Hobby Master HG5305 West German M41G Walker Bulldog Light Tank - Unidentified Unit, Bundeswehr, 1950s (1:72 Scale)
"History is the sum total of things that could have been avoided."
- Konrad Adenauer, First Chancellor of West Germany, 1949-1963
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 West German M41G Walker Bulldog light tank. Special Order!
Length: 5 inches
Width: 2 inches
Release Date: March 2013
Historical Account: "A New Fatherland" - The Bundeswehr (German for "Federal Defence Force") is the name of the unified armed forces of Germany. The Bundeswehr is a federal defense force with Army (Heer), Navy (Marine), Air Force (Luftwaffe), Joint Service Support Command (Streitkraftebasis), and Central Medical Services (Zentraler Sanitatsdienst) branches.
The Bundeswehr has some 250,000 military personnel, 50,000 of whom are 18 to 25 year-old conscripts who serve for at least nine months under current rules. The number of civilian employees is to be reduced to 75,000 during the coming years.
Women have served in the medical service since 1975. In 2000, in a lawsuit brought up by Tanja Kreil, the European Court of Justice issued a ruling allowing women to serve in more roles than previously allowed. Since 2001 they can serve in all functions of service without restriction, but they are not subject to conscription. There are presently around 14,500 women on active duty and a number of female reservists who take part in all duties including peacekeeping missions and other operations.