With the arrival of the M24 "Chaffee" Light Tank during World War 2, and work into several successful conversions of existing tanks as Self-Propelled Artillery (SPA), the United States Army ordered the new M41 Howitzer Motor Carriage in number before the close of the war in 1945. The vehicle mated the 155mm M1 howitzer to the chassis and hull of the M24, producing a reliable support vehicle. A revised hull superstructure and lengthened chassis were required and the engine relocated to the center of the hull. The crew of five included a driver in the hull with the gunnery crew operating in the open-air weapon section. However, conversion of an existing line of light tanks served well to expedite delivery and simplify logistics in the marches to Berlin and Tokyo. Power was served through a 2 x Cadillac 44T24 8-cylinder engine of 110 horsepower each (as in the M24) and its origin in the M24 could clearly be seen in the track-and-wheel arrangement.
However, with the close of the war a massive military drawdown occurred which ended the life of many in-development products and curtailed procurement of others. The 250-strong U.S. army ordered resulted in about 85 machines being delivered (some sources state 60 while others show 95). Production was handled by the agricultural equipment builder Massey Harris. The M41 disappeared quickly thereafter.
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