Type 97 ShinHoTo Chi-Ha medium tank
The Type 97 ShinhoTo Chi-Ha was a Japanese medium tank used in World War II, an upgrade to the original Type 97 Chi-Ha. The new version was designated Shinhoto Chi-Ha; this design was considered to be the best Japanese tank to have seen "combat service" during the Pacific War. Japanese Army observers had watched tank developments in Europe and studied as avidly as any European military the operational experiences gained by German and Italian tanks in the Spanish Civil War. In order to improve the anti-tank capability of the Type 97 Chi-Ha medium tank, a new enlarged three-man turret armed with a high-velocity 47 mm gun was combined with the Chi-Ha's hull. In 1942, it replaced the original model Type 97 in production. In addition "about 300" of the Type 97 tanks with the older model turret and 57 mm main gun were converted; when the Type 97 entered service, properly equipped and supported, mechanized infantry units were realized. Type 97 ShinHoTo tanks were first used in combat during the Battle of Corregidor in the Philippines in 1942.
A special company known as the "Matsuoka Detachment" was formed from the 2nd Tank Regiment and sent to the Philippines. According to an after-action report, they performed well in combat by "silencing several American defensive positions"; the Japanese commanders showed a "skillful and imaginative use of tanks" during the early string of victories of the Japanese military forces. The skill with which they maneuvered their mechanized infantry divisions was best seen in the Japanese invasion of Malaya, where the lighter weight of Japanese medium tanks allowed for a rapid ground advance so supported by armor that British defenders never had a chance to establish effective defense lines. During the Battle of Guam, 29 Type 97 and Type 95 tanks of the IJA 9th Tank Regiment and nine Type 95s of the 24th Tank Company were lost to bazooka fire or M4 tanks. At the Battle of Okinawa, 13 Type 95s and 14 Type 97 Shinhoto medium tanks of the understrength IJA 27th Tank Regiment faced 800 American tanks of eight US Army and two USMC tank battalions.
The Japanese tanks were defeated in their counter-attacks of 4–5 May 1945. Similar conditions were repeated in the Kwantung Army's defense against the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, although there was little tank-versus-tank action; the Soviet Red Army captured 389 tanks. While vulnerable to opposing Allied tanks, the 47 mm high-velocity gun did give the Type 97 ShinHoTo a fighting chance against them; the 47 mm gun was effective against the sides and rear of the Sherman tank. For this reason, some ShinHoTo Chi-Ha tanks were dug in concealed positions to ambush the American tanks and others were dug in to form the core of defense "strong points" during the battles for Luzon and Iwo Jima in 1945; the Type 97 ShinHoTo Chi-Ha served against allied forces throughout the Pacific and East Asia as well as the Soviets during the July–August 1945 conflict in Manchuria. It is considered to be the best Japanese tank; some Japanese tanks remained in postwar during the Chinese Civil War. After the end of World War II, IJA tanks captured by the Soviets were turned over to the Communists Chinese army.
After victory, the Chinese People's Liberation Army continued to use them in their inventory. The PLA's force of 349 tanks in 1949 included many Type 97 ShinHoTo Chi-Ha tanks; the Short Barrel 120 mm Gun Tank was one variant produced late in the war for the Imperial Japanese Navy. They with greater fire-power; the standard 47 mm main tank gun was replaced with a short barrel naval 12 cm "anti-submarine" gun with a muzzle brake added. In addition, it had a small storage compartment added onto the back of the ShinhoTo Chi-Ha turret. Only "about a dozen" were produced for deployment by the Japanese Special Naval Landing Forces. There was a prototype developed by the Imperial Japanese Navy known as the Naval 12 cm SPG or Long Barrel 120 mm SPG; the Type 10 120 mm main gun was mounted backwards on a Type 97 Chi-Ha chassis. The gun did not have a casemate; the fate of the one completed prototype at the end of the war, is unknown. Japanese tanks of World War II List of Type 97 Chi-Ha variants Tomczyk, Andrzej.
Japanese Armor Vol. 2. AJ Press. ISBN 978-8372371119. Tomczyk, Andrzej. Japanese Armor Vol. 4. AJ Press. ISBN 978-8372371676. Zaloga, Steven J.. Japanese Tanks 1939–45. Osprey. ISBN 978-1-8460-3091-8. Zaloga, Steven J.. M4 Sherman vs Type 97 Chi-Ha: The Pacific 1945. Osprey. ISBN 978-1849086387. Taki's Imperial Japanese Army Page - Akira Takizawa Photos at Taki of the Short Barrel 120 mm Gun Tank
Type 95 So-Ki
The Type 95 So-Ki was an armored railroad car of the Imperial Japanese Army. It was used for guarding railway lines in both Manchuria and Burma; the chassis was based on the Type 95 Ha-Go Light Tank. The Type 95 So-Ki had no fixed weapons armament. Hand-held weapons by the crew would be the only armament available, it had a simple suspension system with bogie wheels suspended on bell cranks on each side of the chassis. The tracks were driven through the front sprockets. There were three small return wheels; the Type 95 So-Ki was unique as it had both wheel drive system. The vehicle could be changed between railway line wheels mode and track mode for ground use within a few minutes time as it had retractable wheels. In addition, the width of the wheels could be adjusted to the various widths of the rail gauges; the Type 95 So-Ki was produced with 121 to 135 units made. Taki's Imperial Japanese Army Page - Akira Takizawa Zaloga, Steven J.. Armored Trains. Osprey. ISBN 978-1-8460-3242-4
Type 97 Chi-Ha medium tank
The Type 97 Chi-Ha was a medium tank used by the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Battles of Khalkhin Gol against the Soviet Union, the Second World War. It was the most produced Japanese medium tank of World War II; the 57 mm main gun, designed for infantry support, was a carry over from the Type 89 I-Go medium tank. The suspension was derived from the Type 95 Ha-Go light tank, but used six road wheels instead of four; the 170 hp Mitsubishi air cooled diesel engine was a capable tank engine in 1938. The Type 97's low silhouette and semicircular radio antenna on the turret distinguished the tank from its contemporaries. After 1941, the tank was less effective than most Allied tank designs. In 1942, a new version of the Chi-Ha was produced with a larger three-man turret, a high-velocity Type 1 47 mm tank gun, it was designated Type 97 Shinhoto Chi-Ha. With the Type 89 I-Go fast becoming obsolete in the late 1930s, the Imperial Japanese Army began a program to develop a replacement tank for infantry support.
Experience during the invasion of Manchuria determined that the Type 89 was too slow to keep up with motorized infantry. The new medium tank was intended to be a scaled-up four-man version of the Type 95 Ha-Go light tank, although with a two-man turret, thicker armor, more power to maintain performance; the Tokyo factory of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries completed a prototype designated Chi-Ha. The second prototype was completed in June 1937. Although the requirement was for a 47 mm gun, it retained the same short-barreled 57 mm gun as the Type 89B tank. However, at the time IJA was interested in the lighter and less expensive Type 97 Chi-Ni prototype proposed by Osaka Army Arsenal, which had the same 57 mm main gun. With the out-break of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, the peacetime budgetary limitations were removed and the more capable and expensive Mitsubishi Chi-Ha model was accepted as the new Type 97 medium tank by the army. Chi came from Chū-sensha. Ha and Ni, in Japanese army nomenclature, refer to model number 3 and 4 from old Japanese alphabet iroha.
The Type was numbered 97 as an abbreviation of the imperial year 2597, corresponding to the year 1937 in the standard Gregorian calendar. Therefore, the name "Type 97 Chi-Ha" could be translated as "1937's medium tank model 3"; the Type 97 hull was of riveted construction with the engine in the rear compartment. The tank had a four-man crew including a driver, bow machine-gunner, two men in the turret. In the forward compartment, the driver sat on the right, bow gunner on the left; the commander's cupola was placed atop the turret. Internal communications were by 12 push buttons in the turret, connected to 12 lights and a buzzer near the driver; the Type 97 was equipped with a Type 97 57 mm main gun, the same caliber as that used for the earlier Type 89 I-Go tank. The cannon was a short-barreled weapon with a low muzzle velocity, but sufficient as the tank was intended for infantry support; the main gun had no elevation gear, the gunner used his shoulder to elevate it. The tank carried two 7.7 mm Type 97 machine guns, one on the front left of the hull and the other in a ball mount on the rear of the turret.
The turret was capable of full 360-degree traverse, but the main gun was in a "semi-flexible mount" allowing a maximum 10-degree traverse independently of the turret. The thickest armor used was 25 mm on 15 -- 25 mm on the hull front. Power was provided by an air-cooled "V-12 21.7 liter diesel Mitsubishi SA12200VD" engine, which provided 170 hp. The shortcomings of the Type 97, with its low-velocity 57 mm gun, became clear during the 1939 Battles of Khalkhin Gol against the Soviet Union; the 45 mm gun of the Soviet BT-5 and BT-7 tanks out-ranged the Japanese tank gun, resulting in heavy Japanese losses. This convinced the army of the need for a more powerful gun. Development of a new 47 mm weapon began in 1939 and was completed by 1941; the Type 1 47 mm tank gun was designed to counter the Soviet tanks. The 47 mm gun's longer barrel generated much higher muzzle velocity, resulting in armor penetration superior to that of the 57 mm gun; the new version, designated Type 97-Kai or Shinhoto Chi-Ha, used the 47 mm main gun in its new, larger three-man turret.
It replaced the original model in production in 1942. In addition "about 300" of the Type 97 tanks with the older model turret and 57 mm main gun were converted; the Type 97 medium tank was manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Hitachi Industries, as well as some limited production in the Army's Sagami Arsenal. The number of Type 97 medium tanks produced was lower than of the Type 95 Ha-Go light tanks, but larger than any other tank fielded by Empire of Japan; the following number of units were produced for the years 1938 to 1943: Type 97 Chi-Ha tank: 1938: 110 1939: 202 1940: 315 1941: 507 1942: 28 Total: 1,162Type 97-Kai Shinhoto Chi-Ha tank: 1942: 503 1943: 427 Total: 930Total production of the 57 mm & 47 mm gun Type 97 medium tanks was 2,092. Although production peaked in 1943 it was the last year any Type 97 was produced, as factories switched to the new tank designs, most notably the Type 1 Chi-He medium tank; the last design, based directly on Type 97 lineage was the Type 3 Chi-Nu medium tank with a 75 mm main gun of which 144 were built from 1944 to 1945.
The Type 3 Chi-Nu retained the same chassis and suspension of the Type 97 based Type 1 Chi-He tank, but with a large new hexagonal gun turret and a commander's cupola. The Type 4 Chi-To was a separate design, the last Japanese medium tank design to be completed during the war, conside
Sōkō Sagyō Ki
The Sōkō Sagyō Ki known as the SS-Ki, was a fulltrack engineering vehicle of the Imperial Japanese Army introduced in 1931. The vehicle was considered by the IJA to be one of its most versatile multi-function support vehicles. During the 1930s, the Imperial Japanese Army required a specialised vehicle in preparation for war against the Soviet Union, which would be capable of destroying Soviet fortified positions along the Manchurian border. During the development and planning, it was decided that its capabilities should include trench digging, mine clearing, barbed wire cutting, mass decontamination, chemical weapons employment, use as a crane vehicle, as a flamethrower tank, as a bridgelayer; the first prototype was built in 1931. Following testing, the Imperial Japanese Army ordered several vehicles, with the first four assigned to the 1st Mixed Tank Brigade sent to China. During the Battle of Beiping–Tianjin in 1937, the vehicles were used as flamethrower tanks, they were sent to the Soviet-Manchurian border within a combat engineer regiment.
During December 1941 20 vehicles were transferred to the Philippines as part of the 2nd Tank Division, remained there until the end of the war. Eight vehicles were captured by the United States military during the summer of 1945, which classified the vehicles as flamethrower tanks; the design used a few of its parts. It featured other parts from various mass-production vehicles; the suspension was made from two blocks of four roadwheels with two return rollers and no independent forward bogie, in addition to semi-elliptical leaf springs. The steering sprocket was placed within the front of the vehicle, whilst the drive sprocket was placed within the rear; the turret was replaced with a small commander cupola with fitted observational devices. In addition, the chassis had a "tow coupling"; the thickness of the armor was reduced to 6mm on the roof and bottom, 13mm at the sides, 25mm at the front hull, since the vehicle was not intended for combat at the front lines. The vehicle accommodated five crewmembers.
A Mitsubishi I6 diesel engine was used, which provided 145 horsepower at 1800 rpm, allowing the vehicle to travel at a top speed of 37kph. Up until 1943, 119 of these vehicles were built within six variants: SS Ki: Main model SS Kou Gata: Armored engineering vehicle with suspension tracks consisting of four return rollers SS Otsu Gata: Armored bridgelaying vehicle with three return rollers and modified drive sprockets SS Hei Gata: Armored trench digger with identical suspension as the Otsu Gata, with additional armor plates SS Tei Gata: Armored engineering vehicle with identical suspension as the Otsu Gata SS Bo Gata: Armored bridgelaying vehicle based on the design of the SS Ki Taki's Imperial Japanese Army page: Armored Engineer Vehicle "SS" - Akira Takizawa Tomczyk, Andrzej. Japanese Armor Vol. 3. AJ Press. ISBN 978-8372371287
The Renault FT was a French light tank, among the most revolutionary and influential tank designs in history. The FT was the first production tank to have its armament within a rotating turret; the Renault FT's configuration – crew compartment at the front, engine compartment at the back, main armament in a revolving turret – became and remains the standard tank layout. Some historians of armoured warfare have called the Renault FT the world's first modern tank. Over 3,000 Renault FT tanks were manufactured by French industry, most of them during 1918. Another 950 of an identical licensed copy of the FT were made in the United States, but not in time to take part in World War I; the FT was designed and produced by the Société des Automobiles Renault, one of France's major manufacturers of motor vehicles and now. It is thought possible that Louis Renault began working on the idea as early as 21 December 1915, after a visit from Colonel J. B. E. Estienne. Estienne had drawn up plans for a tracked armoured vehicle based on the Holt caterpillar tractor, with permission from General Joffre, approached Renault as a possible manufacturer.
Renault declined, saying that his company was operating at full capacity producing war materiel and that he had no experience of tracked vehicles. Estienne took his plans to the Schneider company, where they became France's first operational tank, the Schneider CA. At a chance meeting with Renault on 16 July 1916, Estienne asked him to reconsider, which he did; the speed with which the project progressed to the mock-up stage has led to the theory that Renault had been working on the idea for some time. Louis Renault himself set its basic specifications, he imposed a realistic limit to the FT's projected weight. Louis Renault was unconvinced that a sufficient power-to-weight ratio could be achieved with the production engines available at the time to give sufficient mobility to the heavy tank types requested by the military. Renault's most talented industrial designer, Rodolphe Ernst-Metzmaier, generated the FT's detailed execution plans. Charles-Edmond Serre, a long time associate of Louis Renault and supervised the new tank's mass production.
The FT's tracks were kept automatically under tension to prevent derailments, while a rounded tail piece facilitated the crossing of trenches. Because the engine had been designed to function under any slant steep slopes could be negotiated by the Renault FT without loss of power. Effective internal ventilation was provided by the engine's radiator fan, which drew its air through the front crew compartment of the tank and forced it out through the rear engine's compartment. Renault's design was technically far more advanced than the other two French tanks at the time, namely the Schneider CA1 and the heavy Saint-Chamond. Renault encountered some early difficulties in getting his proposal supported by Estienne. After the first British use of heavy tanks on 15 September 1916 during the Battle of the Somme, the French military still pondered whether a large number of light tanks would be preferable to a smaller number of superheavy tanks. On 27 November 1916, Estienne had sent to the French Commander in Chief a personal memorandum proposing the immediate adoption and mass manufacture of a light tank based on the specifications of the Renault prototype.
After receiving two large government orders for the FT tank, one in April 1917 and the other in June 1917, Renault was at last able to proceed. His design remained in competition with the superheavy Char 2C until the end of the war; the prototype was refined during the second half of 1917, but the Renault FT remained plagued by radiator fan belt problems throughout the war. Only 84 were produced in 1917. About half of all FTs were manufactured in Renault's factory at Boulogne-Billancourt near Paris, with the remainder subcontracted to other companies. Of the original order for 3,530, Renault accounted for 1,850, Berliet 800, SOMUA 600, Delaunay-Belleville 280; when the order was increased to 7,820 in 1918, production was distributed in the same proportion. Louis Renault agreed to waive royalties for all French manufacturers of the FT; when the US entered the war in April 1917, its army was short of heavy matériel, had no tanks at all. Because of the wartime demands on French industry, it was decided that the quickest way to supply the American forces with sufficient armour was to manufacture the FT in the US.
A requirement of 4,400 of a modified version, the M1917, was decided on, with delivery expected to begin in April, 1918. By June 1918, US manufacturers had failed to produce any, delivery dates were put back until September. France therefore agreed to lend 144 FTs, enough to equip two battalions. No M1917s reached the American Expeditionary Forces; the first turret designed for the FT was a circular, cast steel version identical to that of the prototype. It was designed to carry a Hotchkiss 8mm machine gun. In April 1917 Estienne decided for tactical reasons that some vehicles should be capable of carrying a small cannon; the 37mm Puteaux gun was chosen, attempts were made to produce a cast steel turret capable of accommodating it, but they were unsuccessful. The first 150 FTs were for training only, made of non-hardened steel plus the first model of turret. Meanwhile, the Berliet Company had produced a new
Armoured personnel carrier
An armoured personnel carrier is a broad type of armoured, military vehicles designed to transport personnel and equipment in combat zones. They are sometimes referred to colloquially as'battle taxis' or'battle buses'. Since World War I, APCs have become a common piece of military equipment around the world. According to the definition in the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, an APC is "an armoured combat vehicle, designed and equipped to transport a combat infantry squad and which, as a rule, is armed with an integral or organic weapon of less than 20 millimetres calibre." APCs have less armament than other Armoured Fighting Vehicles which are designed to participate directly in combat. The American M113 and the Soviet BTR-60 are iconic examples; the genesis of the armoured personnel carrier was on the Western Front of World War I. In the stage of the war, Allied tanks could break through enemy lines, but the infantry following—who were needed to consolidate the gains—still faced small arms and artillery fire.
Without infantry support, the tanks were isolated and more destroyed. In response, the British experimented with carrying machine-gun crews in the Mark V* tank, but it was found that the conditions inside the tanks rendered the men unfit for combat. Britain therefore designed the first purpose-built armoured troop transport, the Mark IX, but the war ended before it could be put to use. During World War II, half-tracks like the American German Sd. Kfz. 251 played a role similar to post-war APCs. British Commonwealth forces relied on the full-tracked Universal Carrier. Over the course of the war, APCs evolved from simple armoured cars with transport capacity, to purpose-built vehicles. Obsolete armoured vehicles were repurposed as APCs, such as the various "Kangaroos" converted from M7 Priest self-propelled guns and from Churchill, M3 Stuart and Ram tanks. During the Cold War, more specialized APCs were developed; the United States introduced a series of them, including successors to the wartime Landing Vehicle Tracked.
Western nations have since retired most M113s, replacing them with newer APCs, many of these wheeled. The Soviet Union produced the BTR-152, BTR-60, BTR-70, BTR-80 in large numbers. Czechoslovakia and Poland together developed the universal amphibious OT-64 SKOT. A cold war example of a "Kangaroo" is the armoured Israeli Achzarit, converted from captured T-55s tanks. By convention, they are not intended to take part in direct-fire battle, but are armed for self-defence and armoured to provide protection from shrapnel and small arms fire. An APC is either wheeled or tracked, or a combination of the two, as in a half-track. Wheeled vehicles are faster on road and less expensive, however have higher ground pressure which decreases mobility offroad and makes them more to become stuck in soft terrains such as mud, snow or sand. Tracked vehicles have lower ground pressure and more maneuverability off road. Due to the limited service life of their treads, the wear they cause on roads, tracked vehicles are transported over long distances by rail or trucks.
Many APCs are amphibious. To move in water they will have propellers or water jets, or be propelled by their tracks. Preparing the APC to operate amphibiously comprises checking the integrity of the hull and folding down a trim vane in front. Water traverse speed varies between vehicles and is much less than ground speed; the maximum swim speed of the M113 is 3.8 mph, about 10% its road speed, the AAVP-7 can swim at 8.2 mph. Armoured personnel carriers are designed to protect against small arms and artillery fire; some designs have more protection. Armour is composed of steel or aluminium, they will use bulletproof glass. Many APCs are equipped with CBRN protection, intended to provide protection from weapons of mass destruction like poison gas and radioactive/nuclear weapons. APCs will be lighter and less armoured than tanks or IFVs being open topped and featuring doors and windows, as seen in the French VAB. Armoured personnel carriers are designed for transport and are armed, they may be unarmed, or armed with some combination of light, heavy machine guns, or automatic grenade launchers.
In Western nations, APCs are armed with the 50 calibre M2 Browning machine gun, 7.62mm FN MAG, or 40mm Mk 19 grenade launcher. In former Eastern bloc nations, the KPV, PKT and NSV machine guns are common options. In'open top' mounts the gunner sticks out of the vehicle and operates a gun on a pintle or ring mount. A ring mount allows the gun to traverse 360 degrees, a pintle mount, it can be preferable to an enclosed gunner because it allows a greater field of view and communication using shouts and hand signals. However, the gunner is poorly at risk of injury in the event of vehicle rollover. During the Vietnam War, M113 gunners suffered heavy casualties. Enclosed vehicles are equipped with turrets that allow the crew to operate the weapons system while protected by the vehicle's armour; the Soviet BTR-60 has an enclosed turret mounted with a KPV heavy machine gun with a PKT coaxial machine gun. The American AAVP machine gun in a enclosed turrets; the AAVP7 mounts a Mk 19 grenade launcher in a turret.
Turrets have optics which make them more accurate. More APCs have been equipped remote weapon systems; the baseline Stryker carries an M2 on a Protector remote weapons
Type 94 Armoured Train
The Type 94 Armoured train was built in 1934 and used by the Imperial Japanese Army forces during World War II. It consisted of 8 cars and added an additional car, for a total of 9. For armament, it had two Type 88 75 mm AA guns; the armored train was part of the 1st Armoured Train Unit in Manchuria