Hobby Master 1-72 Ground Power
HG4916 M8 HMC US Army, European Theatre, WWII

The U.S. military had requested a light close-support vehicle so a standard M5 with the turret removed was tested. A new open-top turret was installed, the Driver and Co-driver were moved forward to accommodate a larger turret and with limited space in the vehicle the chassis was modified to tow an armored ammunition trailer. The M8 was the first American fully tracked Self Propelled Howitzer with 1,778 vehicles being produced between September 1942 and January 1944. The M8 was gradually replaced by the M4 Sherman with 105mm Howitzers.

As part of American mechanized cavalry squadron equipment there were six M8 HMC assigned. The armored division’s reconnaissance squadron Assault Gun Troop was equipped with eight M8 HMCs. Even though these units were designated Assault the M8 HMC was far from an assault weapon. The open top of the vehicle made the crew vulnerable to snipers, the armor was quite light and the 75mm wasn’t powerful enough to be a tank destroyer. It was used for direct and/or indirect fire power supporting ground troops.

Specifications for the M8 Howitzer Motor Carriage
Manufacturer – General Motors, Cadillac Motor Car Division
Length of Production – September 1942 – January 1944
Number produced – 1,778
Crew – 4 x Commander, Gunner, Driver, Co-driver
Powerplant – 2 x Cadillac 5,670 cc V-8 gasoline engines each producing 110 bhp@4,000 rpm Maximum Speed Cross Country – 24 mph On Road – 36 mph Distance Without Refueling – 100 miles
Weight – 36,000 lbs
Suspension – Vertical Volute Dimensions Length – 14 ft 2.75 ins Width – 7 ft 4.25 ins Height – 7 ft 6.5 ins Armament
Main Gun - 1 x 75 mm M2 Howitzer with 46 rounds on board and 93 in towed armored ammunition trailer Secondary – 1 x Browning M2HB .50 caliber MG with 400 rounds
Armor Thickness Maximum – 67 mm Minimum – 12 mm