20 km/h back72 km/h forward
18 km/h backSpeed
|This page is about the American M41A1. For the version in the Japanese tree, see M41A1 (Japan).|
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in the battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The Light Tank M41A1 Walker Bulldog is a rank IV American light tank with a battle rating of 6.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced at the same time as the American ground tree in Update 1.45 "Steel Generals". A large improvement over its predecessor, the M24 Chaffee, it features a gun that can more adequately fight the tanks at its tier with an APDS round and has very good mobility and low profile to move quickly against the enemy.
Survivability and armour
- Rolled homogeneous armour
- Cast homogeneous armour (Gun mantlet, Lower glacis)
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 28.5 mm (49°) Front glacis
63.5 mm (33-37°) Lower glacis
|28.5 mm|| 28.5 mm (46°) Top
25.4 mm (1°) Middle
25.4 mm (20°) Bottom
|Turret|| 44.4 mm (11-13°) Turret front
50.8 mm (2-43°) Gun mantlet
|31.75 mm (1°)||31.75 mm (1°)||12.7 mm|
- Suspension wheels, bogies, and tracks are 15 mm thick.
- Tracks are placed on the turret side and rear that can provide about 10 mm of extra armour.
- An extra 12.7 mm RHA metal plate is present on the right side of the turret near the pintle 7.62 mm machine gun.
- A 5 mm Structural steel box is present, mounted on the vehicle rear.
There aren't any specific targets worth noting as the M41A1 will be hurt by pretty much anything. Be extra careful with SPAAs as they can knock out the Walker Bulldog's components with ease and even destroy the tank.
If at all possible, try only to expose the turret. If using the terrain to the M41A1's advantage, it'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 the tank. Generally, the M41A1 be able to get in two shots on most targets before they can fire back, and the M41A1 accelerates from 0 to 30 km/h fast enough to become a hard target to hit if only the turret is exposed!
|Weight (tons)|| Add-on Armor
|Max speed (km/h)|
|Engine power (horsepower)|
|Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
|76 mm M32|
|Turret rotation speed (°/s)|
|Mode||Stock||Upgraded||Prior + Full crew||Prior + Expert qualif.||Prior + Ace qualif.|
|Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Stock||Prior + Full crew||Prior + Expert qualif.||Prior + Ace qualif.|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration in mm @ 0° Angle of Attack|
Mass in kg
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive Mass in g
| Normalization At 30°
Mass in kg
| Screen radius
| Screen time
| Screen hold time
| Explosive Mass in g|
|65||55 (+10)||39 (+26)||1 (+64)||No|
|12.7 mm M2HB|
|Capacity (Belt capacity)|| Fire rate
| Horizontal |
|7.62 mm M1919A4|
|Capacity (Belt capacity)|| Fire rate
| Horizontal |
Usage in the battles
Like the tanks that come before it, the Bulldog should be used as a rapid-deployment support vehicle in conjunction with heavier vehicles like the T32. It is best used to run rapid insertion and flanking operations while allowing the heavier tanks to absorb the brunt of the enemy attack. The Walker Bulldog works well with M26 Medium tanks as the M26 has a harder hitting gun to support the light tank's advance, but the M41A1 maintain a much better climb rate for hills and a much faster acceleration. The Bulldog's top speed does cap off-road, requiring good knowledge of the map to make the most of the terrain.
Always remember that the Bulldog lacks any effective armour. In a frontal attack, it will be easily penetrated by almost anything the enemy throws at it. Try to use the terrain to hide the tank and relocate after shots. Also, attempt to engage targets who are busy or already engaged with teammates. The Bulldog's 76 mm gun has great penetration, but due to the solid shot armour-piercing rounds it has it is necessary to make each shot count by hitting either ammo racks or fuel tanks/engines to disable and or destroy an enemy vehicle. Equipping HVAP rounds, later on, makes it easier to destroy vehicles with better side armour such as the IS-3 which has a fairly strong side profile.
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 the tank.
While playing this tank, the 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 manoeuvrable tank and with practice is a very potent threat to enemies.
If up against heavy tanks, such as the Tiger II H, 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. It is better to try and either ignoring him or aiming for his lower glacis and turret. Should the round penetrate the lower glacis, the transmission is likely to catch on fire. When attacking the turret, aim for the gunner on the left (player's right) of the gun. After that, disengage as the gunner will be replaced faster than the M41A1 can reload. Fighting off heavily armoured targets takes a lot of practice, but the gun's accuracy and good penetration can be used to the M41A1's advantage. Ambushing tanks as such as the Panther V series which many variants have slow slew rates will be highly effective as you can get two-three shots off and disable the gunner when you get a flank.
Pros and cons
- Extremely agile tank
- Good top speed 72 kph (average speed is more around 35-40 kph)
- Fast turret traverse
- Fast reload rate
- Respectable firepower when loaded with APDS
- APDS has high muzzle velocity, easy to hit targets at longer ranges
- Good flanker
- Good suspension; can drive away from steep downhills and jumps
- .50 cal AA machine gun with good coverage
- AP is highly lethal to most tanks of all-tiers post pen
- Low torque, without downhill the tank won't reach higher speeds than 50 km/h
- Thin armour, even SPAA tanks will take out the tank 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
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's 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.
The M41 Walker Bulldog first saw use in Korea in a limited combat run. The tanks, still labelled their experimental designation T41, were sent for field testing on design deficiencies. It is unknown what other purposes they served there except for the tests. Their first major conflict once adopted by the U.S. Army was in Vietnam, mainly by replacing the M24 Chaffees in service with the South Vietnamese army (ARVN) at the time. The M41A3 tanks arrived in January 1965 and were instantly popular; not only for their advantages, but the previously cramped interior for American crews were actually a perfect fit for the smaller Vietnamese armour crewman. The Bulldog went on to fight in the Vietnam War as a reliable war machine. The Bulldog had an advantage due to its lightweight in manoeuvring in the jungle terrain of the region. In 1971, Operation Lam Son 719, the disruption of the North Vietnamese Army supply lines had the M41 Bulldogs play a major role, accompanied by two airborne battalions and two cavalry regiments. Penetrating deep into enemy lines, the 17 M41 tanks engaged and destroyed six Soviet-designed T-54 tanks and other lighter armoured vehicles. This engagement came at a loss of 5 M41 and 25 armoured personnel carriers. By 1973, the ARVN still used about 200 M41 tanks while the transition of the American unit over to the M48A3 Patton tanks in Europe and Stateside. The M41 light tanks were also exported to various other countries. Today, Guatemala, Somalia, Taiwan, Uruguay, and Vietnam still use the M41 Walker Bulldog, some via upgrading the tanks to extend their service life.
The M41 Walker Bulldog design was advanced for the time, giving a relatively lightweight tank the firepower to take on other tanks of its time period. The chassis was even used on the M42 Duster Anti-Air gun and the M75 Armored Personnel Carrier. The drive, engine, transmission, and auxiliary engine also were used in the M44/M52 155 howitzer. By 1969, the US Army began replacing the M41 with the newer M551 Sheridan Armored Airborne Reconnaissance Assault Vehicle (officially not a "light tank") which had a 152 mm cannon that could fire shells and anti-tank missiles. The M551 Sheridan could be used in roles that the M41 Walker Bulldog couldn't do, such as be air-dropped and amphibious but was rather unreliable. This made the M41 Walker Bulldog to be the last American "light tank" produced and the last made before the classification between tank classes based on weight and role ended.
"In 1946 the Americans began looking for a replacement for the M24 Chaffee. The design for the new tank was to lean on experiences drawn from the Second World War.
In 1953 deliveries of the M41 Walker Bulldog to the US army began, with 5,500 units ultimately released.
The M41 Walker Bulldog featured a traditional layout with a welded hull and rationally sloped frontal plates. The turret was welded from cast and rolled armor elements. The running gear on each side was made up of five road wheels and three track return rollers in addition to guiding and leading wheels. The road wheels were independent of the torsion bar suspension, while the suspension for the first, second, and fifth rollers was equipped with hydraulic shock absorbers. The 500 hp air-cooled Continental AOS-895-3 engine featured a fire extinguishing system.
The tank's armament consisted of a 76 mm M32 cannon, a coaxial 7.62 mm Browning M1919A4E1 machine gun, and a turret-mounted 12.7 mm Browning M2HB anti-aircraft gun. The weapon was not stabilized and was equipped with a muzzle brake to reduce recoil. The battle compartment featured 24 rounds for fast reloading, along with 33 more in the tank hull that were only accessible when the turret was rotated hard to the rear.
Practice showed that the new tanks were poorly suited for reconnaissance, and their heavy weight and large dimensions made them just as difficult to transport as medium tanks. Those removed from active duty were quickly handed over and sold to allies and dependent governments.
M41 Walker Bulldogs saw combat in Austria, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, the UK, North (captured) and South Vietnam, Guatemala, and Greece."
- "US ARMY" 532 by JoKeR_BvB09
- "German Bundeswehr 3tone skin - 2nd Co of Panzeraufklärungsbataillon 5 ( ReconBn )" fictional by JoKeR_BvB09
- "(Fictional) M41 Flecktarn [Germany 1985]" by Tiger_VI
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the vehicles;
- links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.
|USA light tanks|
|LVT(A)(1) · M8 · M22 · M24 · M24 (TL) · T18E2|
|M2||M2A2 · M2A4 · M2A4 (1st Arm.Div.)|
|Stuart||M3 Stuart · M3A1 Stuart · M3A1 (USMC) · M5A1 · M5A1 (5th arm.div.) · M8 HMC|
|Post-war||M41A1 · T92 · M551 · M3 Bradley|