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Walker Bulldog

Discussion in 'Post-World War 2 Armour' started by bushmaster, Sep 6, 2018.

  1. bushmaster

    bushmaster Active Member

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    How capable as an anti-armor weapon was the cannon on the M-41? How did it compare to the better AT cannon of WW2? Thanks for any help.
     
  2. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Well, its well-angled frontal armor was probably as effective as the Sherman's. Wide tracks and light weight meant that it was probably very mobile in soft terrain. The gun, however, seems to be the same 76mm we put in the later Sherman variants. Some of the export models were fitted with the 90mm gun which would have been a serious improvement in the armament.

    Curiously, the chassis for this tank may have been used for my old workhorse, the M 110 self-propelled howitzer.
     
  3. bushmaster

    bushmaster Active Member

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    The armor was a bit thinner than the Sherman's. I was under the impression, though, that the cannon or at least the ammo was an improvement over the Sherman's 76. I will gladly sit corrected if wrong.
     
  4. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    Some Bulldog's had 76's with an auto-loading capability, which Shermans did not have, so in a way, yes, the gun was different, and if you see auto-loading cannon's as an improvement, then it was technically better than the Sherman 76'
     
  5. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    AFAIK, the autoloader was proposed, but never adopted...Mostly it's a World of Tanks/War Thunder/Tank game thing.
     
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  6. bushmaster

    bushmaster Active Member

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    So it's essentially the same gun and ammo as a late-model Sherman or an M-18?
     
  7. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Nice to hear the Bulldog mentioned.
    Bit of a neglected beast. Remember the Tamiya kit as a kid? Everyone made it, without knowing much about the machine.

    I perhaps associate it more with Chaffee/M24.
    Sure Rich will be better on chapter & verse than I, but wasn't it the same gun as the M18 too? So, yeah, essentially a WW2 piece anyway.
     
  8. bushmaster

    bushmaster Active Member

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    My thanks to all. I could find very little on the internet about the M-41's cannon. I presumed it was a different gun.
     
  9. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    I got to ride in a M-41 at ft. Stewart, Ga. My brother was a captain in armor there and managed to arrange it.. A number of WW2 soldiers were still in the army there and they seemed to genuinely like the Bulldog. There is a fair amount of data on the M32 gun. Always try Google, not Bing, Yahoo, etc. the first link I hit was ....76 mm gun M1

    I could have gone on to a good many more. I am guessing if it was upgraded to a 990MM it would have been a lighter version than the Pershing. Just like the Isralie's version of the French 105 MM main tank gun from the late 50's . They shortened the case to allow the Super Shermans (51 7 52's) to carry it. still a powerful weapon for it's day.

    You have pricked my curiosity so now I want to know more about the M-41's main gun. And, anyone know, off hand, when the US Army switched to diesel for its main tanks?

    Gaines
     
  10. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    Apparently, the Germans uparmed their M-41's with their own 90MM and also "lightened " it to fit and balance in their Walkers. If the US went to 90's they may have used the German gun, not unlike lots of NATO tanks having the Rheinmetal 105 and 120. I believe the Abrams has a US made version of the same 120. but the German one has a longer barrel in their Leopard 2's.
     
  11. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, they were very different guns. The 76mm Gun M32 (T91E3) was an evolutionary development of the 76mm Gun M1A2, the last of the wartime 76mm guns. Chamber capacity increased from 142.6 CI for AP in the M1-series to 197 CI in the M32. The larger chamber meant larger cartridges and more propellant, so generated higher chamber pressures, increasing from 43,00 PSI to 46,000 PSI, which in turn generated much higher Mv. Standard APC-T M62 in the M1-series was 2,600 FPS versus 3,200 FPS in the AP-T M339. Note that the projectiles were also much changed, mostly due to wartime experience and testing that improved design, production, and capability. The standard AP round was a solid shot penetrator (AP-T) as opposed to the wartime penetrator (APC-T) which included a fuzed explosive charge in the shell cavity. Finally, in addition to a much improved HVAP-T M319 (APCR) round there was also finally a discarding sabot round available, HVAP-DS-T M331A2. The overall result was a significant increase in energy, from the 724 ft-tons of the APC-T M62 to 1,034 ft-tons in the AP-T M339. So roughly a 25% increase in capability coupled with a much better penetrator design that eliminated much of the shatter problems found in wartime U.S. Army Ordnance, overall probably a third to almost half again as effective.
     
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  12. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    I thought they had made 2 or 3 Bulldogs with the new cannon's, but I could easily have mistaken that because of those games.........
     
  13. bushmaster

    bushmaster Active Member

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    My thanks. I thought it might be different given wartime experience. I didn't know the performance was that much superior.
     
  14. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The US looked into and experimented with the 90mm in the Walker Bulldog. However, by the time they were seriously considering it, the British L7 105mm was now in favor so the 90mm upgrade fell by the wayside.

    The original Abrams gun was the M68 105mm, which, I believe was chosen for budgetary constraints, with the full intention of switching to the 120mm later - as was done with the M1A1 having the M256 120mm(based on the German 120). The Germans switched from the L/44 to the L/55, because they do not have the Depleted Uranium sabot rounds of the US, and the German tungsten penetrators needed a boost to remain completely effective against the newest armor.
     
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  15. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    There were two autoloaders that had been tested - The original and the improved one. The original had a good deal of problems, while the improved autoloader fixed several, many remained. In the end, it was decided that it just was not practically feasible, as even the improved one was not ready for combat.
     
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  16. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    Live and learn, I never associated the increase in the Leopard 2 main gun length with not having uranium penetrators. Tank anti-tank development is fascinating and brutal. Composite materials, reactive armor, modular armor panels, the innovative Swedish anti-tank missile that explodes directly over a turret ( I guess reactive armor will try and stop it)

    I was impressed with the rapid development of munitions development immediately after the war in the M-41, I assume we have the Cold War and thousands of Russian of 55's to thank.

    Ironic that such innovation is spurred by the need or desire to fight wars. Oh, is the British Challenger main gun the only current rifled gun being made?

    Thank both of you for the nice answers, my apologies, Bushmaster, for going off topic on the M-41 main gun...I will begin to research it myself...

    Gaines
     
  17. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Yes, after that missile, reactive armor was put on turret tops, as well as thicker armor. To defeat reactive armor, AT missiles were given two or three explosive charges...one or two to detonate ERA, and the last larger one to punch through the armor.
     
  18. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    Didn't know that, not something I've ever thought about. Germany does have nuclear reactors, although they are phasing them out. Was it a political decision not to produce DM rounds? Do we know what nations use them? Israel?
     
  19. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The only nations I know of are the UK, USA, and Russia.

    As to Germany, it was probably common sense. Since WW3 would likely be fought on their own turf, they would not want to cover it with low grade radioactive material. Especially, since tungsten alloys perform almost as well as DU rounds. The same probably holds for Israel.
     
  20. bushmaster

    bushmaster Active Member

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    Nothing wrong with a tangent, Sir. They keep things interesting.
     
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