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M38 Wolfhound 6x6 Armored Car (1944)

Authored By Dan Alex | Last Updated: 7/1/2014

The M38 Wolfhound was developed to replace the ubiquitous M8 Greyhound series but the end of the war signaled the end of the M38 endeavor.

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The M38 was intended as a replacement for the ubiquitous, go-anywhere, do-anything M8 Greyhound series of armored reconnaissance scout cars that gave sterling service for the Allied powers throughout World War 2. Scout cars, as battlefield implements, were lightly armored machines with equally light armament fittings, allowing them to reconnoiter territories ahead of the main force and utilize their speed to escape trouble. Such vehicles were armed with small-caliber machine guns and even cannon to deal with light threats but direct contact with enemy units was not usually in the best interest of the crew. The M38 was born in a 1944 initiative that looked to improve upon the Greyhound's inherent qualities and modernized the breed based on battlefield experience. The idea being to produce an end-product scout car with excellent off road and on road capabilities through the utilization of six powered road wheels and excellent range. Armament would again be more defensive-minded in nature for the simple purpose of self-preservation.

Design of the M38 was conventional and her most defining design characteristic were her three pairs of large rubber road wheels to a hull side. The chassis was mounted high off the ground to allow for maximum clearance over uneven terrain. Each wheel was held under a fender covering to control mud dispersal. The glacis plate was well sloped with the front of the vehicle coming to a sharp point to aid in basic ballistics deflection. A turret was fitted at the center hull roof to allow for unfettered, 360-degree traversal when engaging targets. Consistent with other vehicles of this type, armor for the M38 was relatively thin within the range of 6mm to 12mm, enough to provide some protection from small arms fire and battlefield "spray" from explosive projectiles landing nearby. The driver was seated in a position to the front left of the hull. Total operating crew was four personnel to include the driver, commander, gunner and loader. Operational weight was just under 7 tons with a running length of 5.11 meters, width of 2.44 meters and overall height of 1.98 meters.


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Specifications for the
M38 Wolfhound
6x6 Armored Car


Country of Origin: United States
Manufacturer: Chevrolet Division of General Motors - USA
Initial Year of Service: 1944
Production: 5


Focus Model: M38 Wolfhound
Crew: 4


Overall Length: 16.77ft (5.11m)
Width: 8.01ft (2.44m)
Height: 6.50ft (1.98m)
Weight: 7.6 US Short Tons (6,939kg; 15,298lbs)


Powerplant: 1 x Cadillac 42 V8 water-cooled gasoline engine developing 110 horsepower.


Maximum Speed: 60mph (97 km/h)
Maximum Range: 300 miles (483 km)


NBC Protection: None
Nightvision: None


Armament:
STANDARD:
1 x 37mm M6 main gun in turret
1 x 12.7mm Browning M2 anti-aircraft heavy machine gun on pintle mount.
1 x 7.62mm Browning M1919A4 coaxial machine gun
4 x Smoke Grenade Launchers

PROPOSED:
1 x 75mm main gun (M24 Chaffee turret)
1 x 12.7mm Browning M2 anti-aircraft heavy machine gun on pintle mount.
1 x 7.62mm Browning M1919A4 coaxial machine gun
4 x Smoke Grenade Launchers


Ammunition:
93 x 37mm projectiles
440 x 12.7mm ammunition
1,750 x 7.62mm ammunition
18 x Smoke Grenades


Variants:
T28 - Pilot Vehicle Designation


M38 "Wolfhound" - Base Series Designation


Operators:
United States