- For the Steel Division II unit see SD2:M8
M8 is a United States Recon unit. The M8 'Greyhound' was an iconic American vehicle of the Second World War, and was widely used as a reconnaissance and command vehicle throughout the war. Lightly armoured and armed with a 37mm anti-tank gun, it could only effectively engage vehicles and infantry. It had a fast road speed (though its cross-country mobility left a lot to be desired) but its weak floor protection made it vulnerable to mines. The M8 was first and foremost a recon vehicle and only had limited offensive capabilities. The vehicle as presented in-game models this very well: it is fast, often being amongst the first to arrive at the front lines, but has limited combat capabilities.
The M8 armoured car was originally intended to be a fast tank destroyer. The design was accepted in April 1942, though it had become clear by then that the 37mm gun would be inadequate in future combat engagements. Instead, the M8 took on the role of a reconnaissance vehicle, making contact with enemy troops and reporting on their dispositions and strength. For this purpose, it was outfitted with powerful radios. Its thin armour offered enough protection to withstand small arms fire and shrapnel while its gun could engage lightly armoured vehicles and infantry. A variant, the M20 utility car, was also produced in large numbers. Over 8000 Greyhounds were produced in total from 1943 to 1945, making it the most produced armoured car. The M8 was also exported to Allied nations and Resistance armies and saw continued use after the war, among others in the Korean war. Some vehicles can still be found in service in Africa and South America.
M8 were used in the 2nd Reconnaissance Troop in the 2nd Infantry and 1st Reconnaissance Troop of 1st Infantry. A Reconnaissance Troop in a Infantry Division has three platoons with a Armored Car section with three M8 and a Jeep section with 6 Jeeps.
101st Airborne had 24th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron and the 4th Cavalry Group attached to the division during the Normandy Campaign.
Demi-Brigade SAS's M8 represent Patton's Cavalry units coming to link up with the French Resistance and French SAS.
Serving as the US's main recon vehicle, the M8 is a good reconnaissance unit that can take on other recon vehicles / armoured personnel carriers, but in turn can be easily defeated by most anti-tank guns. The 37mm gun can be described as 'adequate' though rather inaccurate (4 acc). Its high speed allows the M8 to quickly dash out of the line of sight of an enemy and arrive quickly on a given location. Its machine guns also provide fire support against enemy infantry aside from the main gun.
It should be noted that the M8 is at best a support unit, not a combat unit, and will not last long in an exchange of gunfire. In addition, the weakly armoured M8 is at risk of being destroyed when hit by powerful artillery strikes or (multiple) heavy bombers as the game starts to introduce phase B and phase C.