produced wear on the front wheels that was considered unacceptable.

A further revision moved the gun to one side to free up room and change the balance, which was successful enough to consider production on surplus M3 chassis. By this time a competing concept had proved superior and production was cancelled in favor of the new T47. Some further work was carried out on a T41 with the 105 mm M2A1; this work was later spun off as the T82 project.

Read more: Artillery, missiles and rockets with James Moore ...