[Would you like to see this in-game?]
TL;DR: A German improved M41 equipped with a stabilizer and more efficient engine.
Note: To clarify, I am suggesting this vehicle for Germany since they were the one that built it and no one else went through with purchasing it.
After WW2, Germany was split into two halves, East and West. The end of WW2 also brought about NATO and immediately after the signing of the treaty that brought it into existence, the question about West Germany’s entrance into the organization was brought up. West Germany’s entrance into NATO would essentially mean that Germany would be allowed to rearm itself, which wasn’t a popular decision with many parties for obvious reasons, however, it was eventually reasoned that German engineers were some of the best in the world and if led properly, they could become an incredibly strong ally. It was decided that the most logical course of action was to rearm both sides. The West would enter NATO on May 9th, 1955, with the Bundeswehr being created only a few months later on November 12th, 1955. To be able to defend itself, it was predicted that the Bundeswehr would need at least 3,000 tanks the first 1,100 of these would be M47s cheaply acquired from the US, accompanied by 50 M41 light tanks. These M41s would be largely assigned to reconnaissance and tank destroyer units, though a few did worm their way into actual tank grenadier units. Unfortunately, the M41 was terribly unpopular with German crews as they simply didn’t like the concept of a light tank. Once the Leopard 1, JPz 4-5, and RakJPz 2 were ready for service, all M41s would be immediately phased out with the Leopard 1 replacing it in reconnsaince and tank grenadier units and the JPz 4-5 and RakJPz 2 replacing it in tank destroyer units. This meant that Germany now had a few perfectly serviceable M41s just sitting around collecting dust, perfect for use in experiments and export attempts. One such export attempt was the M41GTI (German Tank Improvement), an upgrade package which was, contrary to popular belief, not exclusively intended for Thailand, but rather any of the many countries that still used stock M41s. The package added the MOLF 41 fire control system, which included a thermal periscope, laser rangefinder, and a digital computer. This system was accompanied by the ELAN 41 T, which replaced the original hydraulic turret drive with an electrical one that included a stabilizer. The engine was replaced by the MTU MB 833 Aa-501 diesel engine, which developed 450hp. While this engine was inferior to the original in terms of raw horsepower (450hp vs 500hp), it was much more efficient and increased the vehicle’s range to 600km, much better than the original 161km. That being said, the drop in horsepower did lower the maximum speed to 60kph. The original 76mm M32 cannon was maintained, however, the coaxial was replaced with a Heckler & Koch HK21 machine gun. New shock absorbers, torsion bars, and sideskirts were also installed. The M41GTI would undergo trials in Thailand in early 1989, however, it would not be adopted or proceed past a single prototype.
Place In Game:
Squadron vehicles have been a vehicle type in-game for quite a while now, yet the majority of the newer squadron vehicles are at very high tiers. This not only results in unpleasantly long research times, but also allows less experienced players to buy in to the higher ranks with a stock vehicle causing the losses of countless games. High tier premiums are also guilty of this but at least they aren’t stock. There hasn’t been a good low/mid tier squadron vehicle added for quite a while and this strange and slow M41 equipped with a stabilizer would be a great fit, potentially acting as a more accessible alternative to the RU 251. It’s not an overly iconic vehicle so new players won’t GE it and it has a tech tree equivalent. Playstyle would be rather interesting. You wouldn’t be as fast as most of your contemporaries, however, you make up for your lackluster speed with the ability to sling HEAT-FS and APDS on the move. You have an objective advantage over many of your enemies as long as they’re moving at a decent speed. This allows for a decently aggressive playstyle. You should still play with caution, however, as you’re bound to eventually run into a stationary enemy that knows how to lead their shots. As previously mentioned, the best way to add the M41GTI would be as a squadron vehicle, however, due to its intention as an export vehicle, it would also make a very good battlepass or event vehicle.
Armament: 76mm M32 cannon and 1x 7.62mm MG,
Dimensions: 5.81m, 3.19m, 2.72m
Armor: Same as leKPz M41 in-game
Ammunition: Same as leKPz M41 in-game
During Trials In Thailand:
Four View Diagram:
Легкий танк M41 | Михаил Никольский | страница 4 | LoveRead.ec - читать книги онлайн бесплатно
M41 Walker Bulldog - Wikipedia
M41 Walker Bulldog In Action by Jim Mesko
Die Panzer M 41 und M 47 in der Bundeswehr by Stefan Marx
A Compendium of Armaments and Military Hardware by Christopher Chant
Sheridan: A History of the American Light Tank Volume 2 by R.P. Hunnicutt