Hobby Master HG5304 Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force M41A3 Walker Bulldog Light Tank (1:72 Scale)
"Old soldiers never die; they just fade away. And like the old soldier of that ballad, I now close my military career and just fade away - an old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty. Good-bye."
- General Douglas MacArthur, making a farewell address to Congress after being sacked by President Harry S. Truman
The M41 Walker Bulldog was a U.S. light tank developed to replace the M24 Chaffee. It was named for General Walton Walker who died in a jeep accident in Korea. On November 7th, 1950, the US Ordnance Committee Minutes (OCM) issued item #33476, redesignating the heavy, medium, and light tank, according to the armament; the 120mm (heavy) Gun Tanks, 90mm (medium) Gun Tanks, and the 76mm (light) Gun tanks.
While the M24 Chaffee was a successful design, its main gun was not effective enough against well armored opponents. Although the primary mission of a light tank was scouting, the U.S. Army wanted one with more powerful armament. The development of the new tank, T37, began in 1947. The vehicle was designed to be air-transportable, and the desired anti-tank capabilities were provided by installing a long 76 mm gun with an advanced rangefinder. In 1949, with the adoption of a less ambitious rangefinder, the project's designation was changed to T41. Production started in 1951 at Cadillac's Cleveland Tank Plant, and by 1953 the new tank completely replaced the M24 in the United States Army. Initially it was nicknamed "Little Bulldog", then renamed "Walker Bulldog" after General Walton Walker, who was killed in a jeep accident in Korea in 1950.
The M41 was an agile and well armed vehicle. On the other hand, it was noisy, fuel-hungry and heavy enough to cause problems with air transport. In 1952, work began on lighter designs (T71, T92), but those projects came to naught and were eventually abandoned.
The Walker Bulldog saw limited combat with the U.S. Army during the Korean War, but for the most part, the conflict served as a testing ground to work out the tank's deficiencies, especially with its rangefinder. At the time, it was designated as the T41, and was rushed to the battlefield even before its first test run. This was due to the fact that the North Koreans were supplied with Soviet T-34 tanks, which were superior to the M24. By 1961, one hundred fifty were delivered to the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force to supplement their Type 61 medium tanks.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a US-built M41A3 Walker Bulldog light tank that served with the Japanese Ground Self- Defense Force. Now in stock!
Length: 5 inches
Width: 2 inches
Release Date: December 2012
Historical Account: "Defending Nippon" - The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, or JGSDF, is the Armed Force of Japan. The largest of the three services of the Japan Self-Defense Forces, the Ground Self-Defense Force operates under the command of the chief of the ground staff, based in the city of Ichigaya, Tokyo. The JGSDF numbers around 148,000 soldiers.
The JGSDF was formed on July 1st, 1954. For decades its primary concern was internal security in Japan and the opposition of any Soviet invasion of Hokkaido, but with the end of the Cold War, this focus is changing.