M41 DK-1

The M41 light tank, known in American service as the “Walker Bulldog”, is like the M24 Chaffee a reconnaissance tank. The M41 entered service with the Danish Army in 1962, when the Danish Army received 53 new M41s. They were the last tanks that Denmark received free of charge as weapons aid from the United States in connection with the reconstruction of the Danish defence after World War II.

Similar to the Centurion tank, the M41 was also upgraded several times while in service. The last upgrade of the M41 took place in the late 1980s. As with the Centurion, it was intended to give the M41 the ability to fight effectively at night, while incorporating a modern diesel engine that gave the vehicles a much longer range than the original petrol engine had.

Following the upgrade of the M41, the Army had a modern reconnaissance tank, designated the M41 DK-1, which was on a par with the Centurion in terms of the Fire Control System, and thus as good at operating at night as the Centurion tank was. In addition to the night fighting equipment, the M41 was also equipped with new armour-piercing ammunition, which provided better capabilities to defeat enemy tanks.

The experience of well over 10 years of Leopard tank service was part of the design process for the upgrade of the M41, and several Leopard components were thus also used on the M41 DK-1. The most visible example of this is the track guards, which are of the same type as on Leopard 1. The turret baskets on the side and rear of the turret, together with the track guards, contribute to giving the M41 DK-1 a completely different visual appearance from the original M41.

The M41 DK-1 was gradually phased out by the Army when the units on Zealand switched from the Centurion tank to the Leopard 1A5 tank. In this context, it was decided that the reconnaissance squadrons of the Guard Hussars Regiment would also have the Leopard 1A5 tank as their main weapon. The M41 DK-1 was then only used by the Army on the island of Bornholm.

The M41 DK-1 tank was officially phased out on January 1st 2000, after which it was used as a range target on the island of Rømø, salvage objects at various schools, as well as a number (4 pieces) that are today “on duty” at the historical collections units in Denmark.

The vehicle on display is fully roadworthy.

M41 DK-1
Country of origin: Denmark (USA)
Type: Light tank
Speed: 72 km/h
Range: 750 km on road
Weight: 25 tons empty / 25 tons fully loaded
Width: 3.33 m
Height: 3.25 m with commander’s hatch gun
Length: 5.81 m vehicle / 8.22 m cannon at 12 o’clock
Crew: 4
Armament: 76 mm cannon, .30 Cal (7.62 mm) commander’s hatch gun, .30 Cal (7.62 mm) co-axial gun, 76 mm smoke launchers
Engine: Cummins V8 14.8 liter VTA-903TR 465 HP diesel ; Auxiliary engine Honda generator 3-cylinder
Transmission: Allison CD 500-3 with 3 forward, 1 reverse
Year of introduction: 1962 (rebuild to DK-1 at end of the 80s)
Phased out year: 2000