Author Topic: M41 Walker ''Bulldog'' Light Tank  (Read 26499 times)

Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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M41 Walker ''Bulldog'' Light Tank
« on: March 17, 2014, 06:00:22 PM »
M41 Walker ''Bulldog'' Light Tank

Click on html or image to view Wikipedia article on the M41 light tank. 



Quite surprised that we have not had a topic on the M41 Walker light tank before now.  Considering how many nations around the world have been using this particular vehicle for a number of years with some still active though the majority by now are retired from service and have been scrapped, turned into artificial reefs, or monuments. 

I have often wondered if the M41 could handle the 17pdr in lieu of the 76mm gun it was manufactured with.  A nice subtle what if by simply changing the gun tube out would certainly be fun. 

Other ideas for a what if M41 would be to arm it with a 105mm howitzer instead of the 76mm gun. 

Another option would be to use a 57mm gun instead of the 76mm? 
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Offline LemonJello

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Re: M41 Walker ''Bulldog'' Light Tank
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2014, 08:17:00 PM »
Add side skirts and a more slab-sided turret ala' the M1 and you could have a light/airmobile tank to rival the Sheridan in use with the XVIII Airborne Corps.

Offline kerick

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Re: M41 Walker ''Bulldog'' Light Tank
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2014, 01:58:26 AM »
Some bolt on ceramic armor or explosive panels and some slat armor. Add some boxes around the turret to change its shape. It would make some fun whiffing as the Tamiya kit is pretty cheap.

Offline Weaver

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Re: M41 Walker ''Bulldog'' Light Tank
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2014, 05:18:09 AM »
Always liked the "feel" of the M-41, irrespective of it's capabilities and limitations. It has a balanced, poised feel to it, much like the Chaffee before it. :)

I'd think a 90mm gun would be high on the shopping list (some countries have done it). If the Panhard ERC-90 armoured car can take the GIAT TS-90 high-velocity weapon, then I can't see the M-41 having a problem.
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Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: M41 Walker ''Bulldog'' Light Tank
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2014, 05:27:21 AM »
One of my pet peeves with the M41 is the commanders cupola.  It seems to be fixed and does not rotate, I want to see if a different cupola will fit where the current cupola resides.  While the AFV Club and Skybow M41 kits both had separate parts for the cupola and a rather round hole where it fits, the Tamiya has it molded to th turret.  Still it would be interesting to see if something different could be mounted in that same location. 

Add side skirts and a more slab-sided turret ala' the M1 and you could have a light/airmobile tank to rival the Sheridan in use with the XVIII Airborne Corps.

Could not agree more with you on that John.  A completely different turret with a bit more bustle and storage would go a long ways towards making it look more purposeful.  Maybe take a Leopard 1A4 turret and see if that will fit. 

The M41 definitely needs a diesel engine to give it better range and less of a fire hazard for the crew. 
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: M41 Walker ''Bulldog'' Light Tank
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2014, 08:11:01 AM »
Always liked the "feel" of the M-41, irrespective of it's capabilities and limitations. It has a balanced, poised feel to it, much like the Chaffee before it. :)

I'd think a 90mm gun would be high on the shopping list (some countries have done it). If the Panhard ERC-90 armoured car can take the GIAT TS-90 high-velocity weapon, then I can't see the M-41 having a problem.

British Commonwealth versions with 17pdr updated to 20pdr.  A 57mm Molins gun version AT originally but evolving into a SPAAG with a new high elevation mount.  4.5 and 5.5" SPGs as well.

 :)

Offline kerick

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Re: M41 Walker ''Bulldog'' Light Tank
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2014, 08:38:13 AM »
How about a Stug type with the 90mm gun?
For a different cupola steal one from an M-48.

Offline Volkodav

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Re: M41 Walker ''Bulldog'' Light Tank
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2014, 09:25:32 AM »
Had a very basic 1/35 M-41 kit when I was in primary school, can't remember the make but know I was so jealous of a friendwhohad the Tamiya kit with its opening hatches.  M-41is a very tankie looking tank (as I agree the M-24 is as well) that just demands to be whiffed into all sorts of senerios and time frames.

I understand the reality behind MBTs and why the old light, medium, heavy tanks have gone by the way, but ther is just something about a fast light tank with a big gun isnt there? 8)

Offline Rickshaw

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Re: M41 Walker ''Bulldog'' Light Tank
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2014, 09:32:24 AM »
The 76mm M32 was no slouch and had equal or better (depending on round fired) to the 17 Pdr.

I don't think there would be sufficient room in an M41 turret to put a 17 Pdr, anyway.   I seem to remember the Brazilians sold a bunch of second-hand M41's they'd upgraded to Uragauy which they had upgraded to have Mecar 90mm guns and new engines.   But remember, the low-pressure guns have substantially lower MV compared to conventional guns and rely on HEAT for their armour penetration whereas the M32 relied on APDS and AP for it's armour penetration.

As to adding armour, the M41 is a light tank.  It's maximum armour is only about 75mm (and that's on it's mantlet).  You'll never able to add sufficient to turn a pig's ear into a silk purse.  Better to keep it to it's original role, as a reconnaissance vehicle, rather than trying to turn it into an MBT.   Although, the M41 was able to take on and kill T-54/55/59 MBTs in Laos and Vietnam quite successfully when it managed to get the drop on them.   Skirts and some ceramic armour perhaps to improve chances of survival but don't assume it's going to go head-to-head with an MBT and survive.

Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: M41 Walker ''Bulldog'' Light Tank
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2014, 09:43:51 AM »
How about a Stug type with the 90mm gun?
For a different cupola steal one from an M-48.


Even better would be to avoid the cramped space of the cupola and go with the cupola from an M113 with the ACAV gun shield surrounding it.  That gives the commander a little more flexibility with the machine gun be it a .30 or .50 weapon it can be traversed and elevated without having to hand crank the cupola around to engage the target.  But something more practical like the Urdan style cupola that was based on the original commanders cupola on the M48 and M103 but with the addition of a hatch cover that could be elevated to allow viewing whilst still under armor protection might be a better way to go. 

If you have the spare parts or a kit that you want to dispose of you could also try to adapt the cupola from the M1 Abrams to the M41.  Certainly something to consider if you can afford it :)
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: M41 Walker ''Bulldog'' Light Tank
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2014, 09:44:30 AM »
How about a Stug type with the 90mm gun?
For a different cupola steal one from an M-48.
:)

Yes, perfect, I love casemate assault guns and tank destroyers.

Some thoughts on that:
90mm, 105mm, 120mm or 20pdr casemate gun,
.50 CAL M-48 or M-60 cupola or .30, .50 Cadillac Guage turret, 20mm turret / cupola for self defense,
2", 3", 60mm, or 81mm mortar for self defence / indirect fire support.
Fragmentation as well as smoke grenade launchers for self defense.

Basically a multi role infantry support vehicle covering direct fire support, indirect fire support, SFMG, etc.

Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: M41 Walker ''Bulldog'' Light Tank
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2014, 09:47:58 AM »
How about an M41 armed with the 105mm howitzer?  Fire support and obstacle reduction plus you could give it a bulldozer blade to move dirt and debris.
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Offline Rickshaw

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Re: M41 Walker ''Bulldog'' Light Tank
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2014, 10:29:21 AM »
How about an M41 armed with the 105mm howitzer?  Fire support and obstacle reduction plus you could give it a bulldozer blade to move dirt and debris.

Need a new gearbox and transmission and more than likely a more powerful engine.  Why you'd use a light tank for such a task I'm not sure.  Generally if carrying out reconnaissance you go round, not try and push your way through blockages.   Anyway, any barricade would be covered with sufficient firepower to stop any attempt to clear the road block.

Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: M41 Walker ''Bulldog'' Light Tank
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2014, 10:43:19 AM »
How about an M41 armed with the 105mm howitzer?  Fire support and obstacle reduction plus you could give it a bulldozer blade to move dirt and debris.
Need a new gearbox and transmission and more than likely a more powerful engine.  Why you'd use a light tank for such a task I'm not sure.  Generally if carrying out reconnaissance you go round, not try and push your way through blockages.   Anyway, any barricade would be covered with sufficient firepower to stop any attempt to clear the road block.


Not saying it would be the ideal tool for the job but in a role of providing fire support for the infantry by direct/indirect fire, equipped with a bulldozer blade (there was a blade kit for the M41 btw) and the ability of the 105H to reduce obstacles by direct fire with a much larger shell that did not rely on higher muzzle velocities it would certainly look convincing as a model and a what if.
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Offline Rickshaw

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Re: M41 Walker ''Bulldog'' Light Tank
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2014, 11:20:06 AM »
How about this?

Replace the 76mm gun with the Israeli hypervelocity 60mm gun.  Add twin TOW launchers to each side of the bustle.   Add ceramic armour to hull front and turret sides.  Alternatively, add space armour boxes to the turret, to give it a square, angular shape.

Create a tank destroyer variant similar to the Spanish(?) one which used the M901 "Hammerhead" turret in place of the gun turret.

Create a tank destroyer variant with a proper elevating mast, armed with one of the larger ATGMs like HOT or Swingfire.

Offline dy031101

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Re: M41 Walker ''Bulldog'' Light Tank
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2014, 11:34:37 AM »
Not saying it would be the ideal tool for the job but in a role of providing fire support for the infantry by direct/indirect fire, equipped with a bulldozer blade (there was a blade kit for the M41 btw) and the ability of the 105H to reduce obstacles by direct fire with a much larger shell that did not rely on higher muzzle velocities it would certainly look convincing as a model and a what if.

Is there enough room for the same 152mm gun-launcher on the Sheridan (or maybe a version modified with bore evacuator)?
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Offline Rickshaw

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Re: M41 Walker ''Bulldog'' Light Tank
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2014, 11:53:05 AM »
Not saying it would be the ideal tool for the job but in a role of providing fire support for the infantry by direct/indirect fire, equipped with a bulldozer blade (there was a blade kit for the M41 btw) and the ability of the 105H to reduce obstacles by direct fire with a much larger shell that did not rely on higher muzzle velocities it would certainly look convincing as a model and a what if.

Is there enough room for the same 152mm gun-launcher on the Sheridan (or maybe a version modified with bore evacuator)?

You are aware how alarming firing conventional rounds out of the 152mm gun/missile launcher was in the Sheridan?  It used to leap over a metre backwards with the brakes locked hard on, firing forewards and when they tested it downunder they were concerned that when firing athwartships it would capsize!    While the M41 was some 8 tons heaver, I suspect the effects would have been similar.  The 152mm was simple too big for a light tank.  Anyway, the Shillelagh system was very fragile and prone to loads of problems, including inaccuracy.    There are finite limits as to what you can put into a lightweight chassis, you realise?

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: M41 Walker ''Bulldog'' Light Tank
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2014, 09:50:52 PM »
How about an Aussie M-41 used & modified by the Royal Australian Marines in Vietnam?

http://beyondthesprues.com/Forum/index.php?topic=4175.15


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Offline kerick

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Re: M41 Walker ''Bulldog'' Light Tank
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2014, 11:50:03 PM »
Don't forget that with modern ammunition the 90mm and even the 76mm would be far more effective.

Offline TerryCampion

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Re: M41 Walker ''Bulldog'' Light Tank
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2014, 12:30:30 AM »
Built one with a German 88m.....I'll look it out.
The M41's a favourite tank of mine.

 >:D

Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: M41 Walker ''Bulldog'' Light Tank
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2014, 01:22:14 AM »
How about an Aussie M-41 used & modified by the Royal Australian Marines in Vietnam?
Guy, it was because of your WIP M41 RAM that I discovered we had no discussion topic for the M41 so I blame you :)

Built one with a German 88m.....I'll look it out.The M41's a favourite tank of mine.

 >:D

Which Tiger did you source your gun tube from?  One is substantially longer than the other and the complete rounds are much different in size too. 
Wikipedia - 8.8 cm /L56 KwK 36 for the Tiger I. 
Wikipedia - 8.8 cm /L71KwK 43 for the Tiger II.   

Don't forget that with modern ammunition the 90mm and even the 76mm would be far more effective.
Quite true about the improvements in ammunition performance.  Especially with the armor piercing fin stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS) rounds that were developed for the 76mm and other tank guns.  Addition ammunition types also help (eg. Smoke, HEAT, WP, Canister, and HE) in making it the 76mm a mufti-purpose weapon system. 

Is there enough room for the same 152mm gun-launcher on the Sheridan (or maybe a version modified with bore evacuator)?
There is an image on the interweb showing what appears to be a very early M551 turret that is mounted on an M41 hull and it is described as "the T49 light tank"(click link to view image).  More on the T49 at this link: T49 Light Tank – US upcoming tier 8 (Warning!  This appears to be a WoT oriented blog.)  The image shows the Sheridan turret with gun mounted on the M41 hull but major components are missing such as the commanders cupola and a host of other necessary things that would indicate a potentially functional combat vehicle instead of a test vehicle.  Seeing that turret mounted on the M41 hull certainly makes you wonder how the M41 would have fared with the 152mm gun when it was actually fired with a conventional high explosive or HEAT round?  The M13 (MGM-51) Shillelagh guided missile did not require as much propellant to launch from the gun/missile launcher so recoil was much less in comparison to the standard 152mm ammunition types.  The image I linked to above from the blog has the following description with that image: " XM551 (prototype Sheridan) turret mounted on a M41 chassis.  Very little is known about it other than in July 1962, XM551 test bed turret was mounted on the M41 chassis for the evaluation of firepower and tests. These tests took place in Aberdeen [Proving Ground, MD] – they started on 23.8.1962, with 590 rounds being fired from the 152mm gun-launcher." So it appears that the 152mm gun/missile launcher system would work on the M41 and as much as I dislike the shape of the M41 turret, I absolutely hate the shape of the M551 turret.  Personal preferences and likes aside, it looks like it was tested, it worked and that was it.  So if you want to mate Sheridan turret to M41 hull I see no reason aside from the aesthetics to not do so. 

Other vehicles based on the M41 components that I am aware of are the M42 'Duster' twin 40mm SPAAG and the M8 high speed tractor which was used as the prime mover for a number of then in service large caliber artillery pieces (155mm Gun and 8.0" howitzer).  Spain did develop M41E Cazador as an anti-tank guided missile carrier based on a modified M41 hull that carried the Emerson TOW turret (same system used on the M901 ITV)

***update***

Missed the following M41 related vehicles:
JED Site - M44 Self-propelled 155mm Howitzer
Wikipedia - M44 Self-Propelled 155mm Howitzer
JED Site - M52 Self-propelled 105mm Howitzer
Wikipedia - M75 Armored Personnel Carrier


« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 04:30:45 AM by Jeffry Fontaine »
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Offline Weaver

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Re: M41 Walker ''Bulldog'' Light Tank
« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2014, 02:52:33 AM »
This is the gun I'd like to see on it:



90mm GIAT F4, who's APFSDS round is claimed to be able to penetrate the glacis of a baseline T-72 at 2000m.  If that 8.5 tonne armoured car can carry it in it's 2-man turret, I see no reason why the 23.5 ton M-41 couldn't fit it in it's 3-man turret.

More info: http://www.army-guide.com/eng/product3586.html
« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 03:51:18 AM by Weaver »
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Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: M41 Walker ''Bulldog'' Light Tank
« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2014, 04:29:03 AM »
This is the gun I'd like to see on it:



90mm GIAT F4, who's APFSDS round is claimed to be able to penetrate the glacis of a baseline T-72 at 2000m.  If that 8.5 tonne armoured car can carry it in it's 2-man turret, I see no reason why the 23.5 ton M-41 couldn't fit it in it's 3-man turret.

More info: http://www.army-guide.com/eng/product3586.html


See no reason why it could not be since Cadillac Gage mounted their Stingray turret armed with the M68/L7 105mm gun fitted with a muzzle break to reduce recoil forces on the M41 hull and named it the M41 "Bulldog Stingray." 
« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 04:42:22 AM by Jeffry Fontaine »
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Offline kerick

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Re: M41 Walker ''Bulldog'' Light Tank
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2014, 08:44:31 AM »
I like the look of the M41E Cazador. I imagine a built up hull like that for carrying a Stug type gun. Another option is an armored vehicle for recovery or combat engineers. Think of the Israeli conversions of Centurions and T-54s.

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Re: M41 Walker ''Bulldog'' Light Tank
« Reply #24 on: March 25, 2014, 02:59:55 AM »
A subtle whiff:  in the 1960s Argentina almost acquired M41s...they went on to develop the TAM tank instead.
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