This light armored car saw extensive use across Europe in World War II, mainly with reconnaissance and cavalry units.
After the jump, a brief look at the M8 Greyhound.
Every combatant in World War II used armored cars. The horsepower and drive train complexity required for a true tank was a major problem. So every country deployed a number of car or truck based light armored vehicles for reconnaissance and communication type duties.
The M8 was based on a 4 x 6 Ford truck. That gave it good speed, range and reliability; but with very limited off road capability. When it was designed in 1942 it was felt the 37 mm main gun would add a significant anti-tank ability too. But by the time Greyhounds entered service in 1943 it was obvious the main gun was very light. It was really only effective when tangling with similar enemy recon units. Although apparently one M8 did destroy a Tiger during the Battle of the Bulge when it was able to get off three shots in the rear from a well laid ambush (I have to imagine the pucker factor was very high on that!).
The real strength of this vehicle was in its road speed and good radios. According Henry Yeide in his book “Steeds of Steel”, American cavalry units were not enthused with the M8 during their training in the American West. They operated a mix of Greyhounds and M3 Stuart Light Tanks and felt the Stuart was far more versatile and useful, especially when off road service was required. But after deploying to Europe they quickly reversed their evaluation of the types. With a well developed road network already in place, they found the M8 could out pace the tanks by a wide margin. In the Pacific, the Greyhound was only used in the Philippines and Okinawa which had good road systems. The long term verdict has been very positive; as far as I know, this is the only World War II combat vehicle still in service in its designed role (notably with the Colombian military).
This is the Tamiya kit and represents an M8 serving in France, 1944.
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