Japanese tanks period of the second world war. Part I

In the 20 years before the outbreak of war with China and the subsequent advent of the entire South-East Asia, Japanese Empire began forming their own armored forces. The experience of the First World War showed the prospects of tanks and people of the country of the rising sun have taken note of it. Creating a Japanese tank industry began with painstaking research zabugornyh machines. To this end, since 1919, Japan has purchased from European countries small parties tanks of different models. In the middle of the 20's were considered the best French Renault FT-18 and the British Mk.A Whippet. In April 1925, of the armored vehicles was formed first Japanese tank group. In the upcoming purchase zabugornyh samples continued, but especially large sizes had. Japanese engineers have already developed several of his own projects.

Japanese tanks during the Second World War.  Part I
Reno FT-17/18 (The 17 had an MG, the 18 had a 37mm gun)
Japanese tanks during the Second World War.  Part I
Tanks Mk.A Whippet Imperial Army Land of the Rising Sun

In 1927, the Osaka arsenal revealed to the world first Japanese Tank its development. The machine had a combat weight of 18 tons and was armed with a 57 mm cannon and 2 machine guns. Armament was mounted in a 2-independent towers. Fully saying that the first experience of independent creation of armored vehicles has not crowned a special success. Tank "Chi-I" was, on the whole, good. But did not leave without a so-called childhood diseases that were forgiven for the very first design. Taking into account the experience of testing and trial operation in the army four years was created by another tank of the same mass. "Type 91" is equipped with 3 towers, in which there were 70-millimeter and 37-millimeter guns, and machine guns. Is noteworthy that the machine gun tower, being created for the defense of the machine from the rear, was placed behind the engine compartment. The other two towers were placed in the front and middle part of the tank. The most massive cannon mounted onto a large high tower. This scheme weapons and build residents of the rising sun used to own an average follow-tank. "Type 95" appeared in 1935, and even built a small series. But a number of design and operational features ultimately led to the abandonment of many-tower systems. All subsequent Japanese armored vehicle equipped with one or tower, or treated or logging broneschitkami Heavy.

Japanese tanks during the Second World War.  Part I
First Japanese medium tank, which was called in 2587 as "Chi-i" (at times it was called the "middle tank Number 1 ")

"Special Tractor"

After rejecting the idea of a tank with several towers and Japanese military engineers began to develop a different direction armored vehicles, which eventually became the basis for a whole family of combat vehicles. In 1935, the Japanese army was received light / small tank "Type 94", also recognized under the title "TC" (short for "Tokubetsu Kenin" — literally "special tractor"). At first, this tank battle with weight in the three and a half tons — because of this systematization in the European armored vehicles it is considered Wedgies — developed as a special ton to transport cargo and escort convoys. Yet, with the passage of time, the project has evolved into vsepolnotsennuyu light combat vehicles. The construction and assembly of the tank "Type 94" then became traditional for Japanese armored vehicles. Housing "TK" was going to the frame of the corners of rolled sheets, maximum thickness of armor was 12 millimeters upper parts forehead. Floor and roof were three times thinner. In front of the building housed the engine-transmission compartment with an internal combustion engine Mitsubishi "Type 94" power of 35 horsepower. So weak little engine lacked the speed of 40 km / h on the highway. Suspension of the tank was constructed under the scheme of Major T. Hara. Four supporting roller for caterpillar pairwise fastened at the ends of the balance bar which, in turn, mounted on the housing. Damping element coil spring suspension was installed along the body and covered with a cylindrical housing. On each side of the chassis with 2 equipped with such units, with all this fixed ends of the springs were in the center running. Armament "Special Tractor" consisted of the 1st machine gun "type 91" caliber 6.5 mm. The "Type 94" as a whole was a good one, although he had a number of shortcomings. First, the claims caused weak defense and missing weapons. Just one machine gun caliber rifle was acting only weapon against the enemy's weak little.

Japanese tanks during the Second World War.  Part I
"Type 94" "TK" occupied Yankees

"Type 97" / "Te-Ke"

The terms of reference for the subsequent armored car involves a more superior levels of protection and firepower. Since the construction of the "Type 94" had some potential for development, the new "Type 97", also known as "Te-Ke", in fact it was the most profound modernization. For this reason, suspension and body design "Te-Ke" is almost one hundred percent was similar to a suitable unit is "Type 94". At the same time, there were some differences. The combat weight of the new tank rose to 4.75 tons, which, coupled with a massive new engine could result in a severe balancing configuration. In order to avoid a very heavy load on the front road wheels OHV engine was located at the rear of the tank. Two-stroke diesel engine developed capacity of up to 60 hp With all of this increase in engine power did not lead to improve traction properties. The rate of "Type 97" remained at the level of the previous tank "TK". Transfer of motor aft claimed the build configuration and shape of the front of the chassis. Thus, by increasing the free volume in the nose of the tank, it was possible to make
a more ergonomic workplace of the driver with a more comfortable, "chopping", serving on the frontal and upper hull. The level of protection "Type 97" was a little higher than the "Type 94". Now the whole body going from a 12-millimeter sheets. In addition, the upper part of the hull sides had a thickness of 16 mm. This exciting feature was justified angles sheets. Since the frontal housed under a huge angle to the horizontal than the board, different thickness is allowed to provide a uniform level of protection from all angles. The crew of the tank "Type 97" consisted of 2 persons. They did not have any special observation devices and used only observation slits and sights. Workplace tank commander in the fighting compartment housed in the tower. It had before it the gun, 37 mm and 7.7-mm gun. The gun "type 94" with breech charge the hand. Ammunition of 66 armor-piercing shells and shrapnel was laid along the sides, inside the hull. Armor-piercing projectile was about 35 mm from a distance of 300 meters. Coaxial machine gun "type 97" had more than 1,700 ammunition rounds.

Japanese tanks during the Second World War.  Part I
Type 97 Te-Ke

Batch creation of tanks "Type 97" began in 1938-39. Until its termination in 1942 was collected about 600 military vehicles. Appearing in the late 30's, "Te-Ke" actually managed to take part in all military conflicts since then, the fighting in Manchuria and to amphibious operations in 1944. At first, the industry is not governed by the issuance of the required number of tanks, because the passage of distributing them between pieces with special care. The use of "Type 97" in the battle came with varying success: rather weak booking did not provide protection from much of the fire of the enemy, and his own arms could not pay tribute to the firepower and range of effective fire. In 1940, an attempt was made to establish a "Te-Ke" the latest gun with the barrel of greater length and the same caliber. The initial velocity of the projectile has grown by 100 meters per second, and ensure high level of 670-680 m / s. Yet, over time it became clear deficit and weapons.

"Type 95"

The forthcoming development of the topic of light tanks became a "Type 95" or "Ha-Go" made a little later, "Those Cayes." Overall, it was a logical extension of previous machines, but not work without harsh configurations. Please changed the design of the chassis. In past cars steering wheel also plays a role of rollers and presses the caterpillar to the ground. On the "Ha-Go", this piece was lifted off the ground and acquired a more conventional track for tanks as long look. The design of the armored corps remained the same — the frame and rolled sheets. Most of the panels had a thickness of 12 mm, which is why the level of protection remained at the same level. The basis of the power plant tank "Type 95" was a six-cylinder two-stroke diesel engine with 120 hp This power of the motor, regardless of the combat weight of seven and a half tons, is permitted to maintain and even increase the speed properties and flotation machines in comparison with the past. The highest rate of "Ha-Go" on the highway was 45 km / h

The main tool of the tank, "Ha-Go" was similar weapons "Type 97". It was a 37-mm gun "Type 94". Suspension system made the gun rather unusual method. The gun is not solidified and could move aggressively in both the vertical and horizontal planes. Because of this it was possible to put things crudely gun turret and adjust the tip-off by turning its own devices. Gun ammunition — 75 rounds unitary — located along the walls of the fighting compartment. Additional weapons "Type 95" at first were two 6.5-mm machine gun "type 91". Later, with the transition of the Japanese army in the new cartridge, they are replaced by guns "type 97" caliber 7.7 mm. One of the guns was placed in the back of the tower, the other — in a swinging installed in the front sheet hulls. In addition, on the left side of the body there were loopholes for firing a gun crew personnel. The crew of "Ha-Go", for the first time in this line of light tanks, consisted of 3 persons: the mechanics of the driver, technician-hand gunner and commander. The responsibilities of technology-arrow went control of the engine and the front of the firing machine gun. 2nd gun ruled commander. He also charged the gun and fired it.

First experimental batch of tanks, "Ha-Go" was assembled in 1935 and immediately went to the troops on the trial operation. In a war with China, because of helplessness army of the latter, the new Japanese tanks did not have gained particular success. Little later, during the battle at the Halkin-Gol, the Japanese military finally managed to check the "Type 95" in a real fight with a worthy opponent. This test cycle is sad: virtually all available at the Kwantung Army, "Ha-Go" were destroyed by tanks and artillery of the Red Army. One result of the fighting in the Halkin-Gol was the recognition of the Japanese command deficiency 37-mm cannons. In the process of fighting Russian BT-5, kitted 45-mm guns, the Japanese had time to destroy the tanks before as they approached the distance assured destruction. In addition, as part of the Japanese armored units had a lot of machine-gun tanks, which apparently did not contribute to success in battle.

Japanese tanks during the Second World War.  Part I
"Ha-Go", occupied by South American troops on the peninsula of Io

In the upcoming tanks, "Ha-Go" faced a battle with American equipment and artillery. Due to significant differences in calibers — Americans already being used tank guns caliber 75 mm — Japanese armored vehicles often suffered huge losses. By the end of the Pacific War, light tanks "Type 95" is often altered in fixed emplacements, but their efficiency was low. Recent battles with the role of "Type 95" took place during the third civilian war in China. Trophy tanks passed the Chinese military, and the Soviet Union would send the captured armor People's Liberation Army, and the U.S. — the Kuomintang. Despite the active introduction of "Type 95" after the second World War, this tank can be considered quite successful. Of the 2300-built tanks superfluous to our time in the form of museum exhibits and a half survived the 10-ka. Just a few 10 s of tanks in Warped state are local attractions in certain Asian countries.

The average "Chi-Ha"

Soon after the start of the test tank "Ha-Go" Company "Mitsubishi" introduced another project that has its roots in the early 30's. Now good old concept of "TK" was the basis for a new medium tank, the name "Type 97" or "Chi-Ha." With all of this it should be noted that the "Chi-Ha" had not much in
common with the "Te-Ke". The coincidence of digital development index was justified by some bureaucratic moments. Yet, without thinking of borrowing is not done. The new "Type 97" had the same build as the last car: engine at the rear, the box in front of the crew compartment and between them. The design "Chi-Ha" was performed by framing system. Maximum thickness of rolled sheets of housing in the case of "The type 97" has risen to 27 mm. This provided a substantial increase in the level of protection. As later shown to be brand new thicker armor was much more resistant to the arms of the enemy. For example, the South American mnogokalibernye M2 Browning machine guns confidently hit the tanks, "Ha-Go" at distances up to 500 meters, but in Armor "Chi-Ha" they just left dents. More decent hotel has led to an increase in the combat weight of the tank up to 15.8 tonnes. This fact is claimed to set a new engine. In the early stages of the project considered two motors. Both have a similar capacity to 170 hp, but have been developed by different companies. In the end, he was elected diesel Mitsubishi, appeared a little more comfortable in the workplace. Well, the opportunity frisky and comfortable communication with tank builders, designers, engineers, engine specialists has done its job.

Japanese tanks during the Second World War.  Part I

Taking into account the current trends zabugornyh tanks, the designers "Mitsubishi" decided to equip the new "Type 97" is more massive tool than it was in the past the tanks. On a rotating turret was installed 57-mm gun "type 97". As to the "Xa Guo" gun could swing on trunnions, not only in the vertical plane, and in the horizontal width within sector 20 °. Is noteworthy that the narrow horizontal aiming guns performed without any mechanical means — only physical strength gunner. Vertical leveling carried out in the sector from -9 ° to +21 °. The standard gun ammunition were 80 high-explosive and armor-piercing shells 40. Armor-piercing ammunition weighing 2.58 kilograms per kilometer punched up to 12 mm of armor. At least twice the distance of penetration rate increased by half. Additional armament "Chi-Ha" consisted of a 2-machine gun "type 97". One of them was located in the front of the chassis, and the other was for defense against attack from behind. The new gun tank builders urged to go for another increase in the crew. Now, it consisted of four people: a driver, gunner, loader, gunner and commander.

In 1942, on the basis of "Type 97" was created tank "Shinhoto Chi-Ha", which differed from the unique model of the modern gun. 47-mm gun "type 1" allowed to increment up to 102 rounds ammunition and immediately with this increase armor. The barrel length of 48 calibres clocked up such a projectile velocity at which it could penetrate up to 68-70 mm of armor at distances up to 500 meters. Refreshed tank proved to be more effective against armored vehicles and fortifications, in connection with which it was started mass creation. In addition, most of the seven hundred with superfluous made "Shinhoto Chi-Ha" was refitted in the repair of conventional tanks "Type 97".

Japanese tanks during the Second World War.  Part I
Japanese tanks during the Second World War.  Part I

Combat use of "Chi-Ha", which began in the first months of the war in the Pacific theater of operations, until a certain time has demonstrated sufficient efficacy of applied solutions. But with the passage of time, when the United States entered the war, had been in the army tanks such as the M3 Lee, it became clear that all the available land of the rising sun light and medium tanks just can not fight them. For reliable destruction of American tanks were required to enter certain distinct parts. Specifically, this was the precondition for the creation of the modern tower with a gun "type 1". Either way, none of the versions of "Type 97" could not compete on equal terms with the enemy vehicles, the United States or the Soviet Union. In particular, and as a result of this approximately 2,100 pieces survived to our time only two full tank "Chi-Ha." Another dozen preserved in the form of a warped and also a museum exhibits.

According to the materials of websites:

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