General Layout

General Layout of a Staghound

layoutxThe car’s general specification had been provided by the US Ordnance Department and the general layout was similar to the US light tanks. The vehicle had a unit built armoured body weighing in at 14 tonnes with a centrally mounted power operated, cast turret. (Very similar to that on the Lee Grant tank) carrying a 37mm M6 gun with gyroscopic stabiliser.

The vehicle was powered by the said two Chevrolet 270 CID engines mounted backwards in the rear of the vehicle side by side with the gearboxes mounted in front of them driving through reduction drop boxes to a central transfer box. From this transfer box ran conventional prop shafts to the extremely heavily built and conventionally sprung front and rear axles. Mounted on each axle were two 14.00 x 20.00 22 ply run flat combat tyres and this engine and gearbox combination gave the vehicle a top speed of 60mph when travelling on the road.

The driver sat to the front left hand side of the vehicle behind a heavy thick rolled steel glacis plate with a Gunner sitting to his right hand side. Both of these crew members viewed the world through heavy cast visors with the standard US protectoscopes (periscopes) for outside vision when closed down.

The front bow gunner manned a standard Browning .30cal machine gun with a good stock of ready ammunition. The commander, gunner and loader occupied the turret which was equipped with fully automatic 360° hydraulic traverse and a full turret basket.

A bustle to the rear of the turret was designed to hold either the standard American radio or a British No. 19 set and the whole of the interior of the vehicle and the turret basket were fitted with clips for equipment and 37mm ammunition including canister shots. Fuel was stored in a large pressed steel fuel tank at the rear bottom of the hull beneath the engines and fuel was pumped from this to the carburettors by a submerged electric pump.

Storage to the outside of the vehicle included two large low level boxes between the front and rear wheels and unusually on top of each of these was stored a 45 gallon ‘drop tank’ giving a substantially increased fuel reserve. Once these tanks were empty they could be dropped by the crew from within the hull and would roll off reducing fire hazard in battle.

The front armour of the hull was almost 1” thick and the turret front armour was 1 ¼ “ thick. The turret was also equipped with a mortar smoke bomb thrower, a .30 calibre machine gun and a further anti-aircraft .30 calibre machine gun mounted externally on later models. The vehicle operated on a 24 volt DC electrical system with negative earth and was extremely well regarded by the crew who used it.