In July 1941 the US Army Ordnance office issued joint specifications with the British for three new armored cars. The T17E1 specification called for a medium armored car which eventually became the Staghound, while the T18 called for a heavy armored car.
The T18 prototype was developed in 1942 by the Yellow Truck & Coach Company as a large all-wheel-drive, eight-wheeler with the front four wheels steering. Its thick armor was unusual for an armored car, although this extra protection brought the weight of the vehicle up to 26 tons—similar to contemporary medium tanks such as the M3 Lee and three times the weight of the equivalent German eight-wheeled armored cars.
Initially armed with a M6 37mm gun, it became clear that the T28 would need a more powerful weapon and the final version, the T18E2, was fitted with the newly-designed M1 57mm gun, a US-manufactured variant of the British 6 pdr gun.
While the United States Army proved entirely uninterested in the vehicle, the British Army’s successful use of armored cars in the Western Desert led them to place an order for 2500 T18E2 armored cars, which they promptly christened the Boarhound. High production costs led to cancellation of the initial order after only 30 were delivered.
Hypothetical Combat Service
These 30 vehicles were shipped to North Africa to supplement the slower British AEC armored cars supporting the light Humber armored cars. The Boarhound’s eight-wheeled design proved ideal in the open flat terrain of the desert with their speed and mobility being a great asset during running battles with German and Italian armored cars. Their success led to further production of the Boarhound and whole regiments were re-equipped with this superb armored car.
The T18E2 Boarhound armored car was designed as a heavy armored car to counter the German eight-wheeler Sd Kfz 231 (8-rad) series. With much thicker armor and a heavier gun, it succeeds in this role admirably.
In Flames Of War
The Boarhound is large and heavy for an armored car, but in the hard, flat desert it is faster than a tank (see page 247 of the rulebook for the Desert Terrain Chart). Its thick armor and big gun count more than the small size of lighter armored cars, especially in the hands of the veteran Desert Rats. A Heavy Armored Car Platoon are Reconnaissance Platoons.