T23 Light Armored Car

The T23 Light Armored Car was a Fargo built six wheeled prototype for an armoured car built to the specifications that produced the M8 light armoured car, but that lost out to Ford’s six wheeled T22.

Work on a new armoured car began in July 1941. The new vehicle was to be armed with the 37mm Gun M6, which potentially made it useful as both an armoured car and a tank destroyer, and it was also to be adaptable to other uses, such as cargo carrier, multiple gun motor carriage or mortar carrier. The original design also called for a hull mounted machine gun, but in March 1942 this was changed to a coaxial machine gun in the turret.

On 9 October 1941 the Ordnance Committee recommended the purchase of two pilot armoured cars, one from Ford and one from Fargo. Both were to be 6x6 vehicles (six wheels, all powered). The Ford vehicle was designated as the 37mm Gun Motor Carriage T22 and the Fargo vehicle as the 37mm Gun Motor Carriage T23. A third company entered the field when Studebaker offered to build a pilot at their own expense, and this became the Light Armoured Car T21.

Photographs exist of the T23 but it is a fairly obscure vehicle. Like all of the six wheeled designs there was a larger gap between the first and second pair of wheels than between the second and third. Like the Ford design it had a sloped glacis at the nose, although the Fargo version was longer than the Ford one. Long sponsons ran above all six wheels, extending out to act as fenders. The top of the fuselage was level, with the gun turret just in front of the centre position. Armoured shields for the drivers were installed in front of the turret, with their back curving around the front of the turret base. It may never have been given its guns which don’t appear in any of the photographs.

The Ford T22 was the first of the five pilots to be completed, and it began tests in March 1942. The results were impressive enough for the T22E1, T23 and T23E1 projects to be terminated on 23 April 1942, although the three pilots were to be completed and used for testing. One of the photographs of the T23 show it at the testing grounds, in the background of a photograph of the T22E1. 

Ford M8 and M20 – The US Army’s Standard Armoured Car of WWII, David Doyle. A pictorial history of the M8 armoured car and M20 utility vehicle, both of which saw service in Italy, Normandy and north-western Europe and to a lesser extent in the Pacific. Very good material on the development of the vehicle, and close up pictures of development and test vehicles as well as modern survivors, along with a useful chapter of pictures of the vehicle in service. Probably aimed more at the modeller than the historian, and will provide many useful details of otherwise hard to examine areas (Read Full Review)
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (1 December 2022), T23 Light Armored Car , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_T23_light_armored_car.html

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