Staff Writer (Updated: 7/1/2014):
Outwardly, the M41 was consistent with US Army design doctrine of the time. The tank was given a stout hull atop a tracked chassis with the driver in front, the turret at center and the engine in the rear. There were five double-tired road wheels to a track side with the drive sprocket at the rear and the track idler fitted to the front. Three track return rollers supported the upper region of the track system. The suspension system was of the torsion variety, allowing for adequate cross-country travel. The driver sat in a forward-left position in the forward hull under an armored hatch sporting three vision blocks, the compartment fitted under a well-sloped glacis plate. The turret was also well sloped with thick sides tapering towards the turret roof. The M41 was crewed by four personnel made up of the driver, tank commander, gunlayer (gunner) and dedicated loader. By this time in history, US tanks had dropped the designated bow gunner/radio operator from its designs. Armor protection for the crew was up to 1.5 inches (38mm) in thickness.
Power was supplied by the fitting of a single Continental AOS 895-3 series 6-cylinder, gasoline-fueled engine delivering 500 horsepower. This provided the tank with a top road speed of 45 miles per hour on ideal ground and up to 100 miles of operational range. The end result produced a nimble vehicle with adequate firepower for the threats of the modern battlefield though the Continental powerplant was thirsty which limited ranges and also noted for its high decibel levels during operation - a deficiency when the element of surprise was in play. Additionally, the average American tanker found the internal conditions rather cramped. In whole, the vehicle weighed in at just under 24 tons, maintained a length of 19 feet meters and a height just under 9 feet and proved reliable, robust and easy-to-handle.