The Danish M41 DK Tank Back Ground
The M41 was the first post war light tank to enter production, replacing the M24 Chaffee, which had served in WW2.Development started in 1947 under the designation T37. It was the first tank where the vehicle was built around the engine, rather that trying to later find a suitable engine for a completed design.
In 1948, three prototypes with varying main guns and turrets were tested and the second of the three’s turrets and 76mm main gun was selected and that vehicle was designated the T41. However, the selected rangefinder and remote control MG had issues, so were dropped and a less complicated rangefinder was fitted. This vehicle was designated the T41A1.
The T41A1 entered production at the Cadillac’s GMC Cleveland Tank Plant in Ohio during mid 1951 as the M41 Little Bulldog. The name was soon changed to the M41 Walker Bulldog after General Walton Harris Walker, who died in the Korea War. When production ended in the late 50’s, 5500 had been built. It was eventually replaced in US service with the M551 Sheridan.
It has been operated by 19 countries, which includes Denmark who had operated over 50 from 1953 to 1998 during which period it was upgraded to the M41 DK during the 1980’s.
The Danish M41 DK Tank upgrades included:
A new more powerful engine
Re-designed internal layout
Smoke grenade launchers
Internal fire-suppression system
New electrical gun controls
Thermal gunners sight
Anti-Aircraft Machine Gun
New SABOT round
The Danish M41 DK Tank Spec’s
Armaments: 76mm Main Gun, x2 7.62mm MG’s
Armour: 40mm thick steel
Dimensions: Length 5.81m / Width 3.19m / Height 3.07m
Weight: 23.49 tonne
Engine: 500bhp Continental 6-cylinder Petrol
Top Road Speed: 72km/h
Operational Range: 160km