Light Tank M41A1 SDF

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General info

The M41A1 SDF in the garage.

The Light Tank M41A1 SDF is a Rank IV Japanese light tank with a battle rating of 6.0. It was introduced in Update 1.65 "Way of the Samurai" along with the rest of the initial Japanese Ground Forces Tree. It shares its performance with the American M41 Walker Bulldog

The main purpose, usage and tactics recommendations

General play style

The play style of the M41A1 returns to the M24 after the previous medium tank in the line, the M4A3: shoot and scoot. The 'Bulldog' is best utilized as a flanker with its respectable 76mm gun and high speed and maneuverability. Since the ammunition available is solid shot (no explosive filler), an idea of the internal layouts of the tanks it faces is necessary to make the shots count. At its current BR (6.0 AB/6.3 RB) it will regularly face American, British, Russian, and in arcade battles, German heavy tanks, and anything it meets, including self propelled anti-aircraft vehicles will be able to reliable penetrate the M41A1's armour, so utilization of the terrain to maximize cover and good situational awareness is a must.

The M41A1's maximum speed is quite good at 72km/h (without upgrades), but the torque is low, meaning that it takes time to accelerate and the off road speed is not as impressive; in flanking maneuvers do not lose momentum.

Vehicle characteristics

Tactics

The Bulldog is best playing a mobile role; trail the outskirts of the map and take shots at the enemy from a distance and keep relocating. Don't stand still for too long as one or two hits are usually enough to completely disable your tank.

While playing this tank, your biggest concern should be not to get hit by anything. Given its thin armour, anything that the Bulldog is facing will be able to deal heavy damage. In summary, the Bulldog is a very maneuverable tank and with practice is a very potent threat to your enemies.

Specific enemies worth noting

There aren't any specific targets worth noting as you'll be hurt by pretty much anything. You'll want to be careful with SPAAs as they can knock out your components with ease and even destroy you.

If you're up against heavy tanks, such as the Tiger 2H, don't bother trying to hit its front chassis armour even with APDS. The chances to penetrate this tank's upper glacis are very low. You're better off either ignoring him or aiming for his lower glacis and turret. Should you penetrate his lower glacis, the transmission is likely to catch on fire. When attacking the turret, aim for the gunner on the left (your right) of the gun. After that, disengage as the gunner will be replaced faster than you can reload. Fighting off heavily armoured targets takes a lot of practice, but the gun's accuracy and good penetration can be used to your advantage.

If at all possible try only to expose your turret. If you use the terrain to your advantage you'll usually be able to fire one to three shots, then start moving forwards and backwards, thus making it a lot harder for the enemy to hit you. Generally, you'll be able to get in two shots on most targets before they can fire back, and the M41A1 accelerates from 0 to 30km/h fast enough to become a hard target to hit if only the turret is exposed!

Counter-tactics

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Extremely agile tank.
  • Top speed of 72km/h.
  • Fast turret traverse (30.6°/S).
  • Fast reload rate.
  • Respectable firepower when loaded with APDS.
  • APDS has high muzzle velocity, easy to hit targets at longer ranges.
  • Good flanker, but if you lose your momentum you're dead.
  • Good suspension; can drive away from steep downhills and jumps.
  • .50 cal AA machine gun with good coverage.

Cons:

  • Low torque, without downhill you won't reach higher speeds than 50km/h.
  • Thin armour, even SPAA tanks will take you out given the opportunity.
  • Its poor engine is its biggest weakness, makes it a bad scouting unit.
  • Ammo storage in the front, next to the driver.
  • APDS shot causes only punctual damage (aim carefully).
  • No explosive filler on any AP shells.
  • Quite tall for a light tank.

Specifications

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Armaments

1 x 76 mm M32 cannon (65 rounds)
1 x 12.7 mm Browning M2HB heavy machine gun (2,175 rounds)
1 x 7.62 mm Browning M1919A4 machine gun (4,900 rounds)

Main armament

1 x 76 mm M32 cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 65 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -10°
  • Gun Elevation: 20°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 21.4°/s (Stock), __._°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reloading Rate: 7.6s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
1 x 76 mm M32 cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 65 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -10°
  • Gun Elevation: 20°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 21.4°/s (Stock), __._°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reloading Rate: 7.6s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
1 x 76 mm M32 cannon
  • Ammunition Capacity: 65 Shells
  • Gun Depression: -10°
  • Gun Elevation: 20°
  • Turret Rotation Speed: 21.4°/s (Stock), __._°/s (Upgraded), __._°/s (Prior + Full Crew), __._°/s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._°/s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
  • Reloading Rate: 7.6s (Stock), __._s (Full Crew), __._s (Prior + Expert Qualif.), __._s (Prior + Ace Qualif.)
Ammunition
Ammunition Penetration in mm @ 90° Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Fuse delay in m: Fuse sensitivity in mm: Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
Normalization At 30° from horizontal: Ricochet:
10m 100m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m 0% 50% 100%
M339 Shot 180 177 161 143 126 98 AP 975 6.6 N/A N/A N/A -1° 43° 30° 25°
M352 Shell 12 12 12 12 12 12 HE 732 6.8 0.1 0.5 867.22 +0° 11° 10°
M319 Shot 208 207 187 170 144 123 APCR 1262 3.2 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 24° 20° 18°
M331A2 Shot 232 231 212 193 163 137 APDS 1231 3.7 N/A N/A N/A +1.5° 15° 12° 10°
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
in m/s
Projectile
Mass in kg
Screen radius
in m
Screen time
in s
Screen hold time
in s:
Explosive Mass in
TNT equivalent
in g:
M361 Smoke 713 7.1 13 5 20 50
Ammo racks
Ammo rack of the M41A1 Walker Bulldog
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
3rd
rack empty
Recommendations Visual
discrepancy
65 55 (+10) 39 (+26) 1 (+64) None No

Secondary armaments

1 x 12.7 mm Browning M2HB heavy machine gun (pintle-mount)
1 x 7.62 mm Browning M1919A4 machine gun (coaxial)

Crew

  • Commander
  • Gunner
  • Loader
  • Driver

Total: 4 Crew members

Armour

Armour Type:

  • Rolled homogeneous armour
  • Cast homogeneous armour (Gun mantlet)
Armour Front (Slope angle) Sides Rear Roof
Hull 25.4 mm (60°) Front glacis
31.7 mm (41-46°) Bottom glacis
25.4 mm (0-48°) Front
19 mm (0-48°) Back
12.7 mm (57°) Top
19 mm (33-38°) Bottom
19 mm
Turret 25.4 mm (1-68°) Turret front
31.7 mm (1-53°) Gun mantlet
25.4 mm (2-29°) 25.4 mm (1-25°) 19 mm
Armour Sides Roof
Cupola 31.7 mm 19 mm

Notes:

  • Suspension wheels and tracks are both 15 mm thick.
  • Belly armour is 9.5 mm thick

Engine & mobility

Weight: 23.0 ton

Max Speed: 80 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 775 hp @ 2800 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 33.69 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: ___ hp @ 2800 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: __.__ hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: __°
Weight: 23.0 ton

Max Speed: 72 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 442 hp @ 2800 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 19.22 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: ___ hp @ 2800 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: __.__ hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: __°
Weight: 23.0 ton

Max Speed: 72 km/h
Stock

  • Engine Power: 442 hp @ 2800 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: 19.22 hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: 40°

Upgraded

  • Engine Power: ___ hp @ 2800 rpm
  • Power-to-Weight Ratio: __.__ hp/ton
  • Maximum Inclination: __°

Modules and improvements

History of creation and combat usage

Development

The U.S. Army light tank in the later part of World War II, the M24 Chaffee, was a promising design but was deemed not effective for the future of armour encounters. Though its role as a scout was seen as needing the 75 mm gun, the army wanted a tank with a better gun to have a more equal chance against tanks. The project began as the T37 program in 1947 with the focus of being air-transportable with an anti-tank capability in the form of a 76 mm gun and a rangefinder. The adoption of a simplified rangefinder had the project designation changed to the T41. After testings and evaluations, the T41 model was accepted into service as the M41 Little Bulldog, with production starting at Cadillac Cleveland Tank Plant in 1951. The name "Little Bulldog" stayed until General Walton Walker, the first commander of the 8th US Army in Korea, died in a car accident, so the tank was renamed into the M41 Walker Bulldog in remembrance. Production went from 1953 to somewhere in the late 1960s with about 3,728 units produced.

The M41 light tank would go on to replace the M24 Chaffees by 1953. The M41 had a crew of four, commander, gunner, loader, and driver. The tank had a profile of under 9 feet and 19 feet long. The tank was lightweight at 23.5 tons and thus had rather thin armour, with the front armour only 25.4 mm thick (sloped at 60 degrees for about 50 mm effective). However, the tank was very agile with its torsion bar suspension and Continental AOS 895-3 series 6-cylinder gasoline engine of 500 hp which could deliver a road speed of 45 mph with a 100 miles operating range. Unfortunately, the tank was criticized for being noisy, a fuel-guzzler, rather heavy, and the American crewman found the Bulldog interior to be quite cramped. Despite that, it delivered speed, firepower, and reliability in a light tank format. Several upgrades were made on the M41 with better technology, the M41A1 had a hydraulic turret traverse with more ammo storage, the M41A2 had a new fuel system, and the M41A3 are old M41A1 tanks with the new fuel system from the M41A2.

Japanese Service

In 1961, the United States gave 150 M41 Walker Bulldog tanks to the Japanese Self Defense Force to supplement their new and heavier Type 61 main battle tank. These would see service all the way until 1981.

Screenshots and fan art

Skins and camouflages for the ____ from live.warthunder.com.

Additional information (links)

References


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jp_m41_walker_bulldog.png

Icon-country-jap.png M41A1 Walker Bulldog
Nation Japan
Type Light tank
Rank 4
Battle Rating
6.0
6.0
6.0

   Metric✓       Imperial   

   Metric       Imperial✓   

Characteristics
Weight
23,000 kg
50,706 lb
Number of Crew 4
Hull armour thickness
25.4/25.4/19.0/19.0 mm
1.0/1.0/0.75/0.75 inches
Statistics
Engine power (stock)
775 hp
442 hp
442 hp
Engine power (upgraded)
954 hp
500 hp
500 hp
HP/ton ratio (stock)
33.69
34.24
19.22
19.52
19.22
19.52
HP/ton ratio (Upgraded)
41.48
42.14
21.74
22.09
21.74
22.09
Max speed
80 km/h
50 mph
72 km/h
45 mph
72 km/h
45 mph
Main Weapon
1 x 76 mm M32 Cannon
Ammo stowage 65 rounds
Vertical guidance -10°/20°
Secondary Weapon
1 x 12.7 mm M2HB Heavy machine gun
Ammo stowage 2,175 rounds
Mount Pintle mount
Vertical guidance -10°/70°
Horizontal guidance -60°/60°
1 x 7.62 mm M1919A4 Machine gun
Ammo stowage 4,900 rounds
Mount Coaxial
Economy
Required RP 71,000 RP
Vehicle cost 210,000 SL
Crew training cost 61,000 SL
Max repair cost*
1,730 SL
1,950 SL
1,730 SL
Free repair time (Stock)
2d 15h
5d 01h
4d 20h
Free repair time (Upgraded)
21h 03m
1d 16h
1d 14h
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