M41 Walker Bulldog

The M41 Walker Bulldog is a light tank that was developed after World War II (WWII) and was intended to replace the M24 Chaffee, it was later replaced by the M551 Sheridan; the Walker Bulldog got its name from General Walton Walker who died in a jeep accident in Korea. The M41 used a stabilized 76mm automatic gun as well as other improvements to the M24 Chaffee such as a new mantlet, redesigned ammunition storage, an automatic lead computer, a new fire control system and stabilization system and an improved cast and welded turret.

DESIGN OF THE M41

Aside from the 76mm automatic gun, the M41 Walker Bulldog was also equipped with a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun and a 12.7mm machine gun; it used a gas engine and traveled at a maximum speed of 45 mph.

The M41 weighed in at 26 tons and had the capacity for four crew members – the driver, the commander, the gunner and the loader; the M41 has three compartments, the driver’s compartment is at the front of the tank while the fighting compartment is in the center and the engine compartment takes up the rear. The driver would sit at the front to the left side of the steel hull and three periscopes were mounted in front of him with a fourth one to his left and there was an escape hatch beneath the driver’s seat.

The commander and gunner would sit on the right while the loader sat on the left. The commander and the gunner each had access to a 360° traversable periscope and the gunner additionally had a telescopic sight to use for aiming the 76mm gun; the loader had a single periscope for him/herself and a hatch cover that opened forward.

The M41 series comes standard with a heater, deep fording equipment, and electrical bilge pumps; distinguishing features of the M41 are its five evenly spaced road wheels, it has a drive sprocket in the rear and idler in the front, as well as an elongated bustle, a turret that sits well forward of the hull and three track return rollers.

VARIANTS OF THE M41

There are eight recognized variants of the M41, not counting the Brazilian, German, Spanish, and Uruguayan variants which typically feature a larger gun and/or a diesel engine. First there is the original M41 which was produced in1951; this model was followed by the M41A1 model which had a hydraulic turret traverse instead of the electrical one used on the previous model.
Next was the M41A2 model produced in 1956; this model used fuel injected engines and replaced the previous carburetor system. The M41A3 models were simply the old M41A1 models that later got upgraded to the fuel injection system.

Another variant is the M4 DK-1 model which is a Danish upgrade to the M41 and featured a new engine, new thermal sights, side skirts and nuclear protection. The Type 64 variant was a Taiwanese experimental version of the M41 which had improved fire controls, a 520 hp diesel engine and a few other modifications; the M41D was another Taiwanese upgrade, while the M42 Duster was a self propelled anti-aircraft defense system which was based on the M41 chassis.

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